Eagles trade up, pick TE Dallas Goedert with No. 43 pick

The Philadelphia Eagles traded up to the 49th overall spot in the second round, one spot ahead of the Dallas Cowboys, and selected South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert on Friday.

Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is on the brink of retirement to join Monday Night Football as an analyst, sources told ESPN.

The Eagles took Goedert knowing the Cowboys might be eyeing a tight end with the No. 50 overall pick as star tight end Jason Witten is contemplating retirement to join ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast booth, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen has reported.

“We wanted to get one of the guys we had from yesterday’s list,” said Howie Roseman, the Eagles’ executive vice president of football operations.

The Eagles made the trade with the Indianapolis Colts, who received the 52nd and the 169th picks from Philadelphia.

Born in Auckland, the Red-Shirt Senior was involved in 50 games for Virginia Tech in his collegiate career as well as winning three bowl games (Independence, Military, Belk) across four seasons.

As a Junior, Motuapuaka earnt All-ACC honours as he led the Hokies with 114 tackles. In his Senior year, he finished with 92 tackles and All-ACC honours again.

Motuapuaka is rated very highly internally at the Hokies, and expect him to be a chance on Day 3.

Toughest tests: Not including the Giants’ NFC East rivals, seven of the 10 non-divisional opponents on their schedule are strong playoff contenders. And the Colts, Bears and Buccaneers are not exactly push-overs. Road games at domes in Atlanta and Houston will be particularly tough.

Biggest breaks: Speaking of games in domes, New York is fortunate it does not have to travel to New Orleans. It also gets to host two tough playoff teams from the AFC South in Jacksonville and Tennessee. Chicago as New York’s intraconference matchup presents a winnable game.

Bottom line: The Giants’ 2018 schedule is tough. But before New York can think about navigating through that slate and competing for a spot in the NFC playoffs, it needs to focus internally. As they transition under their new head coach, the Giants’ new-look defense will be tested often by teams like the Cowboys, Eagles, Saints, Falcons, Texans and 49ers. The presumably still Eli Manning-led offense faces tough tasks against teams like the Bears, Jaguars and Panthers. Unless this team nails the draft and get an immediate spark from its new regime, wins in 2018 are difficult to spot. Record prediction: 6-10

“He stars in his role,” Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said.

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