Birds Complete Pair Of Trades, Pick Kyron Johnson

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

In a pair of trades, the Eagles essentially traded picks 154 and 237 for picks 181 and 198.

While it looked like Kingsley Enagbare or Matt Araiza would be available for the Eagles to fill the needs at edge or punter, they were selected at 179 and 180, the two pick before the one the Eagles had traded up to.

Instead, the Eagles selected Kyron Johnson out of Kansas, which may have been their plan all along.

It’s hard to provide any real valuation because it’s unknown where he’ll play. The Eagles announced him at linebacker, his college position.

With Hasson Reddick, Nakobe Dean, Kyzir White, Davion Taylor and TJ Edwards on the roster, however, Johnson would appear unlikely to see much time in this role.

Johnson is a player who plays with great speed (4.4 40-yard time), but is otherwise on the small side for a linebacker or defensive end. This may move him to a safety role, but he was far more effective in the rushing game than he was in coverage.

The four-year starter racked up 191 tackles (22 for loss) and 11.5 sacks in five seasons with the Jayhawks. He also registered eight forced fumbles and five passes defensed. He did not make a single interception.

The Birds, to this point, had failed to address safety, corner, or defensive end depth, so perhaps the hope is that Johnson can bounce between defensive end or safety to provide an extra player in the rotation.

While Jonathan Gannon decides how best to utilize his talents, his speed should be put to use on special teams coverage; that shouldn’t be an issue since the Birds have traditionally kept at least one linebacker who specialized in that aspect of the game.

The Eagles now have one pick remaining in the draft at 198.

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