On the final day of the NFL draft, the Eagles focused on adding to their defense.
First, selecting Florida defensive back Jaylen Watkins with the No. 101 pick, the younger brother of Sammy, Watkins fits the mold of what Eagles coach Chip Kelly is looking for in his players - versatility.
Watkins started 28 games for the Gators, seeing action at corner and safety as well as in the slot. It's his speed and versatility that are his calling cards, and he could eventually contribute as a nickel or dime defender while assisting on special teams.
"One of the things that led us to this pick is his versatility because he has played both," explained Kelly. "Extremely high football intelligence, Billy Davis was at his pro day, spent a lot of time with him there. We had him in here for an interview. He's played safety, he's played corner. He's played nickel. I think he obviously has the speed to play corner."
In round five, the Eagles added two more defensive players, first grabbing Oregon defensive end Taylor Hart with the No. 141 overall pick, and then Stanford safety Ed Reynolds with the No. 162 overall pick.
A 39-game starter for the Ducks, Hart recorded 22.5 career tackles for loss, 16 sacks, and five forced fumbles, he should develop into a highly useful run-stopping end with some ability to push the pocket from the interior in sub-packages.
"A relentless football player," described Kelly about Hart. "Obviously, what we're looking for at the defensive end spot, that length. Has a great understanding of what we're doing. He's a true 3-4 defensive end two‑gapper, and that's what we're looking for."
In Reynolds, the Eagles added a bigger safety who, played free safety for the Cardinal. Reynolds is not an overly athletic or physical safety, has very little experience in man coverage and missed too many tackles in college - he projects to maybe a third safety/special teamer in the NFL.
"Big, physical, 6'1", 207, extremely intelligent," Kelly said. "He’s another high football IQ guy. Will do a good job in terms of what we're looking for in the safety and quarterback of the defense back there getting us lined up and putting us in the right positions."
Finally, in the seventh round, the Eagles selected Wisconsin defensive tackle Beau Allen with the No. 224 overall pick.
Allen projects as a rotational, two-down run stuffer with limited upside, but there is a role-playing place for him in the NFL. He'll be a true nose tackle for the Eagles. Allen (6-foot-2 1/2, 333) did the dirty work at nose tackle for the Badgers, freeing up Badger middle linebacker Chris Borland to make plays.
"He's a true nose tackle," Kelly stated. "He's in the same style that we teach. He's got a good understanding of 3‑4 defense."