With the twenty-fifth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select…
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Andre Dillard OT | Washington State
The defending Super Bowl champs from a season ago were so close to making another magical run behind Nick Foles and company, but whether it was a Super Bowl hangover, or the slew of injuries the team had to overcome, Philadelphia ran out of gas last season and eventually lost to the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. With quarterback Nick Foles now in Jacksonville, this Eagles team now officially belongs to Carson Wentz, who will be looking to bounce back from injury (for the second season in a row) in hopes of personally bringing the City of Brotherly Love another Lombardi Trophy.
Philadelphia entered this offseason with next to nothing in cap space before guru general manager Howie Roseman did what he does best. The Eagles lost some players, but at the same time they were able to sign and trade for some players to replace those that they lost. Running back Jordan Howard looks to help improve Philly’s 28th ranked rushing attack after coming over in a trade with the Bears. Veteran Malik Jackson steps in at defensive tackle to make up for the losses of Haloti Ngata (retirement) and Timmy Jernigan (free agent). Desean Jackson comes back to Philadelphia to add a big play, deep threat, while also adding depth to a receiver group that lost Golden Tate (Giants), Jordan Matthews (49ers) and Mike Wallace (free agent). Philadelphia could certainly look to add some depth on the defensive side of the ball, perhaps at defensive tackle with Clemson’s Dexter Lawrence or Notre Dame’s Jerry Tillery still on the board here. They could also look to improve their 30th ranked pass defense with a cornerback like Washington’s Byron Murphy or Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram. While I would be happy with any of these players as an Eagles fan, I think just getting guys back healthy should help with things back there. With the way this mock draft has unfolded, Philadelphia needs to turn to the other side of the ball with pick #25.
A receiver or running back would certainly be exciting picks for the Eagles in the first round, but that just isn’t our style. Philadelphia likes to build in the trenches and after taking defensive end Derek Barnett with the 14th overall pick back in 2017, I think it’s time for us to turn our attention back to the offensive line and grab Washington State’s Andre Dillard. The chances of Dillard lasting this long are slim to none as he is the highest ranked pure left tackle in this years draft class. That being said, Dillard has received some flak on his game in that he is an outstanding pass protector but just an average at best run blocker. Regardless, he is extremely athletic which is exactly what the Eagles want out of their tackles. Jason Peters is 37 years old and has struggled to stay healthy the last couple years, while Lane Johnson is quietly pushing 30. Drafting Dillard and allowing him to learn behind Peters before eventually taking over for the big man would be an ideal situation and one that sets Philadelphia up for the long run.