Eagles Finish Draft by Selecting UW DT Elijah Qualls
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles sandwiched their 2017 class with defensive linemen, finishing things by taking Washington defensive tackle Elijah Qualls with the 214th selection in the sixth round.
A short and stout run defender at 6-foot-1 and 313 pounds, Qualls joins teammate Sidney Jones as UW products drafted by Philadelphia this year.
Qualls offers tremendous value this late in the draft as a two-gap run defender who can take reps as the nose in a 4-3 defense as well as the three-technique and compares favorably to the now-departed Bennie Logan.
"We had to take on blocks and free up my linebackers so they could make plays," Qualls said of his time at Washington.
He understands his role and occupies blockers although scouts have questioned his work ethic and believe he needs to either add 10 or 15 pounds to be more on a consistent run anchor or commit to being an under tackle.
"I can play either one, and I am fine with either one," Qualls said when asked is he prefers the nose or three-technique. "There are definitely some things I like about one position better than the other, but as far being comfortable with [one over the other], I like them both.”
Eagles 2017 Draft Class with analysis from NFL Network:
Round 1, Pick 14 (14) (From Vikings) Derek Barnett DE 6'3" 259 Tennessee
Pick Analysis: "I love the energy. I love the toughness. People either loved or they didn't like him because he didn't have explosive measurables in the combine. But his tape is too good and I think the city of Philadelphia is going to love him." -- Mike Mayock
Round 2, Pick 11 (43) Sidney Jones CB 6'0" 186 Washington
Pick Analysis: "Popular choice in Philadelphia. Before he got hurt, Philly wanted Sidney Jones at No. 14. ... He reminds me of Marcus Peters, another Washington Husky. What I love about him is he's got instincts, he's got ball skills and he will tackle even though he's lean at 186." -- Mike Mayock
Round 3, Pick 35 (99) (Compensatory Selection - From Ravens) Rasul Douglas CB 6'2" 209 West Virginia
Pick Analysis: "Defense, defense, defense. Douglas is a long corner. Exactly what Jim Schwartz likes." -- Mike Mayock
Round 4, Pick 12 (118) Mack Hollins WR 6'4" 221 North Carolina
Pick Analysis: Hollins is a big downfield receiver who should help open up the Eagles' offense in subpackages. In addition, he'll be an outstanding addition to their kick coverage units. --Mark Dulgerian
Round 4, Pick 26 (132) (From Vikings through Chiefs) Donnel Pumphrey RB 5'8" 176 San Diego St.
Pick Analysis: For an undersized, multi-purpose scatback/returner, is there a better veteran to learn from than Darren Sproles, who happens to be entering contract year? Eagles fans may be looking at his eventual replacement in Pumphrey. --Mark Dulgerian
Round 5, Pick 22 (166) (From Dolphins) Shelton Gibson WR 5'11" 191 West Virginia
Pick Analysis: Forget his 40 yard dash time, Gibson has big-time vertical ability. At this point, there is little development in the rest of his game but he should be good for some "bombs away" moments early in his career. --Mark Dulgerian
Round 5, Pick 41 (184) (Compensatory Selection - From Dolphins) Nate Gerry S 6'2" 218 Nebraska 5.0
Pick Analysis: Gerry will need to make his mark on special teams to stick, but their depth is thin at the safety position. --Mark Dulgerian
Round 6, Pick 31 (214) (From Titans through Falcons) Elijah Qualls DT 6'1" 313 Washington
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen