In a draft held in the City of Brotherly Love, it was the Eagles showing some to former Vol Derek Barnett at No. 14 overall in the NFL Draft in front of their own fans.
Needing to upgrade their defense, the Eagles selected Barnett with their top pick, No. 14 overall, on Thursday night, marking the first time a Tennessee defender has been taken in the first round since Eric Berry in 2010.
.@dbarnett25 gets the call from the @Eagles!#NFLDraft https://t.co/yUEwGhkmgs
— NFL (@NFL) April 28, 2017
Barnett, who broke Reggie White’s all-time sack record at Tennessee with 33, will begin his NFL career in the same city that White started his as well.
He’ll join a Philadelphia team with plenty of weapons on offense, but in need of some help on defense. The Eagles were 16th in the NFL in sacks in 2016 (34) and mediocre in defensive categories across the board during their 7-9 campaign under coach Doug Pederson.
Vinny Curry is the only end on the roster that the Eagles currently have a significant investment in, opening up plenty of opportunities for Barnett to play early in Philadelphia.
Barnett is the first Tennessee Vol to be picked in the draft since 2014, and also the first first-rounder since Ja’Wuan James went to the Dolphins at No. 18 overall that same year. He’s the first UT defensive lineman from UT to go in the first round since Dan Williams in 2010 and the first defensive end from UT in the first round since Robert Ayers in 2009.