The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t wait until the NFL draft to make upgrades on the defensive side of the ball, trading third-round picks with the Baltimore Ravens to get Timmy Jernigan, the Eagles announced Tuesday.
It was a cheap deal for the Eagles, who will move back 25 spots in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft to acquire the defensive tackle. Philadelphia will send the No. 74 pick to the Ravens in exchange for the No. 99 pick and Jernigan.
Jernigan, 24, was a second-round pick in 2014 and mostly contributed as a rotational player before stepping in as a full-time starter for Baltimore in 2016. With 2017 serving as the last year on his contract and the Ravens recently giving Brandon Williams a five-year, $54 million deal, Jernigan was almost certainly entering his final season in Baltimore.
That made him an expendable piece for a team that didn’t see Jernigan as crucial to the its defensive success. It also gives the Ravens a pair of early third-round selections, setting up for a big draft for a team that needs help on offense and in its secondary.
In Philadelphia, Jernigan may be a better fit where he’ll pair with Fletcher Cox on the interior of the Eagles defensive line. Cox earned Pro Bowl nods in each of the last two season with 16 sacks over the span, and that could serve to bolster the play of Jernigan who is a stout run defender and has 14 career sacks over three years.
With Bennie Logan leaving to join the Kansas City Chiefs, the Eagles now have a replacement to fill out the defensive line for the 2017 season.