By: Nick Popyack
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Ah, the draft. In recent years, I have scoured mock drafts from all over the internet in search for some insight of what teams will do when the commissioner puts them on the clock. Being an avid Eagles fan, I’m always curious to see what they think the Eagles will do.
I usually roll my eyes and move on to the next mock.
This is for a few reasons. One reason is if it’s an amateur mock; you know, one that states whom teams should draft rather than guessing whom they will draft.
That’s where people have gone wrong with the Eagles for the past few years.
Sure, it’d be great if the Eagles drafted based on immediate need rather than on what position they’ll need in the future. But that’s just not what the Eagles do.
Kevin Kolb is a great example of this philosophy. When the Eagles traded out of their first round pick in the 2007 draft [To the stinkin’ Cowboys, no less], people questioned it. They said the Eagles should have taken the defensive end, Anthony Spencer, that Dallas took [Actually, they’re probably right].
Then they took a quarterback with their first pick in the second round, and people freaked out.
I remember a LOT of McNabb trade rumors flying around that offseason. But who could blame people for assuming that? McNabb had, after all, ended his season about 8 weeks [including playoffs] before the rest of the team due to his torn ACL. Jeff Garcia was playing great, the Eagles drafted a quarterback relatively high in the draft… Everything pointed to McNabb leaving Philadelphia 3 years before he actually did.
Personally, I was a little confused when and where Kolb was drafted, but I quickly made sense of it. The Eagles were merely preparing for the future. People were expecting Kolb to step in and become the starting quarterback immediately when the Eagles didn’t want to handle it that way at all. They meant for Kolb to eventually become their starting quarterback, and they’ll more than likely draft that way this year.
One might counter my take on the Eagles’ drafting philosophy and attitude towards rookie contributors with two recent exceptions: DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.
DeSean Jackson did start the first game of his rookie season, but that was based solely on need. If I remember correctly, the Eagles thought that Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown would be the top receivers that year, but both were injured. The other wide receivers that played that game were Greg Lewis, Jason Avant, and Hank Baskett. Jackson responded to the honor of starting a game with a 100 yard day, and never looked back. Pure circumstantial luck.
Jeremy Maclin also made his way into the starting lineup based on need at the wide receiver position, though not as fast as Jackson. He started his first game week 2 against New Orleans, but had his first big game against the Buccaneers week 5. Similar to Jackson’s situation, the Eagles put Maclin into the starting lineup based solely on how injured the wide receivers were, and, similar to Jackson, he looks to be a top receiver. Again, circumstantial luck.
Eagles rookies traditionally don’t contribute for much of their rookie year. You have to search deep to find Eagles drafted under Andy Reid that contributed significantly, besides the aforementioned receivers [and one could make a case for LeSean McCoy]. The point is the Eagles will draft based on future need, and rarely want to put their untested rookies on the field.
With that all said, what do I think the Eagles will do with their first pick?
What I do know almost for a fact is that the Eagles won’t sit at pick #24. They’ll probably move up to take a defensive back [If they stay in the first round; more on that later]. It makes sense, seeing as they let FS Sean Jones go in free agency and traded CB Sheldon Brown to Cleveland. Many mock drafts say CB Kyle Wilson from Boise State. Honestly, I’m not learned enough in college players to know whom the Eagles will take.
Another possibility that I’m strongly considering as my official prediction is that the Eagles trade out of the first round to get a Pro Bowl defensive back from a different team. Oakland Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha would be a perfect fit for the Eagles, and the Raiders could use the extra first round pick. Another DB that would make sense [though I’d expect a later pick to be traded for him] would be St. Louis Rams FS O.J. Atogwe. He’s in the last year of his contract, has excellent potential, and, like the Raiders, the Rams are in serious rebuilding mode. Regardless of what scenario plays out, I expect the Eagles to come out of the draft with a promising defensive back.
Then again, who knows? The excitement of the NFL draft comes from the mystery behind all 255 picks. I’m just going to sit back and enjoy this year’s new three day format.
Here’s a recap of the picks the Eagles have to work with:
Round 1: Pick 24 [24th overall]
Round 2: Pick 5 [37th overall]
Round 2: Pick 23 [55th overall]
Round 3: Pick 6 [70th overall]
Round 3: Pick 23 [87th overall]
Round 4: Pick 7 [105th overall]
Round 4: Pick 23 [121st overall]
Round 6: Pick 31 [200th overall]
Round 7: Pick 36 [243rd overall]
Round 7: Pick 37 [244th overall]
PS- If you want to get a real insight on what teams will do, check out NFL Network’s Mike Mayock. That man is an absolute genius when it comes to mock drafts, and he has completely torn to pieces any other mock draft I’ve seen. His mock draft comes out today, so check it out!
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