Dallas Goedert is the kind of player, Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas says, that fits right into the fabric of Philadelphia: blue-collar, tough, and productive. The Eagles traded up three spots to No. 49 overall to select Goedert, a South Dakota State product who gives the Eagles a potentially scary dual-threat look at the tight end position. In many ways, at least at this stage in his career, Goedert is reminiscent of Zach Ertz, a second-round draft pick in 2013 who is now a Pro Bowl tight end in the NFL.
"There are a lot of aspects of play on tape that are comparable to Zach," Douglas said from the NovaCare Complex shortly after the pick was made. "One thing is that he has that kind of catch radius, those kind of ball skills, and he's definitely going to be a friend of the quarterback."
Douglas said the Eagles started digging in on Goedert last spring as they watched his 2016 season performance against Texas Christian in a 59-41 loss. Goedert caught five passes for 96 yards and a touchdown, and he demonstrated that he could complete, very favorably in fact, against big-time college competition.
"He had a big game, had a chance to go up a level and performed well," Douglas said. "He was very productive as a junior and came back and had a strong senior season. Was at the Senior Bowl and injured his hamstring, but passed a lot of tests up to that point."
Goedert caught 72 passes for 1,111 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior, excellent numbers that were actually a dip from an incredible 2016 campaign when Goedert caught 92 passes for 1,293 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The Eagles want versatility from their tight ends and they often employ more than one, and sometimes more than two, on a given formation. Goedert has to make a transition, certainly, but the Eagles believe he's well-equipped to come in and compete for playing time and complement Ertz.
"He's a guy you can move around the formation, ask him to do a lot of different things. He's going to be able to pick it up quickly and adjust on the fly, know his role, run a precise route, and make a play," Douglas said.
Douglas described Goedert as a "very competitive" blocker, and as happens from college to the NFL, improvement is going to be needed. Goedert was a player the Eagles considered among the cluster of players on their board at the end of the first round at No. 32 overall. Instead, the Eagles traded out at 32 in a deal with Baltimore and then on Friday night moved up three places – ahead of the Dallas Cowboys, a team largely believed to be honing in on Goedert to replace the reportedly retiring Jason Witten – to get their man.
"Really excited about his fit as a player, as a person for our program," Howie Roseman said. "He was a guy that we had our eye on. Coach (Doug Pederson) and his staff are really excited about the ways they can utilize him. It's a great opportunity for us."