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Eagles add depth in NFL Draft

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles added an extra first-round pick next year before selecting the Heisman Trophy winner, and spent the rest of the draft focused mainly on defense.

Trading up to take Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith at No. 10 overall after moving down from the sixth spot to the 12th easily was the highlight of Philadelphia’s draft. The Eagles got a high-ceiling offensive lineman with a long injury history when they took Crimson Tide center Landon Dickerson in the second round.

They took Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Milton Williams in the third round and picked up two more defensive lineman in the sixth round Saturday: USC tackle Marlon Tuipulotu and Coastal Carolina end Tarron Johnson.

Philly began Day 3 by filling a need at cornerback, choosing Texas Tech’s Zech McPhearson. The Eagles took Memphis running back Kenneth Gainwell in the fifth round and a pair of linebackers in the seventh round: LSU’s JaCoby Stevens and Tulane’s Patrick Johnson.

“It’s hard to make judgments tonight,” general manager Howie Roseman said Saturday. “It’s hard to know anything other than we went into it with a process and a plan to bring the right people into the organization, the right people into the building.”

Getting Smith gives Philadelphia a playmaker at a position it has struggled and hasn’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since Jeremy Maclin in 2014. Smith reunites with quarterback Jalen Hurts, who played at Alabama before transferring to Oklahoma.

The Eagles fired coach Doug Pederson and traded quarterback Carson Wentz after going 4-11-1 last season, so they entered the draft looking to add talent regardless of position because they have plenty of holes.

IN THE GENES

McPhearson comes from a family of athletes. His parents and seven older siblings played college or pro sports. The 5-foot-11, 191-pound McPhearson played two seasons at Penn State and the last two with the Red Raiders. He was a team captain as a senior and had 120 tackles and four interceptions.

“Just being the youngest sibling and absorbing all the information they got and being there and learning from them has definitely helped me,” McPhearson said. “I would definitely say leaning on my brothers who played on the big stage, too, they have a lot of information and a lot of tips and keys that have helped me along my journey.”

IT’S IN THE NAME

If Gainwell gains yards well, he’ll be a big part of Philadelphia’s offense. He opted out a week before the start of last season following a funeral for an uncle, the fourth member of his family to die from COVID-19.

The 5-foot-11, 201-pound Gainwell ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at his pro day and had six straight 100-yard rushing games in 2019. He’ll get an opportunity for playing time behind Miles Sanders.

D-LINE DEPTH

The 6-foot-2, 307-pound Tuipulotu had 8 1/2 sacks and 15 tackles for a loss in four seasons. He didn’t start playing organized football until his freshman year in high school.

Tuipulotu and Williams provide depth behind Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave.

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