Eagles Grab Nate Allen in 2nd-Round, Add Bunch of Picks via Trades
When the Eagles moved up in the opening round of the Draft to select defensive end Brandon Graham with the 13th overall pick, a good deal of fans feared that the team gave up too much to add the player (the Birds dealt their original 1st-round pick, as well as both of their 3rd-rounders to Denver). However, it has been made very clear that Philadelphia had thought about the situation before, and indeed had plans to regain picks. In fact, they wound up receiving a whole lot more selections via several trades in the 2nd- and 3rd-rounds this evening than they would have had, even disregarding the move up for Graham.
Besides their string of trades (which–despite the benefits from them–actually seemed to irritate some fans who simply wanted to see the Eagles pick a player), the team added a quality safety in Nate Allen (pictured) early in the 2nd-round pick with the 37th overall selection. A top-ranked defensive back who earned All-Big-East honors this past season with South Florida and a reliable coverage man, Allen was scouted in our Future 40 Draft series earlier in the month, and we stated how he has a large amount of potential to be a starting free safety for many years in the NFL. Though he doesn’t have an excellent jump on passed balls, the four-year collegiate defender is a reliable tackler who is also faster than most people expect, especially considering he is a physically built player at 6-foot-1 and 207 pounds. While free agent acquisition Marlin Jackson and second-year cornerback convert Macho Harris are likely to compete for a starting role in the remainder of the offseason, it’s widely expected that Allen will (at least by the end of the 2010 campaign) be in the starting lineup as the Eagles’ free safety.
As for the trades the team completed throughout the 2nd- and 3rd-rounds of the Draft, the first was executed with (believe it or not) the rival Cowboys. Philadelphia sent their 55th overall pick to Dallas in exchange for the 59th slot, as well as a 4th-round pick (no. 125 overall). The Eagles then chose not to use the 2nd-round pick acquired in the deal with the ‘Boys, and rather shipped it to the Browns for Cleveland’s 3rd-round pick (number 71 overall), and a pair of 5th-round picks (134, 146). And as bizarre as it seems, the Eagles once again decided not to use the soonest acquired pick, and traded down, dealing the 71st pick to the Packers for Green Bay’s 3rd-round selection (86th overall) and the 122nd overall pick, in the 4th-round. Essentially, the entire trading situation the Eagles worked allowed them to receive an additional five picks for only their 55th overall selection. It has also set them up to pick a player three times in a span of five spots during the 4th-round, which will begin on Sunday.
The other player the Birds selected besides Graham (in the 1st) and Allen was Washington product and high-potential defensive lineman Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. A three-time recipient of All-Pac-10 honors while in college, the 6-foot-3, 263-pounder is expected to be used by Philadelphia at various positions. His natural spot is DE, but there has been speculation that he has the ability to play as an outside linebacker, as well as a situational defensive tackle. His constant on-field efforts and relentless aggression while pass rushing make him a rookie to keep an eye on, but definitely lacks some speed and size to play as an every-down player at the professional level.