You knew Howie Roseman couldn’t sit still.
The Eagles on Thursday night traded the 15th pick to the Texans for No. 13 and selected selected Georgia athletic freak Jordan Davis from the record-setting Georgia defense.
The Eagles traded No. 15 overall along with No. 124 in the fourth round and No. 162 and 166 in the fifth round.
Davis, a 6-foot-5, 340-pound defensive tackle who runs a 4.78, is one of the more intriguing players in the draft.
Davis was unblockable this year for a Georgia defense that was No. 1 in the BCS, allowing 10.2 points per game and No. 2 in rush defense, allowing just 2.6 yards per carry.
He’s considered the best run defender in the draft but told reporters at the Combine he can get to the quarterback as well. Davis had just 7.0 sacks in four years in Athens and 2.0 this past year.
“Everybody knows I’m a run stopper and pass rush kind of goes by the wayside with me,” he said. “But definitely in the offseason that’s something I’ve been working on. I’ve called on a few people. I’ve been working out with (long-time Falcons defensive end) Chuck Smith, who’s known as Dr. Pass Rush.
“I feel when I have a disadvantage I want to make sure I try to even the odds and bring it up to the same level. It’s just all working and about improving. This is what it’s all about. In the offseason you want to get better. I definitely think I’m doing that.”
The Eagles added edge rusher Haason Reddick as a free agent, but any help they can get getting to the quarterback helps after last year’s 29-sack disaster.
“In the passing game, he has grown tremendously and his conditioning this season has seemingly contributed to this,” wrote Drae Harris of The Draft Network. “He is primarily a bull rusher who can push the pocket and put the center in the lap of the quarterback. He is extremely impactful as someone who absolutely commands a double team, which frees up other players in that front. In the run game, he is dominant. He is nearly impossible to single-block.”
Davis is something of a luxury pick considering the Eagles have Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave as projected defensive tackle starters. But 2022 is likely Cox’s last year with the Eagles, and Hargrave isn’t signed beyond 2022, although he could very well get an extension.
The Eagles are in a position now where they have a terrific three-man interior line rotation, and that could help Davis adjust to the NFL without having to play every snap and could help rejuvenate the 31-year-old Cox, who can rotate even more than he did last year.
This is the second year in a row the Eagles have taken a defensive tackle early. They drafted Milton Williams in the third round last year, and he acquitted himself well as a rookie and should continue to get snaps both inside and outside.
With Davis, Reddick and weak-side linebacker Kyzir White, the Eagles have added three important pieces to the front 7 of a defense that desperately needed upgrading.
Davis is the first Georgia Bulldog the Eagles have drafted since cornerback Brandon Boykin in the 4th round in 2012 and their first 1st-round pick from Georgia since offensive tackle Bernard Williams 14th overall in 1994. In 1990, they selected cornerback Ben Smith 22nd overall.
He’s the 5th defensive tackle the Eagles have taken in the first round since the start of the Andy Reid Era, following Corey Simon in 2000, Mike Patterson in 2005, Brodrick Bunkley in 2006 and Fletcher Cox in 2012. The Rams are the only other team to draft five defensive tackles in the 1st round since 2000.
Going back to 1993, 20 of the Eagles’ last 27 first-round picks have been offensive or defensive linemen. That’s with one more 1st-round pick to go Thursday night.