Eagles get playmakers to surround Carson Wentz
PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia Eagles surrounded Carson Wentz with even more talent on the last day of the NFL draft.
After focusing on defense the first three rounds, the Eagles filled needs on offense by selecting two wide receivers and one running back on Saturday.
North Carolina wide receiver Mack Hollins and San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey were selected in the fourth round, and West Virginia receiver Shelton Gibson was picked in the fifth.
The 6-foot-4, 221-pound Hollins had 81 receptions for 1,667 yards and 20 touchdowns in four seasons in college. Gibson, 5-foot-11 and 191 pounds, caught 84 passes for 1,898 yards and 17 TDs in three seasons.
They join free-agent additions Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, Jordan Matthews and 2015 first-round pick Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham at a suddenly crowded position.
Hollins worked out with Wentz in California before the draft.
”He is something special,” Hollins said. ”I have thrown with a lot of quarterbacks, but he is definitely at the top.”
The speedy Gibson has been compared to former Eagles star DeSean Jackson.
”I fly. I’m on the right team to fly,” he said.
Pumphrey, 5-foot-8 and 176 pounds, finished his career as the leading rusher in FBS history with 6,290 rushing yards. He also had 1,013 yards receiving and 66 combined TDs. Pumphrey led the nation with 2,133 yards rushing last season, but his size prevented him from going in earlier rounds.
”I’ve been running the ball since I was about 6 years old and I feel like it hasn’t taken a toll on me,” Pumphrey said.
The Eagles chose Nebraska safety Nate Gerry with the final pick in the fifth round and plan to use him at linebacker. Gerry, 6-foot-2 and 218 pounds, had 13 interceptions in four seasons with the Cornhuskers.
They selected Washington defensive tackle Elijah Qualls in the sixth round with their last pick of the day. The 6-foot-1, 313-pound Qualls had 7 1 2 sacks in college.
Here’s a recap of Philadelphia’s draft:
FIRST ROUND: Tennessee DE Derek Barnett with the No. 14 pick, giving the Eagles a much-needed edge rusher. Fletcher Cox led the team with 6 1/2 sacks last year. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Barnett had 32 sacks in three seasons with the Volunteers, breaking Hall of Famer Reggie White’s school record.
SECOND ROUND: The Eagles gambled on injured Washington CB Sidney Jones at 43rd overall, taking a chance a month after he ruptured his left Achilles tendon at his pro day. Jones was considered a first-round pick before he got hurt and Eagles personnel boss Howie Roseman said the team has no timetable for his return to the field.
”There are other players who suffered this type of injury and came back,” Jones said. ”It’s just a road block. It will be a good story at the end of my career.”
The 6-foot, 186-pound Jones had eight interceptions and 21 pass breakups in three seasons playing in a talented Huskies secondary that saw three players drafted in the round.
THIRD ROUND: West Virginia CB Rasul Douglas was chosen No. 99 overall, giving the Eagles a player at a much-needed position. The team didn’t bring back starting CBs Leodis McKelvin and Nolan Carroll. The 6-foot-2, 209-pound Douglas had eight interceptions last season.
THE TRADES: Roseman was active dealing picks in the later rounds.
The Eagles traded up seven spots to take Pumphrey at No. 132 overall. They sent the 139th pick and a seventh-rounder (230th) to Minnesota.
Roseman traded the No. 155 pick to Tennessee for Nos. 164 and 214. Then he sent No. 164 to Miami for Nos. 166 and 184.
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