Eagles Select DE Shareef Miller in Fourth, Clayton Thorson in Fifth Round of Draft

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

While Howie Roseman was active in the trade market on Thursday night as he moved up in the first-round to grab offensive tackle Andre Dillard, he stood pat on Friday, selecting running back Miles Sanders and receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside in the second round with the picks they already had prior to the start draft.

As such, it should not be suprising that Roseman was active on Saturday. His moves were very limited with only two picks in the final four rounds, but the team did make a move with the Patriots to move back four spots in the fifth round to acquire a seventh-round pick.

Eagles Trade Down in Round Five

Eagles Receive
Patriots Receive

The Eagles certainly made some interesting moves following that trade.

In the fourth round, the Eagles selected the second player from Penn State in this draft and their first defensive player of the draft: Shareef Miller.

From Philadelphia, the Eagles made sure to get Shareef into the fold as a high-ceiling defensive end with high character.

In his three seasons with the Nittany Lions, Miller racked up 100 tackles, 14.5 sacks, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Despite that, Miller is raw. He will come into the league with low expectations, but his issues tend to be in areas that can be improved through coaching. Areas like rush lines and getting off of blocks.

His potential is enormous, however as he has the strength to get off blocks, the speed to take most any line to the ball and has a proven ability to make plays despite his rough edges. With mentors like Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Derek Barnett and Eagles newly promoted defensive line coach Phillip Daniels, Shareef should be put into a situation to succeed while taking limited reps behind Vinny Curry and possibly Chris Long and Josh Sweat.

The Eagles traded back just four spots in the fifth round.

The Birds selected quarterback Clayton Thorson from Northwestern with their pick in the fifth-round.

The pick was certainly a polarizing one.

Although Thorson threw for 10,731 in his two years at Northwestern, he was not a major prospect. His flaws center a lot around being more of a pocket passer who does not sense upcoming pressure well and his accuracy not being the best, which forces receivers to come back for the ball or wait on a jump ball.

There is plenty of reason to believe Thorson could hang around, however. Over 10,000 yards is impressive playing on a team that has lacked talent in recent years while also playing against defenses like Penn State, Michigan and Ohio State, all three of which have plenty of defensive backs playing in the NFL today.

His arm should improve as so many prospects’ arms do following the move to NFL conditioning and coaching. That should help alleviate his issues, but the Eagles offense is built in a way that jump balls should still work out for the Birds. The Eagles will roll out Zach Ertz (6 foot, 5 inches), Dallas Goedert (6 foot, 5 inches), Alshon Jeffery (6 foot, 3 inches) and the newly drafted JJ Arcega-Whiteside (6 feet 3 inches) downfield ready to catch jump balls.

If Thorson works out, he should push Wentz and Sudfeld, ensuring that Wentz is on the top of his game and that the Eagles maintain an excellent backup even if they lose Nate Sudfeld to free agency at the end of the season. It also makes it unlikely Luis Perez, who the team signed following the fold of the AAF, makes the 53-man roster.

The Eagles have one pick remaining in the seventh round of the 2019 draft.

Update: The Eagles have traded their seventh-round pick to the Colts in exchange for defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway.

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