By Tom Brennan

The Eagles picked Alabama standouts WR DeVonta Smith and OL Landon Dickerson in the first and second rounds.

And then they pivoted to helping their awful defense.

They picked Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Milton Williams with their third-round selection. At 6-3, 284 lbs., Williams was named first-team all-conference in the C-USA after leading his team with 10 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

The Eagles doubled down on pass rushers in the sixth round by choosing DT Marlon Tuipulotu from USC and DE Tarron Jackson from Coastal Carolina University. Tuipulotu became first-team All-Pac-12 in his senior year after collecting 23 tackles in six games. Likewise, Jackson was awarded first-team Associated Press All-American and Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year honors after an impressive 8.5 sacks in 2020.

They picked up a cornerback in the fourth round, selecting former Penn Stater Zech McPherson 123 overall from Texas Tech. McPherson played two seasons at State College before he transferred south. He pulled down 4 interceptions in 2020 and collected 47 tackles en route to making first-team All-Big 12.

The Eagles added more depth to the secondary by selecting safety JaCoby Stevens with their third selection in the sixth round. Stevens was part of the 2019 LSU Tigers National Championship team during a season in which he collected 92 tackles, three interceptions and five sacks.

Philly returned to the offensive side of the ball in the fifth round, drafting running back Kenneth Gainwell out of the University of Memphis. Gainwell sat out the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he was AAC Rookie of the Year in 2019 and a valuable weapon as a receiver with 51 receptions for 610 yards.


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