After selecting three players in the first three rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft, a handful of trades have now left the Philadelphia Eagles with 10 picks over the final four rounds Saturday.
The Eagles have a history of focusing on defense early on—and that was clearly the case during the first two days of the draft. Here are the three newest members of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Michigan OLB Brandon Graham–13th overall
After many expected the Eagles to select Texas safety Earl Thomas, they decided to focus on pass-rushing by trading up at the last minute to acquire Michigan OLB Brandon Graham. The former Wolverine looks to have an immediate impact in Sean McDermott’s defense that tied for third in the league last season with 44 sacks.
Graham is arguably one of the top defenders in this year’s draft class—which is why the Eagles found it necessary to trade up for him. During his senior year, he led the nation with 26 tackles for a loss and was ranked 14th with 10.5 sacks.
South Florida S Nate Allen–37th overall
This part of the draft may have been the most critical for the Eagles not because of team needs, but because of what they sacrificed to get the pick.
Philadelphia received the 37th pick as part of the deal with the Washington Redskins in the Donovan McNabb trade. With the pick, they selected South Florida safety Nate Allen—who will look to fill in the hole left by the great Brian Dawkins on defense.
The weakness in the safety position was highly exposed last year on the Eagles’ defense—especially during the final two games against the Dallas Cowboys. He may have finished with 85 total tackles and four interceptions during his senior year, but Philadelphia realizes Allen has big shoes to fill on defense.
There may be a few areas in need of improvement, but Allen is certainly an upgrade over who the Eagles had at safety last season.
Washington DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim–86th overall
Considering the first-round selection of Graham, this move by the Eagles to select another defensive end this early on came as a bit of a surprise.
Many analysts were hesitant towards Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, claiming he lacked the athleticism to become a successful NFL player. However, his stock has risen since impressive workouts at the NFL Combine—where he impressed scouts with his speed and agility. He even managed to bench 225 pounds 35 times.
It may take some time to develop, but the Eagles have a history of success developing defensive players selected in the draft. After setting the school record for most career sacks with 30.5, maybe Te’o-Nesheim will be worth the high-risk for Philadelphia after all.