Philadelphia Eagles focus on adding speed at wideout position during draft
The Philadelphia Eagles added speed, speed and more speed.
After selecting TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor with the 21st overall pick in the NFL draft, the Eagles acquired wideout Marquise Goodwin from the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday and chose two other fast receivers.
The Eagles picked Boise State’s John Hightower in the fifth round and Southern Mississippi’s Quez Watkins in the sixth round.
Adding receivers was Philadelphia’s biggest priority. Last season, Carson Wentz became the first player to throw for more than 4,000 yards despite not having a wide receiver reach 500 yards, in part because of injuries. Wentz led the Eagles to four straight wins in December to secure an NFC East title with a group of castoffs at receiver.
Getting Reagor, Goodwin, Hightower and Watkins should help. They join veterans DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery, 2019 second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward and others.
“Can he run? Is he healthy? Does he love to play? That was going to be our offseason motto,” personnel boss Howie Roseman said.
Goodwin spent his first four seasons with Buffalo and past three in San Francisco. He has 140 receptions for 2,323 yards and 13 TDs in his career.
Goodwin has been plagued by injuries and played 16 games only once, in 2017, when he had career highs in receptions (56) and yards (962).
“Marquise is one of the fastest men in the world. I mean that,” Roseman said.
Clocking in: Hightower, 6-foot-1 and 189 pounds, led Boise State in yards (943) and TD receptions (eight), while finishing second in catches (51) as a senior. He ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash at the combine.
“I was running track before I started playing football, so the track background definitely helped me with my quickness, being able to outrun defenders,” he said.
Watkins, 6-foot and 185 pounds, had 159 receptions for 2,404 yards and 17 TDs in 35 college games. He ran a 4.35 in the 40 at the combine.
“A lot people may not know me now, but really by the end of the season people are going to know me,” Watkins said. “I’m really not somebody that’s going to try to stay off to the side. I’m going to show up to the competition and show everybody what I’m about, show them I’m ready to play and show them why I’m an Eagle.”
Busy Saturday: The Eagles started Day 3 by taking Clemson defensive back K’Von Wallace and Auburn offensive lineman Jack Driscoll in the fourth round.
Wallace was mentored by Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins, a former Clemson star and Eagles legend, and Troy Vincent, a five-time Pro Bowl cornerback and current league executive.
Roseman then made several trades, flipping a fourth-rounder (No. 146) for picks Nos. 196, No. 200, No. 233 and a 2021 fifth-rounder.
Temple linebacker Shaun Bradley was picked at No. 196. Watkins went at No. 200. Stanford defensive end Casey Toohill was the team’s final selection at No. 233 in the seventh round.
The Eagles swapped sixth-round picks to get Goodwin, giving San Francisco No. 190 and taking No. 210. They used it on Auburn offensive lineman Prince Tega Wanogho.
Hurts so good: On Friday night, Philadelphia stunned everyone by drafting Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts with the 53rd overall pick in the second round even though they have Wentz.
“We’re always going to make a point of emphasis to look at the quarterback position and try the best we can to develop quarterbacks,” coach Doug Pederson said. “I think that’s just smart. It protects that position. We’re trying to develop depth and competition. I’ve always told you guys the quarterback position is never immune to that.
“I’ve been part of that personally in my career and obviously as a position coach and now as a head coach. When you have somebody like Jalen Hurts right there on your board, we understand that might not be a sexy pick, that might not be the glamorous pick but when we look at it as an organization, we’re doing the best thing in the interest of the Philadelphia Eagles and we have to take advantage of that.”
The Eagles chose Colorado hybrid safety-linebacker Davion Taylor in the third round.