The Eagles' first pick of the 2018 draft, tight end Dallas Goedert, needs to brush up on his long-ago Philadelphia Eagles history, but he certainly knows about the present: One of his favorite tight ends in the league is Zach Ertz, and Goedert thinks the two of them are going to have a chance to wreak some havoc very soon.
"I compare myself to the best in the league and Zach Ertz is one of the best in the league and I like a lot of the things he does and I think I do well," said Goedert, named by his father after his dad's favorite NFL team. Goedert, influenced by his stepfather, grew up a Green Bay Packers fan. "Using his leverage, finding soft spots in zone (coverage), just the things he does with the ball downfield I think I have some of the same similarities.
"They like to use two tight-end sets and I think both him and I can be put anywhere on the field, so the offense can have the best mismatch available. I think the Philadelphia coaching staff is going to do an incredible job to put us in the best situations to win and I'm excited to play there."
The Eagles are excited to add Goedert, 23, who watched the draft with his family and friends in South Dakota. A former walk-on at South Dakota State who displays a lot of fun in his personality and likes to enjoy himself away from the game – he rides a six-foot unicycle, for example – Goedert thinks his love of the game and his desire to be great will fit in perfectly in Philadelphia.
And while Goedert hadn't heard of former Eagles great end Pete Retzlaff, a former South Dakota State College player whose jersey No. 44 is retired by the Eagles, he knows how passionate the fans here are and Goedert is ready to fit right in.
"I love playing the game of football and I'm excited to get out there," said Goedert, who met with the Eagles at the NFL Combine, was at the NovaCare Complex for a Top 30 visit, and had tight ends coach Justin Peelle in attendance at his Pro Day at South Dakota State. Plus, Goedert shares an agent with quarterback Carson Wentz and received some "Welcome-to-the-team" texts from Wentz after the Eagles picked Goedert.
"Carson is a great player and I'm excited to work with him, and I'm excited to be in the tight end room with Zach and just excited to get to work," Goedert said. "I love to play the game and I have fun and I think I'm going to fit in there. I'm going to compete and I'm going to work on becoming the best player I can be."
A hamstring injury suffered in the pre-draft period limited Goedert, who did not run the 40-yard dash for pro scouts. It didn't matter. What Goedert showed on tape with his outstanding production – 92 receptions for 1,293 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior, and 72 receptions for 1,111 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior – was enough for the Eagles to move from 52 overall to 49, ahead of the tight end-needy Dallas Cowboys.
The Eagles made the call to Goedert and asked him, if it would be alright to move up in the draft and take Goedert, and the young man was floored.
"It's been so much fun, mayhem, a lot of texts and phone calls and things like that," Goedert said of the post-selection hours. "I love it. It's been the most awesome thing and I can't wait to get to Philadelphia and get started."