Philadelphia Eagles draft: 3 Surprising yet possible selections at 12

Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
Kwity Paye, Philadelphia Eagles, (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Eagles should know you can never have too many edge rushers.

Since Howie Roseman became the general manager in 2010, the Eagles have drafted four defensive players in the first round. Let’s take a look at them below.

  • 2010: Brandon Graham (13th overall)
  • 2012: Fletcher Cox (12th overall)
  • 2014: Marcus Smith (26th overall)
  • 2017: Derek Barnett (14th overall)

Did you notice the trend? There were no cornerbacks, no linebackers, no safeties. There were only defensive linemen. This leads us to Kwity Paye, an edge rusher out of the University of Michigan.

After a stellar 2019 season in which he racked up 12.5 sacks, Paye returned for his senior year. Even in a covid-shortened season, Paye took full advantage of the little playing time he had. In the four games that Michigan played, Paye totaled 16 tackles (4.0 for loss) and two sacks. He also posted the highest pass-rush win percentage in the Big Ten (25.8%), earning him Second-Team All-Big Ten honors.

Between free agency and the draft, it’s obvious that the Eagles value defensive linemen. After losing Vinny Curry to the Jets and failing to sign a replacement, it shouldn’t shock fans to see the Eagles take this route when they’re on the clock.

Besides, the last time the Eagles used their first-round pick on a player from Michigan was Brandon Graham in 2010. It’s safe to say that worked on pretty well for them.