2015 NFL Draft: Thoughts On The Eagles Draft Class


Now that the 2015 NFL Draft is over and in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to reflect on the Philadelphia Eagles‘ entire 2015 draft class. Not only the six players they actually drafted, but also the 16 undrafted free agents they signed.

Here are my personal thoughts on the players that Kelly and the Eagles drafted, along with some interesting “nuggets” about a few of the undrafted free agents they signed following the 2015 NFL Draft as well.

  • Drafting wide receiver Nelson Agholor in the first round didn’t excite many fans but it’s exactly what Kelly should have done. Agholor will step in immediately as a starter outside or in the slot and contribute as a punt returner as well. Especially if they want to keep running back Darren Sproles healthy, as he isn’t getting any younger.
  • I’ll admit it, defensive back Eric Rowe was my “man crush” in this year’s draft class. He was the one prospect that I really wanted the Eagles to get and sure enough, they did. He checks all the boxes they look for in a player since he has great size, athleticism and character. Rowe’s ability and experience at both cornerback and safety clearly intrigued Kelly as well. It just so happens that he could potentially fit either one of the team’s biggest needs at cornerback or safety. Either way, it was an outstanding pick and potential steal.
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  • I’m not going to lie, I hated the Jordan Hicks pick in the third round at first… and I still don’t like it. He’s small, often injured and plays inside linebacker, which is one of the only positions where the Eagles actually have good depth. I just don’t get it, sure they have injury prone players at the position but you don’t draft a fourth inside linebacker over a potential starter at guard, which they really need. If somehow, two of their top three inside linebackers get hurt, then this pick will look like a genius move by Kelly. But otherwise, I don’t understand it.
  • I really liked the idea of trading the team’s fourth round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft for the Lions’ third round pick in next year’s draft. The Eagles were likely targeting an offensive linemen there but got unlucky and had a few picked just before they were set to be on the clock. That pick will especially come in handy since they traded away their 2016 second round pick to get quarterback Sam Bradford. So now they’ll still have two picks on day two of the 2016 NFL Draft.
  • In the sixth round, Kelly “double-dipped” by drafting two cornerbacks. I like the JaCorey Shepherd pick quite a bit, he likely dropped because of a poor 40-yard dash time…which he ran while he was injured. It was a no-brainer for the Eagles to snatch up Shepherd at that point in the draft. I’m less excited about Randall Evans, who is a bigger cornerback but doesn’t really wow me on tape. He played primarily in the slot in 2014 and the Eagles already have Brandon Boykin and Walter Thurmond to cover the slot. Maybe they could try him out at safety, that is a possibility.
  • I was watching the PhiladelphiaEagles.com live show when their seventh round selection of defensive end Brian Mihalik was announced. At first, like mostly everyone else, I said to myself “WHO!?” But then I dug a little deeper and realized that drafting Mihalik is exactly the kind of low risk, high reward you want your team to make. He has insane size at 6’9″, 302 lbs. and tested off the charts at his pro day. He is certainly raw but his size and athleticism are rare and worth taking a chance on.
  • Wide receiver Devante Davis is the biggest name of all the undrafted free agents the Eagles signed and deservedly so. He had one hell of a season in 2013, totaling 87 catches for 1,290 yards and 14 touchdowns. But then got injured midway through his senior season in 2014, which apparently hurt his draft stock. At 6’3″, 220 lbs., I’d describe Davis as a poor man’s version of Jaelen Strong. He’ll struggle to get separation but dominates at catching the ball at its highest point and is tough after the catch as well. Davis should be in the mix for one of the Eagles final roster spots.
  • Along the offensive line, the Eagles signed multiple undrafted free agents including Brett Boyko and Malcolm Bunche. I talked about each of the offensive linemen they signed in further detail in one of my latest pieces, which you can read here.
  • Another undrafted free agent I’m intrigued by is tight end Eric Tomlinson. Not only because he has an awesome beard, but he’s a dominant blocker and has great size at 6’7″, 260 lbs. Tomlinson was primarily used as a blocker but he showed some potential as a receiver during the Senior Bowl practices. He could be a player the team stashes on the practice squad to eventually replace Brent Celek in a year or two.

There are obviously more undrafted free agents but the above names are the players that stand out the most to me personally. That’s all for my thoughts on the Philadelphia Eagles 2015 NFL Draft class. I believe head coach Chip Kelly did a decent job running his first draft for the team where he had full control. But only time will tell if this was truly a successful draft class for Kelly and the Eagles.

Next: Philadelphia Eagles: Allen Barbre Is The New Right Guard

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