My take: The Eagles had not drafted an offensive lineman since taking Lane Johnson with the No. 4 pick in the 2013 draft. After 14 years of Andy Reid drafts that were heavy on the offensive and defensive lines, Chip Kelly’s tenure was marked by a dearth of big bodies. It didn’t help that Kelly also released veteran guards Todd Herremans and Evan Mathis last year.
After investing so much in quarterbacks this offseason, it made sense for the Eagles to go for an offensive lineman here. Seumalo will have a chance to compete for the Eagles’ starting left guard job. Allen Barbre, last year’s starter, is still in the mix, as well.
Scouting notes: Pro Football Focus gave Seumalo its second-highest grade for pass protection among guards in this year’s draft. Seumalo is solid in both facets of the game. He is not considered a dominating, “road grader” type of blocker, but he is disciplined and gets the job done.
Given the Eagles' spotty guard play last season, Seumalo should provide an immediate upgrade.
Seumalo started at tackle, center and guard in college.
"We love his versatility," coach Doug Pederson said, adding that the Eagles will start Seumalo out as a guard.
Last season, against Oregon, Seumalo played left tackle. That meant he lined up across from defensive end DeForest Buckner, who was drafted seventh overall by San Francisco.
"He's a great player," Seumalo said. "He got his, but I thought I did well against him."
Slim pickings: The Eagles traded away a lot of draft picks for quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz. On Friday night, they started feeling the pinch. The Eagles had no second-round pick and just one third-round selection, No. 79 overall.
They need to make it count. Wentz, the No. 2 overall pick of this year’s draft, will need a team around him. The Eagles can’t afford to blow the few premium picks they have left.
Howie Roseman, the executive vice president of football operations, said the Eagles considered trading down from the No. 79 spot, but were afaid that would cost them Seumalo. They decided to stay put and get an offensive lineman they really liked.
What’s next: The Eagles will have a relatively busy Day 3 of the 2016 draft. They traded their fourth-round pick to Cleveland as part of the package to move up to draft Wentz. But they have two fifth-round picks (one from the trade that sent Brandon Boykin to Pittsburgh), a sixth-round pick and two seventh-round picks (one from Arizona in the Matt Barkley trade).