June 26, 2015
As we noted when we took inventory of the Eagles' age along their offensive line a few weeks ago, The Eagles have drafted just one offensive lineman over the last three years, which is the lowest total in the NFL. Over the last two years, they are the only team in the NFL not to have drafted an offensive lineman. The NFL average during that three year span is 4.125 drafted offensive linemen per team.
The Eagles failed to add to their OL despite having what was previously (before Evan Mathis' release) the oldest projected starting OL in the NFL. They have little in the way of depth both in terms of guys who can step in and play well if someone gets hurt, and young developmental players who can be groomed to eventually become long-term starters.
According to a release from Clemson OT Isaiah Battle (via CBS Sports), he will be entering the NFL's supplemental draft.
"I have some family matters to address, with a child due this summer, and I feel it is in my best interest to enter the NFL Supplemental Draft," Battle said in a release. "I want to thank everyone at Clemson, especially Coach [Dabo] Swinney and the assistant coaches, for what they have done for me the last three years. I also want to thank my teammates. They have all had a big impact on my career."
An explanation of the supplemental draft, via the NFL:
The league holds a supplemental draft in the summer for players who are not determined by the league to be draft-eligible or have been declared academically ineligible at their schools. Teams do not have to participate in the supplemental draft; if they choose to do so, they may bid for the player by telling the league the round in which they would like to take a specific player. If no other club bids on that player, they are awarded the player and lose a pick in the following year’s NFL Draft that corresponds with the round in which they were awarded the player. If multiple teams submit bids for the player, the highest bidder is awarded that player and loses the corresponding draft pick.
As it currently stands, here are the Eagles' 2016 draft picks:
|1||Eagles' own pick|
|3||Eagles own pick|
|3||Acquired from Lions for 2015 4th round pick|
|4||Eagles' own pick|
|5||Eagles' own pick|
|6||Eagles' own pick|
|7||Eagles' own pick|
Battle (6'6, 308) is listed as CBS Sports' fifth-best senior offensive tackle prospect in the country. However, as with many supplemental draft applicants, he has off-the-field concerns, via Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com:
Battle had some issues previously at Clemson, with suspensions in 2013 for punching a player and one last year for disciplinary reasons. He was also pulled over earlier this month for a traffic stop and was cited for possession of marijuana.
Here he is in game action, via draftbreakdown.com:
If the Eagles like Battle's talent level and Chip Kelly can get past his #culture concerns, Battle could potentially be had with a later round pick. The Eagles could then groom him to eventually take over at one of the OT spots whenever Jason Peters decides to retire.
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