The Eagles drafted Temple safety Jaiquawn Jarrett in the second round, selecting one of the better safeties in a what is considered a weak class, but one who was not expected to be chosen until later in the draft.
They also took a cornerback -- Utah State's Curis Marsh -- in the third round after they moved back five places. The 6-foot-1, 197-pound Marsh ran a 4.46 40-yard dash at the combine. The Eagles swapped third round picks with the Ravens and also recieved a sixth rounder (191st overall) in return for the 85th overall pick.
Jarrett, from Brooklyn, is considered a hard-working, instinctive player, but one who does not have the size or speed of a top-flight NFL player. He started all but six of his college games at Temple and played in every game of his college career.
"A lot of teams like kids that are just natural football players and that’s what coach Reid saw in me," Jarrett said.
He is listed at 6-foot-0, 198 pounds -- around the same size as other Eagles safeties. His best 40-yard dash time was 4.54, not exactly blazing for a defensive back. But he led Temple in combined tackles last season with 74 (41 unassisted, 33 assisted).
"They see something in me that other teams didn't see," Jarrett said.
He described himself as a physical, disciplined player.
"This right here is one of the greatest situations for me," said Jarrett, who has played his college football in Philadelphia and said he was glad to be staying close to home.
Most analysts expected that Jarrett would last into the middle rounds of the draft.
Jarrett will join a young safety group that includes Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman, each drafted last year. His selection may spell bad news for veteran Quintin Mikell, whose contract is up and future in Philadelphia was already cloudy.
"I'm Happy For Jarrett I Love The Temple Players! Do Your Thing!" Mikell wrote on Twitter.
The second round started in unhelpful fashion for the Eagles: two of the top cornerbacks remaining -- Ras-I Dowling and Aaron Williams -- were taken with the first two picks. Then the Bengals drafted quarterback Andy Dalton and the 49ers took quarterback Colin Kaepernick, likely taking two quaraterback-needy teams out of the sweepstakes for Eagles backup Kevin Kolb, whenever trades resume.
While Dalton and Kaepernick might need time to develop, it seems unlikely that the Bengals or 49ers would invest heavily in another quarterback who would serve as a stopgap before they are ready.
Next Jabaal Sheard, one of the top defensive ends remaining, went to Cleveland, taking off another strong prospect at a position where the Eagles need help.