The Eagles have added depth on the defensive line after losing Bennie Logan in free agency.
Philadelphia has acquired defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan and the No. 99 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft from Baltimore in exchange for the draft’s No. 74 overall selection, the two teams announced Tuesday.
In other words, the Ravens are moving up 25 spots in the third round. General manager Ozzie Newsome now has four of the draft’s top 78 picks — 16, 47, 74 and 78.
A second-round choice in 2014, Jernigan started 15 of 16 games last season, tallying five sacks while leading the defensive line in hurries.
Although he flashed dominant ability at times, the coaching staff was hoping for more consistency. Once nose tackle Brandon Williams landed a five-year, $54 million contract last month, it was evident that Jernigan wouldn’t be re-signed upon completion of his rookie deal in 2018.
“Timmy has been a terrific player for us for three seasons,” Newsome explained in a statement released by the team. “This will allow our young group of defensive linemen an opportunity to compete and play.”
Those young linemen include recent draft picks Bronson Kaufusi, Carl Davis and Willie Henry in addition to undrafted 2016 standout Michael Pierce.
From the Eagles’ perspective, they sacrificed 25 spots in the draft for a one-year audition with a talented underachiever at a position of need. It’s likely no coincidence that vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas was in Baltimore’s front office when Jernigan was drafted out of Florida State.
This is a worthwhile gamble at a discount rate.