EAGLES’ 8 DRAFT PICKS — CAN THEY HELP IN 2016, OR EVER?

By Steve Kelly

Okay, take a breath Eagles Nation.

Here’s a summary of the Eagles draft picks and what we think about them:

1 (2) Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

What he brings: One of the top two quarterbacks in this class, Wentz is blessed with a strong combination of size and athleticism. He has very good arm strength to make all the necessary throws. He displays quality accuracy at all three levels. There are some concerns about his lack of experience and making the jump from the FCS level. However, Wentz has the tools, football intelligence, maturity and leadership skills to develop into a quality starting QB in the NFL.

How he fits: Wentz comes with an excellent physical skill set and overall makeup, but he has just 23 career starts and will be making a significant jump coming from the FCS level to the NFL. Similar to Goff, Wentz goes to an ideal situation — assuming the Sam Bradford situation works itself out — where he can have the luxury of being developed the proper way by sitting and learning from head coach Doug Peterson, who has been an excellent mentor at the position.

 

3 (79) Isaac Seumalo, OC, Oregon State

What he brings: Seumalo is a versatile offensive lineman who has experience playing multiple positions at Oregon State. He lacks ideal length and has marginal strength, so he projects to line up as a center at the next level. He possesses adequate first-step quickness and takes quality initial angles as a run-blocker. However, Seumalo has to learn to play with more balance, both as a run-blocker and in pass protection. The former Beaver shows quality awareness and plays with an aggressive edge and has the potential to add immediate depth.

How he fits: Philadelphia did well to sign Brandon Brooks, but not they need a guard capable of competing for the starting job opposite him and Seumalo fits the mold. Seumalo is also versatile enough to provide depth at center.

 

5 (153) Wendell Smallwood, RB, West Virginia (above)

What he brings: Smallwood is an undersized runner who led the Big 12 in rushing last season. He displays a nice combination of vision, lateral quickness and speed. While Smallwood needs to get stronger and improve in pass protection, he has the potential to be a productive receiver, dangerous change-of-pace back and contributor on kickoff returns.

 

5 (164) Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT, TCU

What he brings: Vaitai is a three-year starter with experience at right and left tackle. He needs to improve his technique and there are some durability concerns, but he tested well and he has the potential to develop into an effective No.3 swing tackle or possibly starting right tackle.

 

6 (196) Blake Countess, CB, Auburn

What he brings: A Michigan transfer who is instinctive, tough and has quality range and athleticism in coverage. He also brings quality value on special teams coverage units.

 

7 (233) Jalen Mills, S, LSU

What he brings: Mills broke his fibula during the preseason and appeared in just six games last season, so there are durability concerns. Also, a misdemeanor battery charge that was ultimately dropped raises some concerns about Mills’ off-the-field decision-making. On the field, Mills is an instinctive and versatile defender who has lined up at safety, corner and nickel back. He has above-average cover skills and is an adequate run defender.

 

7 (240) Alex Mccalister, DE, Florida

What he brings: McCalister is a developmental edge-rushing prospect who is a better athlete than football player at this point. He has a long and lean frame with a nice combination of first quickness and flexibility bending the edge. However, he needs polish with hand usage and lacks ideal bulk and strength as a run defender. In addition, he comes with some character red flags that may affect his draft position. He has the potential to become a situational pass-rusher who will need to be a heavy contributor on special teams.

 

7 (251) Joe Walker, ILB, Oregon

What he brings: Walker is an instinctive linebacker with adequate point of attack skills and good balance as a tackler.

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