The Eagles added to their defense on Thursday night, snapping up a big name in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The team took Tennessee all-time sack leader Derek Barnett, a player that should add quite a bit to a defense in transition.
“I’m excited,” Barnett said at the press conference following his selection. “I don’t have to go far just a few blocks up the street. I appreciate the love I’ve been receiving already.”
Philadelphia have a long history of selecting Vols. Barnett is the 18th Vol to be selected by the Eagles in the NFL Draft or Supplemental Draft. That group includes VFL legends such as Frank Emanuel, Reggie White, Antone Davis and Charlie Garner. The Eagles selected White with the fourth overall pick of the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL players.
“I’ve heard the fans are very passionate and I know I’m going to an organization with a lot of great players,” he said. “I just can’t wait, I’m ready to get to work and everybody’s been telling me to enjoy the moment but I love football and I’m ready to get back to what I love to do.”
Barnett is Tennessee’s first NFL first-round draft pick since the Miami Dolphins took Ja’Wuan James with the No. 19 overall selection in 2014. The last time the Eagles took a UT player in the first round of the NFL Draft, they selected Antone Davis with the eighth overall pick of 2008.
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