None more pleasantly so than Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid. The Eagles didn’t make Jean-Gilles wait long on the draft’s second day, taking him with Sunday’s second pick, No. 99 overall, in the fourth round.
“We considered him a first day pick so adding him in there was a nice addition,” Reid said. “I thought he would be a low second or third round pick. I think most people had him in that area. For whatever reason, he fell.”
Max Jean-Gilles was one of five Bulldogs taken Sunday, joining safety Greg Blue (Minnesota, fifth round, 149th overall), cornerback DeMario Minter (Cleveland, fifth round, 152nd overall) and defensive tackle Kedric Golston (Washington, sixth round, 196th overall) and quarterback D.J. Shockley (Atlanta, seventh round, 223rd overall).
The Bulldogs had hoped to match the school record for players taken in a seven round draft with eight, however offensive linemen Dennis Roland and Russ Tanner and defensive end Will Thompson went undrafted. Roland is expected to sign a free agent deal with a team, and Tanner and Thompson also could.
Jean-Gilles, a first-team All-American in 2005, was disappointed he not to be taken Saturday, when the draft’s first three rounds were held.
“I thought I was going earlier,” he told the team’s Web site, “but you never know what is going to happen in the draft. The offense is just like Georgia’s offensive. It’s smash-mouth football so it’s a good situation.”
Jean-Gilles’ weight, 356 pounds, may have caused him to slide down the draft, but the Eagles obviously weren’t scared away by his size.
“Obviously, he’s a guy that is a massive individual, but he’s a really good athlete for a guy his size,” Eagles general manager Tom Heckert said. “You can compare him to (former Arkansas lineman Shawn Andrews), where they’re two very big players who have had some tackle experience. (Jean-Gilles) is an outstanding run blocker, and he has the athletic ability to be a good pass protector.”
Jean-Gilles will play guard for the Eagles, Reid said. Philadelphia traded up from pick No. 108 to No. 99 to select Jean-Gilles.
“We thought we needed to be aggressive and get the guys we wanted to,” Reid said.
Jean-Gilles will join former teammate Reggie Brown, who the Eagles selected in last year’s draft. Blue, a first-team All-American in 2005, was the seventh free safety selected in the draft. Minter, who also slipped further than some analysts expected, will join former Georgia backfield mate Sean Jones in Cleveland.