Isaac Seumalo to Compete for LG Spot After Being Drafted by Eagles

During his college career at Oregon State, Isaac Seumalo played four of the five positions across the offensive line.

The only one he didn't is the only position on the Eagles' offensive line that's up for grabs: left guard.

And the Eagles, after picking Seumalo with the 79th overall pick in the third round on Friday night, are going to give him a chance to grab it.

"As a competitor and a player, I want to come in and play right away," Seumalo said on a conference call from his Tacoma, Washington home. "But I want to learn from the best."

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said Seumalo (6-5, 298) will have a chance to earn a starting job. The team will play the draft pick at guard to start. That decision was made, Roseman said, when the team looked at the depth on its roster.

Of Seuamalo's (see bio) 37 career college starts, 23 came at center, nine at right guard, three at left tackle and two at right tackle. But his nine starts at guard came during the 2015 season.

"I feel great about it," Seumalo said. "I played guard all last season. I feel comfortable interior. I know I can play outside in a pinch. But I'm going to come in and compete my butt off and show what I can do."

The Eagles added Brandon Brooks to play right guard in free agency, but for now, the starting left guard is the incumbent starter from last year, Allen Barbre. Seumalo will be added to the competition for that spot, along with Stefan Wisniewski, Malcolm Bunche, Andrew Gardner and others.

Seumalo said the Eagles showed interest in him at the combine, where he met Pederson and offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland. He was even put through drills by Stoutland, who ran some of the O-line drills in Lucas Oil Stadium during the combine.

During the Hawaii Bowl that capped off his sophomore season in 2013, Seumalo suffered a foot injury that needed a surgery in January and another more invasive surgery in April. The injury forced him to redshirt during 2014.

But he returned in 2015 to start all 12 games, and said he doesn't feel any lingering affects from the injury. Roseman said the Eagles' medical grade on him was good.

"I feel more comfortable than I did before," Seumalo said.

Because Oregon State operates on a quarters system, Seumalo will be able to attend the rookie minicamp in a couple weeks, but will likely miss most or all of the team's OTAs in May. That could put him behind in the competition for a starting spot.

"I'm not too worried about it," he said. "Mentally, I know I can pick up a playbook and learn in quickly. I'd love to get as many reps as possible. But I'm going to play with the [hand] dealt and just work my tail off."

Seumalo is the first offensive lineman the Eagles have drafted since Lane Johnson was taken fourth overall in 2013 out of Oklahoma. The Eagles were the only team in the league to not take an offensive lineman in either 2014 or 2015. 

Roseman previously spoke this offseason about the importance of the Eagles getting back to drafting offensive linemen, something that they did very successfully during the 14 years under Andy Reid. 

Because of the importance the Eagles put on drafting offensive linemen, they might leave this draft with more than one.

"We'd like that, it's a priority for us," Roseman said. "But we're not going to force anything."

The Eagles still have five more picks in this year's draft, but don't have one until the fifth round on Saturday. They have two fifth-rounders, one sixth-rounder and two seventh-rounders.

The third and final day of the 2016 draft starts at noon on Saturday.

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