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Eagles Pick DE Josh Sweat in 2018 NFL Draft Amid Knee Injury Concerns

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2018

Florida State's Josh Sweat takes off on the snap during an NCAA college football game with Delaware State, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Tallahassee Fla. Florida State won 77-6. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)
STEVEN CANNON/Associated Press

Florida State edge-rusher Josh Sweat was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the No. 130 overall pick in the fourth round on Saturday, and social media soon followed with reactions and analysis of the selection:

Philadelphia Eagles @Eagles

With the 130th pick in the 2018 #NFLDraft, the #Eagles select DE Josh Sweat. #FlyEaglesFly https://t.co/yYw9fQlp5G

Pro Football Focus @PFF

The Eagles with a nice value selection. They land Josh Sweat from Florida State, who was the 105th ranked player on our big board https://t.co/rd1QBl9Msi

Bleacher Report NFL @BR_NFL

Eagles select DE Josh Sweat with the 130th pick #NFLDraft https://t.co/hCixkt3deJ

Michael Schwartz @MikeMSchwartz

That Josh Sweat pick could pay off for the Eagles in a huge way. Very easily could end up one of the draft's best pass rushers as long as he stays healthy.

The Artist Formerly Known As Man Bun @TampaBayTre

Kentavius Street, who is currently recovering from a torn ACL, was picked before Josh Sweat, who has long recovered from and has played football since tearing his ACL.

Reuben Frank @RoobNBCS

Josh Sweat had 14 1/2 sacks in three years at Florida State. At 6-5, 250 pounds, he can either line up as a down lineman or play OLB in a 3-4. Will be interesting to see how Jim Schwartz uses him.

Shea Dixon @Sheadixon

Josh Sweat is a steal at this point and not sure how anyone could disagree. Guy is a freak.

So, what is Philadelphia getting in Sweat?

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com offered the following scouting report on the player:

"Sweat has the length, frame and athletic qualities to fit right in as a 3-4 SAM or rush linebacker, but he needs to go to school with a position coach or a talented veteran to help unlock his pass rush potential. Sweat's initial quickness and issues with contact balance could hinder his ability to play with his hand down. He has the ability to become a decent NFL starter, but there is a wide disparity between his ceiling and floor thanks to concerns surrounding the current and future health of his knee."

The injury in question was a dislocated knee Sweat suffered during high school. He also tore his meniscus in his sophomore season at Florida State, though he managed to appear in 12 games and make 10 starts nonetheless.

In three years at Florida State, the 21-year-old accumulated 138 tackles (29 for loss), 14.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries, serving as a starter for the majority of his time in Tallahassee. 

Without question, Sweat has the athletic upside and length to be an impact rusher off the edge in the NFL. But will his technique advance as well? Will he add strength? Can he compensate for what appears on film at times to be a lack of burst? 

Doug Farrar @BR_DougFarrar

Great that Josh Sweat is killing his workouts, but I'm still concerned that he's not that quick off the snap and has trouble beating blocks at times. The first-step quickness thing is kind of alarming, actually.

And, of course, can he stay healthy?

Those are the key questions surrounding Sweat. If he provides the answers, he could be the steal of this draft. 

The Eagles are the perfect destination for a player like Sweat, who has a lot to prove because of his knee injuries, to develop.

There is already a tremendous foundation in place on Philadelphia's defensive line. Derek Barnett, Michael Bennett, Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan and Chris Long form one the most formidable groups in the NFL. 

Sweat doesn't have any pressure to step in right away and perform, so he can take his time to show the Eagles' coaching staff he can stay healthy and be a pass-rushing force. 

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