2020 NFL draftees the Eagles shouldn’t have ignored (besides Jefferson)

Justin Jefferson #18, Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Justin Jefferson #18, Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
Alex Highsmith #56, Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

55. . . . Alex Highsmith, EDGE/OLB. 2. player

The Steelers snatched Alex Highsmith right from under the Eagles’ noses.

The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Alex Highsmith with the 102nd-overall selection, one spot before the Philadelphia Eagles landed Davion Taylor. Sure, Philly’s young linebacker has talent (and a ton of speed), and he appeared to be on his way a year ago before being injured, but Highsmith is on a different level.

You can agree with this next theory or toss it out, but one could make the argument that Philly should have traded up ahead of Pennsylvania’s other team to earn the opportunity to take the former Charlotte 49ers standout.

Mentioning the Steelers and Eagles means we have to address scheme fits. Philadelphia runs a traditional 4-3 alignment while Pittsburgh has long employed their 3-4, and that means we have to ask questions about what Alex Highsmith, an outside linebacker, would look like as a defensive end. Something tells us that he would have been alright.

After spending his first two seasons at the linebacker position on the NCAA level, Highsmith transitioned to defensive end for his last two, and he notched 75 tackles, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and 15 sacks playing with his hand in the dirt. At the NFL level, he’s been equally as impressive.

So far, he’s appeared in 32 regular-season games with 21 starts, and that’s resulted in 122 tackles, eight sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble.