The Eagles made Oregon State offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo the 79th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft Friday evening.
With several other offensive lineman and running backs on the board the selection of Seumalo, who could amount to a player to provide depth along the front for his rookie season, is a bit of a head-scratcher. Nevertheless, there are areas of Seumalo's prospect makeup that would endear him to an NFL team. There's also the possibility that the Eagles front office wanted to lock up the future center for Carson Wentz for when he takes over. Especially in a pro-style offense that Philadelphia will figure to run with Wentz at the helm, the quarterback/center relationship is crucial to being able to execute and change on the fly like many expect the Eagles to do.
(h/t to Joe Marino for this Vine of Seumalo going up against 49ers 7th overall pick DeForest Buckner)
As far as a more in-depth look at the Oregon State product, the NFL's draft profile of him paints a more clearer picture. Here is somewhat of a synopsis based off of what they gathered.
Seumalo was highly rated coming out of high school and was a five-star player at his position, which at the time was offensive guard. His Oregon State career got off to an impressive start, as Seumalo garnered conference honors in both his freshman and sophomore years. A postseason injury to his foot at the end of his sophomore season cost him the Beavers 2014 campaign. He wrapped up his career at Oregon State starting all 12 games at multiple spots along the line before moving on to the NFL. At the combine, Seumalo measured in at 6'4" and 303 pounds.
At his post-pick media availability, Howie Roseman said that the team will have Semualo start his career playing guard.
(h/t to Jeff McLane for the transcribed quote)
Another sticking point revealed during Roseman's press conference was the versatility displayed by Seumalo.
(h/t to Eliot Shorr-Parks for the transcribed quote)
Given the lack of depth that has plagued the line for the last few seasons, finding a player wit Seumalo's versatility was clearly a priority for the new Eagles regime. There's no doubting the fact that there were several intriguing prospects left on the board when they took Seumalo with the 79th pick, but the Eagles seemed eager to pull the trigger on him without leaving anything to risk.
From a physical standpoint, here's how Seumalo stacks up:
(h/t to Mockdraftable.com for Seumalo's spider chart)
As you can see, while Seumalo's physical traits are underwhelming, he excelled in many of the drills at the combine. If Seumalo should end up playing center at some point in his career, it will help that it is the position along the offensive line that can deal with shortcomings in areas such as arm length and height (just ask Jason Kelce ). NFL.com's Lance Zierlein echoed that sentiment with his scouting report on Seumalo's profile
Seumalo proved that he was back from a foot injury that sidelined him for all of 2014 with the same foot quickness and technical talent that he had before his injury. Seumalo can play anywhere on the interior, but his best position might be at center thanks to his core strength and overall anchor.
While there were other areas of concern for the Eagles to address in this draft, there was no way they were going to draft a potential franchise quarterback without trying to build up the line that will be in charge of blocking for him in the future. While there may have been prospects rated higher than Seumalo available with the 79th pick, the Oregon State product clearly had a profile that the team coveted and would not let get away. The fastest way to send a prospect like Wentz down the path to becoming a bust is to stick him behind a line incapable of providing adequate protection. Time will tell whether or not Seumalo is a piece of that line going forward, or another misstep by Roseman in his return to personnel power. Either way, it's evident that the Eagles are doing everything they can to try and build up their offensive line and re-establish it as part of their identity.
Somers Price is a contributor for Eagledelphia.com and can be followed on Twitter @somersprice.