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With the fifth pick of the third round (67th overall), the Eagles selected defensive tackle Bennie Logan (see profile) from LSU on Friday.
Logan (6-2, 309) led LSU defensive linemen last season with 45 tackles, including 5 1/2 for a loss, and two sacks. Logan became a starter in 2011 and totaled 57 tackles and three sacks. He played just three games in 2010, recording five tackles, after redshirting the 2009 season.
“We believe he has the ability to be a three-down player,” Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said in the NovaCare Complex auditorium on Friday. “He’s stout against the run, but on third down I also think he can be an inside pass rusher for us. That’s what we really liked about him. And getting him in the third round, we were really fortunate. We had him in the second round and we were fortunate that he fell to us.”
Logan gives the Eagles more depth at defensive tackle as they transition to a 3-4 hybrid scheme. Fletcher Cox, Antonio Dixon, Isaac Sopoaga, Cedric Thornton and Ronnie Cameron are the other defensive tackles on the roster.
Logan was converted from a pass-rushing end into a defensive tackle at LSU. Kelly said Logan will be “an interior player” but also mentioned his versatility and ability to “push the pocket from the inside" on passing downs.
The 23-year-old played alongside Barkevious Mingo at LSU - a second-team All-SEC selection who was taken in the first round (sixth overall) by the Cleveland Browns in this year’s draft – as well as defensive end Sam Montgomery, a first-team All-SEC pick.
“I wasn’t a Sam Montgomery or a Barkevious Mingo, guys who are known for their speed and getting sacks and whatnot,” Logan said about possibly being overshadowed by his teammates in college. “I was more of an interior guy. You know, taking on the double teams, doing all the dirty work in the trenches. But it’s something I grew accustomed to, not getting a lot of attention and being underrated, basically. I just took it as I went on through my career year by year.”
Logan made his first career start in 2011. That game, coincidentally, was against Chip Kelly’s Oregon Ducks. Logan said the two talked about it at the Combine, and Kelly remembered having to account for the defensive tackle at the time.
“We played Bennie two years ago in the opening game,” Kelly recalled. “You really had to know where he was on the field. They had a great defensive line with him and Mingo and Montgomery and a couple of other guys. … They’re known. We went down there and the one thing you know about the Southeastern Conference is the defensive linemen and that’s kind of what I think sets it apart.”
Seeing Logan play in person, Kelly said, was part of why he wanted to bring the defensive lineman to Philadelphia.
“Certainly I had a real familiarity with him,” Kelly said. “It helps getting a chance to go against him, you see his motor and how hard he plays. It gives you a little bit of insight. When we got to the combine, I got an opportunity – he was on our list to interview. He was certainly someone who - I’d rather have on my side than go against him, I can tell you that.”
The Eagles have taken three players so far in the 2013 NFL draft. They grabbed Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson in the first round (fourth overall), then opened Day 2 by picking Stanford tight end Zach Ertz in the second round (35th overall).
Unless the Eagles work a trade to move back into the third round, they aren’t scheduled to pick again until Saturday when they have the fourth selection of the fourth round.