The 2019 NFL Draft wrapped up this past weekend and the Philadelphia Eagles have five freshly drafted rookies now on the roster. Philadelphia was able to find decent production out of last year’s selections of Dallas Goedert and Avonte Maddox. The team now hopes to have some game changers in this year’s class that can contribute to the team’s 2019 run. Below is what we could expect from these new Eagles in their rookie campaigns.
Andre Dillard OT (Pick #22)
Dillard was viewed as one of the top offensive line prospects in the 2019 class and most projected the Washington State standout to be a top 15 pick. As he slid down the boards, Howie and company saw the opportunity to get an elite heir to Jason Peters at LT and got their guy through a trade up with the Ravens.
.@eagles jump 3 spots to take my favorite OT in the draft @AndreDillard_ . When he came to Wasu he was 240lbs and 5 years later he is the future at LT for the Birds. Go buy @cj_wentz a hoagie and join the club. #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/vKFrpwqBIB
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) April 26, 2019
Although the notion is that Dillard will serve as a backup in all of 2019, don’t believe it. Jason Peters had to exit multiple games last season due to a multitude of injuries. It’s hard seeing the 37yr old staying healthy for the entirety of a 16 game season.
2019 Prediction: 7 regular season starts
Miles Sanders RB (Pick #53)
After being overshadowed by Saquon Barkley at Penn State, Sanders really made a name for himself at the collegiate level this past season. The Junior RB rushed for 1,274yds (5.8 YPC) and 9 touchdowns during his 2018 campaign. And after he impressed in the combine, Sanders shot up draft boards, as many experts viewed him as a top 3 back in the 2019 class.
That's one way to finish a run, Miles Sanders pic.twitter.com/VEYCgqqtet
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) January 30, 2019
Although the Eagles run their offense by committee at the RB position and already added a special talent in Jordan Howard this offseason, Sanders should still find himself some viable playing time. His ability in both the run and pass game set him up beautifully in a Doug Pederson offense. The fact that the front office took Sanders so early is promising for the young back’s role in 2019.
2019 Prediction: 1,110 All Purpose Yards – 6 total touchdowns
JJ Arcega-Whiteside WR (Pick #57)
Arcega-Whiteside is a big bodied receiver that has received comparisons to already established guys like Alshon Jeffery and Mike Evans. Hauling in 14 receiving touchdowns at Stanford last season (3rd in the nation), the 6’3ft mismatch on the outside is a nightmare for opposing defensive backs.
— SI College Football (@si_ncaafb) September 1, 2018
The rookie has some talent ahead of him on the depth chart. Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor all figure to play ahead of JJ, with Mack Hollins being his main competition for that 4th spot. With his size though, Arcega-White should find more than enough snaps in the redzone his rookie campaign.
2019 Prediction: 24 receptions – 356 yards – 4 touchdowns
Shareef Miller DE (Pick #138)
As a Philadelphia native and a lifelong Eagles fan, Shareef Miller is back home. The Penn State product is known for his high motor and pure will rushing off the edge. In 2018, he recorded 7.5 sacks and 15 tackles for a loss in 12 games.
Eagles draft pick Shareef Miller from Northeast Philly seeing his grandpa for first time since getting drafted by his hometown team. His grandpa has been a Birds fan forever. They cried together watching birds win Super Bowl
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) April 27, 2019
The Eagles defensive line is among the deepest in the league. Miller should expect to have Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham, and Vinny Curry all in front of him with his main source of competition for snaps being Josh Sweat. It’ll be tough getting onto the field for the rookie unless injuries plague the Eagles yet again.
2019 Prediction: 4 total tackles and 1 sack
Clayton Thorson QB (Pick #167)
As a 4yr starter at Northwestern, Thorson has more than enough on-field experience. Through his collegiate career he amounted 10,732 yards through the air and a 61-45 TD/INT.
Misdirection ➡️ wide open spaces.
— #B1GCats (@NU_Sports) November 18, 2018
With Foles departing to Jacksonville, the Eagles needed some depth at the QB position. As for Thorson’s 2019 outlook, we should hope not to see too much of him. The rookie will likely serve as the team’s third quarterback behind Sudfeld and will be lucky to see the field.
2019 Prediciton: N/A
Featured Image: USA Today
Jordan is the founder of Sports Are Philly and a graduate of Misericordia University.
You can follow him on Twitter @darealjlaw.