Philadelphia Eagles' 2017 draft class: Kiper's grades, McShay's best pick, more
NFL Draft Insiders
Posted: 2017-05-01

The 2017 NFL draft is over, and it's time to review how your favorite team fared. Where did it reach? Did it get a potential steal in Round 5? Is there a bust waiting to happen?

ESPN Insider's draft experts break down each draft class, starting with Mel Kiper Jr.'s grade, Todd McShay's favorite pick, and Scouts Inc.'s analysis on how each player fits into his new team.



Philadelphia Eagles

Mel Kiper's Draft Grade: B+

Kiper: Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox led the Eagles in sacks last season with 6.5, and there was a clear directive to get an edge rusher for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz in the first two days of the draft. Derek Barnett fits that bill as the first-rounder Philly got in the Sam Bradford trade with Minnesota. Barnett, who had 33.0 career sacks at Tennessee, will join the rotation with Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry and free-agent signing Chris Long.

Philadelphia had issues in the secondary last season, too, and one of the best things for a porous pass defense is a stellar pass rush. The Eagles took a step toward that on Day 1, then boosted the back end on Day 2. Sidney Jones could be a steal if he recovers fully from the torn Achilles he suffered at his pro day in March. Though he's optimistic about returning in 2017, he might be better served by a redshirt year. If healthy, he's a top-15 talent with good ball skills and the ability to handle big wideouts. Rasul Douglas was a ballhawk in 2016 with eight interceptions, but he doesn't have high-end speed (4.59 40).

Mack Hollins is a special-teams demon and former walk-on with some big-play ability. Donnel Pumphrey set the FBS career rushing record with 6,405 yards and is probably a part-time back. Elijah Qualls has a load of talent and ability but inconsistent tape.

Philly needed to shore up its defense and it did that pretty well. It's not a home run class, but the Eagles got better.

ROUND/PICK NAME POS COLLEGE
1/14 Derek Barnett DE TENNESSEE
2/43 Sidney Jones CB WASHINGTON
3/99 Rasul Douglas CB WEST VIRGINIA
4/118 Mack Hollins WR NORTH CAROLINA
4/132 Donnel Pumphrey RB SAN DIEGO STATE
5/166 Shelton Gibson WR WEST VIRGINIA
5/184 Nathan Gerry S NEBRASKA
6/214 Elijah Qualls DT WASHINGTON



Todd McShay's favorite pick

Mack Hollins, WR, North Carolina (pick no. 118)

In Joe Douglas' and Andy Weidl's first draft, it was very important for them to find building-block players. Their first two picks -- DE Derek Barnett and CB Sidney Jones -- fit that mold. They both have outstanding football character. Hollins, a former walk-on, also embodies the type of players the Eagles are looking for, and he was a great value. Yes, he has some durability concerns, but at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds with big-play ability, Hollins was a late-second/early-third-round talent and the Eagles got him at No. 118 overall. Hollins plays like an absolute maniac on special teams coverage and will at the very least by a good red zone threat.

Scouts Inc. on 2017 class

1 (14) Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee | Highlights

What he brings: Tone-setter who is a better football player than athlete. He is one of the most natural edge rushers in the class, with outstanding snap anticipation, bend and closing burst. Barnett also brings quality instincts and point-of-attack skills setting the edge defending the run. -- Kevin Weidl

How he fits: Barnett is the most natural pass-rusher in the class, and combined with DE Brandon Graham, DT Fletcher Cox and DT Timmy Jernigan on the inside, the Eagles are looking to build a disruptive defensive line. Barnett also brings the toughness and leadership that Philadelphia needed to add to its roster. -- Kevin Weidl



2 (11) Sidney Jones, CB, Washington | Highlights

What he brings: Jones is one of the most talented cornerbacks in the 2017 class, but he will likely need to "redshirt" his rookie season after an Achilles injury at his pro day. He is a fluid athlete with quality mirror skills in man coverage and shows above-average awareness locating and playing the ball. -- Kevin Weidl

How he fits: Philadelphia fills its most pressing need at cornerback and gets a player who could turn into an absolute steal in Jones. He's a scheme-versatile player with the football I.Q. and natural ability to step into a starting role for the Eagles if, as expected, he makes a full recovery. He also gives Philadelphia a playmaker. -- Steve Muench



3 (35) Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia | Highlights

What he brings: Douglas is a longer press cornerback who shows excellent range and the physicality to defend the run. He also possesses strong ball awareness (tied for the FBS lead with eight interceptions in his first year as a starter in 2016). -- Kevin Weidl

How he fits: Philadelphia continues to attack its most pressing need and takes its second corner of the night. Douglas is a good fit for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's scheme, and the Eagles could very well have landed a starter here. -- Steve Muench



4 (12) Mack Hollins, WR, North Carolina | Highlights

What he brings: Hollins, who is coming off a season-ending broken collarbone injury, is a former walk-on with the frame, length and top-end speed to stretch the field. A special teams captain throughout his college career, he projects as a core special teams' player at the next level. -- Steve Muench

How he fits: This is an excellent pick for the Eagles, who get a receiver with size-speed combination to stretch the field and is outstanding on special teams. -- Steve Muench



4 (26) Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State | Highlights

What he brings: Pumphrey is a pint-sized running back who owns the NCAA career-rushing record. He's a versatile weapon with the talent to potentially develop into an effective complementary back who also has the capabilities to help out in the return game. -- Kevin Weidl

How he fits: The Eagles were in the market to add depth to the position. Pumphrey is an undersized but versatile playmaker who likely will be groomed as Darren Sproles' replacement, since Sproles turns 34 in June. -- Kevin Weidl



5 (22) Shelton Gibson, WR, West Virginia

What he brings: A developing route-runner with below-average size, Gibson is a big-play threat who plays faster than his timed top-end speed. He tracks the ball well and flashes a second gear stretching the field. -- Steve Muench



5 (41) Nathan Gerry, S, Nebraska

What he brings: Gerry's tight hips hinder his ability to match up in coverage and make open field tackles, plus he missed two games because of off-the-field issues in 2016. However, the two-time team captain has the frame, motor, range and ball skills to develop into a starter. -- Steve Muench



6 (31) Elijah Qualls, DT, Washington | Highlights

What he brings: A high school wrestler, Qualls is a powerful run defender with the bulk and upper-body strength to stack up blockers. He's quick enough to disrupt some plays in the backfield, but doesn't offer much as a pass-rusher. -- Steve Muench



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