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Pope's Complete Draft Recap

By: Nick Popyack

[Have a comment? Click the title of this article and go crazy!]


Round 1: Pick 24 [24th overall]
Round 2: Pick 5 [37th overall] [From Redskins]
Round 2: Pick 23 [55th overall]
Round 3: Pick 6 [70th overall] [From Browns]
Round 3: Pick 23 [87th overall]
Round 4: Pick 7 [105th overall] [From Browns]
Round 4: Pick 23 [121st overall]
Round 6: Pick 31 [200th overall]
Round 7: Pick 36 [243rd overall]
Round 7: Pick 37 [244th overall]

       This is what the Eagles were looking at last Thursday before the draft started. They’ve been one of the more active teams in the offseason, letting multiple fan favorites go, most notably QB Donovan McNabb. That’s not all, though; the Eagles have also shed CB Sheldon Brown, RB Brian Westbrook, OL Shawn Andrews, and LB Chris Gocong, as well as allowed starters LB Will Witherspoon and S Sean Jones to sign with other teams.
       These moves have left holes in the roster, mostly on the defensive side, so Eagles fans have been looking forward to the draft. The following is part recap, part analysis, so prepare yourselves.
       Sitting at 24th overall, a lot of mock drafts had the Eagles taking the top rated corner, whoever was there at the time. Anyone that pays attention to the Eagles draft as of late knows better, though, and probably knew the Eagles would trade up from their first pick or down out of the first round entirely. They went with the former.
       TRADE: [Broncos]
       Pick 24 [Rd1]
       Pick 70 [Rd3]
       Pick 87 [Rd3]
       GET:
       Pick 13 [Rd1]
       This move had me questioning it from the start.
       Most mocks had the first nine or ten teams staying where they were and drafting a top ten talent. The next few picks, however, were predicted to be traded away in most drafts. If teams know you want out of a pick, what you get in return for that pick will go way down. However, the Eagles end up trading both of their third round picks to move up eleven spots. A bit pricey, but, as it turns out, they had impeccable timing. I say that because two of the next three teams drafted at this position.
       DRAFT:
       DE Brandon Graham at Pick 13 [Rd1]
       This guy looks like an absolute beast, though a little smaller than most DEs. Looking at his highlights, I immediately thought of Dwight Freeney. He seems like the same type of speedy defensive end that Trent Cole is, but he’s also athletic and powerful enough to make tackles on running plays, being the national leader in tackles behind the line of scrimmage last year.
       He seems great now, but Eagles fans aren’t quick to forget the disaster that was Jerome McDougle. McDougle was drafted 15th overall in 2003, and could only manage three sacks in his four year career with the Eagles. While not all of it is entirely his fault, the Eagles could have shown better judgment with their pick that year.
       Actually, the Eagles have had a history of early-round defensive linemen not living up to expectations. While McDougle is the best example, Derrick Burgess, a third round pick in 2001, only had 8.5 sacks in 4 years with the Eagles [not counting the postseason]. They let him go and he’s had 43.5 sacks and six forced fumbles in the five seasons since. Again, poor judgment. Let us not also forget Victor Abiamiri, the second rounder from 2007 that may never play football again due to a knee injury. Trevor Laws, drafted in the second round in 2008, may not have gotten many chances to play, but has done little to impress when he’s been given that chance. Bryan Smith, drafted in the third round of the same year, didn’t play a single snap for the Eagles and has since converted to linebacker. Poor judgment.
       After all that’s been said, I can only follow it with: Let’s hope Graham doesn’t turn out to be like any of them.
       So, anyway, the first day goes by without anything else notable going on in Philadelphia. Day two of the draft comes and the Eagles do exactly the right thing at the right time.
       DRAFT:
       S Nate Allen at Pick 37 [Rd2]
       Though I wanted the Eagles to draft a safety earlier, this guy will do just fine. He’s a ball-hawking safety, which is one thing the Eagles were missing last year; safeties Quintin Mikell and Sean Jones had two interceptions each, and I know they had more than two opportunities in the season. With this added threat, teams will have to be much more careful when throwing the ball deep, as they have another DB to worry about now other than Asante Samuel.
       After picking Allen, the Eagles were left with one second round pick and a half dozen in the later rounds. Perfect timing for the Eagles to do what they do best: Trade down.
       TRADE: [Cowboys]
       Pick 55 [Rd2]
       GET:
       Pick 59 [Rd2]
       Pick 125 [Rd4]
       While they could have probably gotten a value player at 55, they trade down four spots and get an extra fourth rounder. Great deal.
       TRADE: [Browns]
       Pick 59 [Rd2]
       GET:
       Pick 71 [Rd3]
       Pick 134 [Rd5]
       Pick 146 [Rd5]
       Sure, they traded out of the second round, but they got a third rounder and two fifth rounders. More of the same to follow.
       TRADE: [Packers]
       Pick 71 [Rd3]
       GET:
       Pick 86 [Rd3]
       Pick 122 [Rd4]
       By now, you can kind of tell that the Eagles didn’t see anyone they wanted at the pick they had three times in a row. The Eagles know there are value players late in the draft, though, so the more picks they have later on, the better chance they have of striking draft gold. Plus, it costs a lot less to sign them.
       Also, you have to appreciate what the Eagles did. They essentially turned one pick into five, all the while waiting for the correct moment to strike. If the next guy they wanted wasn’t close to where they think they should be drafted, they’re just going to trade down.
       DRAFT:
       DE Daniel Teo’Nesheim at Pick 86 [Rd3]
       Undersized defensive end with a high motor. Sound familiar? It’s probably because the Eagles just drafted a similar type a day ago. Or maybe they both sound like Trent Cole. Yeah, that’s it.
       Don’t get me wrong; if the Eagles drafted the next Trent Cole, I’d be ecstatic. It just seems a little strange that the Eagles are drafting a lot of undersized players. Maybe it’ll stop soon…
       DRAFT:
       CB Trevard Lindley at Pick 105 [Rd4]
       Lindley slipped a lot due to injury during his senior year. If the Eagles can get the type of production out of him that Kentucky did, he’ll be an absolute steal in the fourth round.
       DRAFT:
       LB Keenan Clayton at Pick 121 [Rd4]
       Spoke too soon. We’ve got a few more undersized defenders to account for. This guy is speedy, but will he have to bulk up from his combine 229 lbs. to compete in the NFL?
       DRAFT:
       QB Mike Kafka at Pick 122 [Rd4]
       Yes, Kevin Kolb is the number one guy right now, but what if he doesn’t turn out to be the quarterback the Eagles are looking for? The Eagles are smart in drafting another quarterback they can mentor for a year or two, just in case Kolb can’t get the job done.
       DRAFT:
       TE Clay Harbor at Pick 125 [Rd4]
       Good tight ends can be found late in the draft. Jason Witten, and Visanthe Shiancoe and Jermichael Finley were drafted in the third round, Brent Celek and Kevin Boss in the fifth, and Antonio Gates was undrafted.
       DRAFT:
       DE Ricky Sapp at Pick 134 [Rd5]
       Alright, enough is enough. Did the Eagles forget that they traded for and extended the contract of Darryl Tapp, another DE that’s known for his speed, not his power? The Eagles must be determined to land as many small defensive ends as they can. Either that or a bunch of the aforementioned ends aren’t going to make the team.
       Also, it’s been a while since the Eagles have traded their draft picks. I mean, six draft choices in a row? Come on.
       TRADE: [Chargers]
       Pick 146 [Rd5]
       GET:
       Pick 159 [Rd5]
       2011 Pick [Rd 5]
       Always plan to the future. The Eagles don’t want to end up the way the Bears did this year, not having a draft choice until pick number 75. They also don’t want to end up like the Jets did this year, drafting only four rookies. The Eagles love bringing in young talent, and in what some experts call the deepest draft in years, the Eagles aren’t about to miss out.
       DRAFT:
       WR Riley Cooper at Pick 159 [Rd5]
       Riley Cooper is the exact type of wide receiver the Eagles have been lacking for the better part of the past decade, with the exception of Terrell Owens. At 6’3”, 222 pounds, he’s a big target for Kevin Kolb to throw to. While he might not have been an elite receiver in college, he’s had a few big games, including a seven-catch, 181 yard and one touchdown performance in the All State Sugar Bowl. If he works hard, he’ll be able to do some damage in the Eagles offense. Also, did you know he was drafted to play baseball right out of high school? And who drafted him in 2006: The Philadelphia Phillies. It’s fate.
       DRAFT:
       RB Charles Scott at Pick 200 [Rd6]
       Again, the Eagles are drafting by offensive need in the later rounds. Will there be room for him on the Eagles’ roster for this power back?
       They have LeSean McCoy and Leonard Weaver as the starters, but for the sake of depth, they also have Mike Bell, Eldra Buckley, and CFL rookie of the year Martell Mallett, among others. The Eagles will have plenty of running backs to observe in OTA’s and training camp.
       TRADE: [Lions]
       2011 Pick [Rd6]
       GET:
       Pick 220 [Rd7]
       Another late round trade, again concerning future picks. The Lions probably got the better deal out of this one but the Eagles will undoubtedly acquire another sixth round pick in 2011 one way or another.
       DRAFT:
       LB Jamar Chaney at Pick 220 [Rd7]
       The linebacking corps was a hot mess last year, and this guy can play the pass better than the run. However, the run is a significant part of the NFC East, so we’ll see if he makes the team, probably as a special teamer.
       DRAFT:
       DT Jeff Owens at Pick 243 [Rd7]
       The Eagles select their final defensive lineman in this draft, this one weighing just over 300 pounds. I find it strange that they didn’t draft any offensive lineman. That could mean they trust the guys they have, they’re planning some sort of future trade, or they completely forgot about the interior offensive line. Could be any of those reasons, to be honest.
       DRAFT:
       SS Kurt Coleman at Pick 244 [Rd7]
       An undersized safety was the final pick for the Eagles this year, in a draft that seemed to be themed ‘Size doesn’t matter’. He’ll likely play on special teams, and will do his best to make an impact.
       So. What did I think of the Eagles’ draft? Pretty good, all in all. There are definitely some reasons to be skeptical with all of the undersized defenders the Eagles have brought in, and Brandon Graham could turn out to be Dwight Freeney or Jerome McDougle. However, I think the Eagles did the smart thing by trading down to accumulate numerous picks in what has been deemed the deepest draft in years. Also, I love the pick of Nate Allen, and think he could be starting by the end of the year. If I had to give them a letter grade, I’d give the Eagles a:
       “B”.



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1 comment:

  1. Nice breakdown, I might bookmark it so I can keep track of this draft. If the Eagles do a couple more drafts like this I am going to need to develop some sort of scoring card with all of those moves. I really like Graham, you can always end up with a bust but I just don't see it with this guy. He did pretty great in college considering all the crap that has been going on in Michigan lately.

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