How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Love The Eagles Draft

Posted: May 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 187 Comments »

Let’s forget for a minute about value and about draft grades and take a really simplistic look at things. Did the Eagles get better over the weekend? Yes. Did they draft good players? Yes.

There are no Jon Harris’s or Jaiqawn Jarretts or Bryan Smiths.

I wrote about the class for PE.com and one of the key points I made in there is that there are no projects.

The Eagles took players who should be able to contribute immediately. I didn’t say start because the team’s lineup is pretty good already. Kelly and the coaching staff will give the rookies a chance to win jobs, but it just isn’t likely that any of them become full-time starters this year. They can be crucial role players and backups.

Think about it.

None of the players is undersized. Jarrett and Smith had to get bigger and stronger to be NFL ready.

There are no tweeners. We all thought Keenan Clayton could be a good NFL player…if he could just find a position. That never happened. Versatility is good, but you must have one position where you are a natural fit. Jaylen Watkins is  a CB. He can play in the slot or at S, but he’s meant to be a CB.

None of the players is from a small school. These guys faced college stars and future NFL players in their college careers.

None of the players is an athletic project / workout warrior. All of the draft picks had very good college careers. Jon Harris never was a star player at Virginia. He had a really good workout for an Eagles scout that helped Ray Rhodes fall in love with him as the next Too Tall Jones.

None of the players is coming off a major injury. There are no Cornelius Ingrams or Jack Ikegwuonus.

You might not like certain things about this class, but the players are smart, productive, athletic, big, strong and ready to contribute. There are a lot worse things to say about a draft class.

* * * * *

Mike Sielski wrote a very interesting piece for the Inquirer.

The writer and physician Michael Crichton delivered an important speech in 2003 about the Eagles and the NFL draft.

OK, so it wasn’t about the Eagles, really, or the NFL draft at all. It was about science and intellectual integrity and independent thinking and the tyranny of a word that, honest to goodness, is relevant to the Eagles’ selection of Louisville linebacker Marcus Smith in the first round of this year’s draft.

That word is consensus.

“Consensus is the business of politics,” Crichton said. “Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science, consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant [are] reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus.”

To make an incomplete if functional analogy, “consensus” is the noise that has come to envelop the draft: the speculation and the debate and the mock drafts and the coverage and Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock and the idea that Johnny Manziel “fell” to the 22d overall pick from some arbitrary, invisible pedestal that no one with any actual influence on the process had placed him on.

“Consensus” is a lot of fun, and it gives employment opportunities to people who otherwise would be standing on various Times Square street corners, wearing sandwich boards, shrieking at passersby, and it projected Marcus Smith – who finished second in the nation last season with 141/2 sacks – as a second- or third-round pick. “Consensus” is why the Eagles’ decision to draft Smith when they did, with the 26th overall pick, stunned and angered so many people around here. This wasn’t supposed to happen, after all, and why wasn’t it supposed to happen? Because “consensus” said so.

But the NFL draft itself – not the hype and hubbub, but the actual selection of talent – isn’t about “consensus.” It’s about science, or as close to science as pro-football player-evaluation gets, and the questions about whether the Eagles “reached” to take Smith or should have selected another player or attached too much value to acquiring an additional draft pick when they moved down on the board through their trade with the Cleveland Browns don’t matter.

The only thing that’s relevant now is the result of the selection, whether the wisdom of drafting Smith can be verified over time in the real world of the NFL. What matters is whether he can play.

It really is an interesting column. If you study the draft, this ties more in to the way Bill Polian drafted for the Colts than any other team/GM/coach. The Colts were all over the board with their picks, but those players worked for them.

One nitpick with this column is that Sielski talks about the draft and Chip Kelly. Kelly did not make these picks. He did not set up the Eagles draft board. That was all Howie and the scouts.

Kelly and his staff told the scouts what kinds of players they wanted. Howie and the scouts then did a terrific job of going out and finding those players.

You may not like some of the players that the Eagles picked, but the key is that they are the kind of guys Kelly wants and they fit the schemes that the Eagles run. This is where draft analysis is so errant.

I’m sure someone could point out that the Eagles passed on WR Martavis Bryant for Josh Huff. Bryant is 6-4. He can run and jump like an elite prospect. He makes spectacular catches at times. Why not draft that guy?

Huff is 5 inches shorter, but only a few pounds lighter. Huff is strong, tough receiver. He is the better blocker between the two. Huff is the better STs player. Bryant had 13 career TD catches. Huff had 12 TD receptions in 2013. Bryant is more of an outside receiver. Huff can play the slot or outside.

To someone doing generic grading, Bryant can easily have the higher grade. Based on Kelly’s criteria, you can see where Huff had the higher grade.

That doesn’t make Kelly’s system better than other teams. There is no right system. Bill Walsh, Bill Polian and Ron Wolf all made draft mistakes. The Bengals and their minimal scouting staff have made some very good picks. The point is for the coach and GM to get on the same page. Come up with a system. Find specific kinds of players and build the team accordingly.

The Eagles are doing just that.

We know the system is good enough to win the NFC East. Is it good enough to make the Eagles a Super Bowl contender?

_


  • Mitchell

    Tommy, is the show with Jimmy almost ready?

  • ACViking

    Crichton’s point was played out on ESPN in the 1994 draft when Colts GM Bill Tobin, famously said during an interview, after passing on QB Trent Dilfer for LB Trev Alberts, “who the hell is Mel Kiper?!”

  • Wildboark

    I wonder what the consensus on Smith would have been if he was 1 or 2 inches taller and 10 lbs. heavier. And the other “knock” I have heard is that his production was a result of his team’s defensive scheme. In other words, they put him in positions where he would be unblocked or blocked by an inferior blocker. And all I can think when I hear that is, so he was his team’s playmaker. Isn’t that what every coach does for their best players. Find ways to get them open to make a play?

    • Buge Halls

      Well, that was Andy Reid’s philosophy anyway ;-)

    • shah8

      Barkevious Mingo, on the other hand, had lower “production” because he had more responsibilities for gap maintenance, or so I understand.

      • Anders

        LSU mush rushed a lot that year because of the athletic QBs they faced.

  • BobSmith77

    Thanks Tommy. Couple of additional questions:

    – Kind of surprised the Eagles didn’t take any OL especially given the age of the starters and the relative lack of depth there. Do you think the Eagles will look for help there among UFA or other sources?

    – I was hoping the Eagles would upgrade the special teams unit all around including bringing in competition for Henery/upgrading and upgrading the KR/PR. Didn’t see that and any thoughts on the guys they did draft/sign UFA so far & their impact on special teams?

    – Kind of surprised the Eagles didn’t trade either Brown or Graham? Do you think it more a case where they wanted to move both but just couldn’t get commensurate value or the Eagles are counting on both to be contributors next year despite some mixed comments from the coach & FO this offseason about Brown and Graham?

    • Dominik

      Brown was traded to the Bills. 4th round pick next year or 3rd 2016 or 4th 2016, depends on how well Johnson plays for the 49ers. Complicated, I know, but overall a great job from Howie.

      • BobSmith77

        Thanks busy weekend and I missed that.

      • Koala

        GO STEVIE JOHNSON!

    • Miami_Adam

      I think we brought in 16 UFAs this weekend. The 15 listed on the BGN link below, plus Taylor Martinez. List includes a G/T, G/C, G, and RT. I can’t say if any of them have a legit chance of cracking the roster; I think the team is actually pretty high on our backup OL (Barbre, Bamiro, Kelly, Tobin, Vandervelde, Molk)
      http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2014/5/11/5706808/undrafted-free-agents-2014-philadelphia-eagles-udfa-scouting-reports

  • eagleyankfan

    Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida (Eagles): Watkins was not the biggest, fastest or toughest cornerback at the Senior Bowl practices, but he had an ideal combination of those three skills, and he blanketed lots of receivers until suffering a minor foot injury on the final day. — That was from a writer who commented that they 4th round was his/her favorite round … interesting…

  • Daniel Norman Richwine

    There’s obviously a draft gap developing in the NFC East, which we cannot allow to continue!!

    • D3FB

      Who do you think outdrafted us?

      • bill

        I think it’s a movie reference, not an actual comment.

      • Anders

        Well this break down has the Cowboys with the best draft (Seahawks worst)

        http://nfldrafttracker.blogspot.dk/2014/05/ndt-scoutings-2014-draft-value-recap.html

        Should be noted, this +/- system is based on that sites scouting grades

        • D3FB

          Martin was a good pick. Lawrence doesn’t scare me. Hitchens was the third best LB at his college. The rest of the lot may have a couple of guys that are contributors for a year or two.
          The Giants are probably the only team you could argue had a better draft than us. They came away with two very good players who should be above average starters, and two more that should be contributors with the ability to start. And one guy that should be a solid contributor.
          We got two future above average starters in Smith and Matthews, three rotational guys with starter upsides (Huff, Watkins, Hart) and a contributor (Beau).

          • mksp

            I think Watkins is potentially an above average starter. I really liked that pick.

        • Stevo

          Objectively, the Cowboys draft was a head-scratcher. The trade-ups seemed to destroy so much value for them in a year with so much depth in the middle rounds. The Demarcus Lawrence pick was pure desperation. It’s the kind of draft that a team which is 1 or 2 players away from the SB could justify, but if there’s a team that needs quality depth, it’s the Cowboys. Would be happy to see them picking in the 7th round like that year after year.

        • D3Center

          That guy doesn’t consider Sammy Watkins a top 10 talent so I automatically don’t trust his opinion.

    • BreakinAnklez

      Like….

  • Christopher Miller

    I understand the versatility thing. If Chip looks at how his tempo attacks guys with one basic skill set and tries to keep that player on the field. I get the emphasis on special teams. I do worry about retaining the guy with better special teams play over the guy with upside though. At some point are we compromising those developmental players to keep a Colt Anderson type who can probably never function as a starter?

  • bubqr

    Completely off topic but: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/05/12/greg-robinson-is-the-final-piece-of-the-robert-griffin-iii-trade/

    How insane is that once you put it all together. The Skins traded RG III for
    Greg Robinson, Alec Ogletree, Stedman Bailey, Zac Stacy, Michael Brockers, Janoris Jenkins, Isaiah Pead and Rokevious Watkins

    RGIII vs 3 offensive starters, 3 defensive starters (all 3 with big time potential as well) and 2 role players. I know I tend to overrate trading down but wow, that is a massive haul.

    • WEUer

      Consensus was that RGIII had HOF potential, and the Redskins were banking on that potential. So far, it’s been stymied by a knee injury, locker room controversy, and poor coaching/bad scheme fit.

      I wonder what Chip could’ve done with him. (Not saying Chip needs a mobile QB, so don’t go there)

      • Koala

        Tunnel vision. I was a huge RG3 fan, but you just don’t give up that kind of haul for a QB, even if you think he “MIGHT” be HOF worthy later in his career. That whole organization is a joke. Mike Shanahnn did nothing that should have convinced the GM/owner that he was the right coach to pair with RG3. He’s an overrated legacy coach. The kind of coach you hire when you think you already have a talented veteran team you think is about ready to win. He wasn’t interested in waiting he was in win-now mode.

        I know the trend is starting rookie QB’s from day one but I really think RG3 could have used at least a half a season or more before he was thrown in there. Especially on that team. The Redskins however aren’t that kind of team, or smart, or practical.

        Chip and RG3 would have been far better. Chip is building a team/culture/system. He gets the fact that in the NFL you sometimes have to play the long game. I still wouldn’t have given up the Haul they gave up for him.

    • RIP Worms

      And none of that matters if St. Louis can’t get good QB play from Sam Bradford. From a team general management perspective, I think it’s fair to say that both sides did good by their respective teams.

      As WEUer points out, there have been some curious coaching and personnel management decisions made by WAS post-draft in handling RGIII.

      • anon

        don’t know why they are so tied to bradford, could have used one of those picks to grab a QB, interesting that they could basically build a team from that haul.

        • shah8

          Money. Dead money. Bradford is the last uncapped rookie QB.

    • Buge Halls

      Might just overtake the Herschel Walker trade depending on how those other guys work out.

  • CrackSammich

    With all of the extra talent floating around at the end of draft, the player for player trades at the back of the roster should be fun to watch this year.

  • barneygoogle

    Jordan Matthews starts from day one. Smith is a rotational player. Huff might be a real comer.
    Every draft has its surprises–Kelly conceded that. Remember last year how the media was nearly hysterical over the Eagles drafting Geno Smith….number one. How would that have worked out?
    The media is down on Marcus Smith–makes me think he will get 10 sacks.

  • austinfan

    I never had Bryant on my draft board, why? He had one year of so-so success in a high powered offense with a star on the other side taking most of defensive attention. He came out as a junior, showing immaturity (he wasn’t a consensus top pick who’d be wasting time in college). He’s very raw as a player, needs to learn how to use his hands, run routes, questions about work ethic, intelligence. So you’re talking a 2-3 year project, after which you have to give him a big contract extension if he pans out and hope he doesn’t turn out to be a pain in the butt Diva once he gets paid.

    I like to point to the NE team that won 3 SBs last decade – a few starts, Seymour, Ty Law, but mostly role players, even Brady wasn’t special in those years, barely averaged 7 YPA, and QB ratings in the 80s. They were great TEAMS that executed Belichick’s schemes, not a collection of great players. I think that’s the model for Chip.

  • Ark87

    I’d say Josh Huff is this year’s Jaiqawn Jarret. Not in the sense of reaching for need, but in the sense that the pick came out of left field, seemingly plenty of fits still on the board. Look at the guy, still doesn’t fit, you can only conclude the coach *really* liked the player, had to have them.

    I’m *NOT* saying Huff is a bad pick or doomed to bust like Jarrett ended up. Just saying, that was my Jarrett deja vu moment of the draft process. Otherwise was pretty happy with the draft.

    • Dave

      I like the *pick* of Huff. If Maclin *IS* not all the way healthy or suffers a *setback*, Huff will be of great value. Not sure why you think a guy who is 206 lbs with a 4.46 40 and 24 touchdowns is *small* and *unathletic*.

      • Ark87

        here’s what I saw at the time of the draft, 4.5 speed, didn’t do any agility drills, which is odd for a shorter guy. Those are usually a spot for a shorter guys to shine. You can disagree without mocking me by the way.

        http://mockdraftable.com/player/4485/

        • Dave

          Just for context, what do you think of this guy…

          http://mockdraftable.com/player/4674/

          • Ark87

            I didn’t say the guy is a bust, but I’m man enough to admit that if we drafted an unknown in Welker in the 3rd round, I’d hate it.

            But I’m not saying that about Huff, apparently the asterisks really didn’t help. I didn’t throw a hissy fit when he was drafted. Just saying it was a lot like Jarrett. didn’t see the pick coming even a little bit. Took a look at the info we have available. Still don’t see it, just got to assume the coach really liked the guy and roll with it.

          • Dave

            I was just teasing with the asterisks, it was Monday morning and they gave me a giggle to start my week. I was looking at his pick much differently, but I understand your point of view.

            The way I looked at it was regardless of Maclin having a good or bad year, we are in position next year to resign him or let him walk without having to replace him. We would still have 3 decent starting receivers with Cooper and Matthews on the outside and Huff in the slot. Plus the Huff pick assured us that if Maclin, Cooper or Matthews gets injured this year, we are not relying on Benn or any of the other unproven receivers to step up and play one of the outside receiver spots.

          • Ark87

            Yeah I think either Cooper or Maclin is gone next year, Matthews goes to the outside, Huff goes into the slot. Or possibly Sproles is old and walks and Huff takes his snaps as that versatile move him all over.

        • Anders

          So one Duck homer didnt like Huff, what about us none duck homers who do like him?

          Remember McNabb and how many Eagles Homers didnt like him? Seems Huff had that same thing going

          • Ark87

            I didn’t like the pick at first, I don’t know what you guys want me to do. Not going to lie about it, and when Huff goes to the Hall of Fame I’m not going to pretend I liked him right away either. I don’t hate the guy or label him a bust. I just liked a lot of the other prospects available a lot more, lets leave it at that.

        • Koala

          I’ve seen some people who REALLY like Huff and some who are Meh. Look around more than just the one Duck guy though. I’d say a lot of analysts are fairly positive on Huff from what I’ve seen.

    • Anders

      Huff was not a reach and he is not small or unatletic. He is not super athletic, but he is not bad either. Also 5’11 and 206 pounds is not small, that is a very compact frame.

      Huff is like a more athletic version of Avant (minus the super crazy hands, but Avant’s hands might have been the best since Cris Carter) and Avant was a 4th round pick.

  • Nicodemus09

    I have nothing to back this up but my good ole ever unreliable “gut feelin”, but I really have this strange inkling that Jaylen Watkins is going to be another 4th round gem for us. Ala (or at least shades of) Brandon Boykin. I just have a feeling about this kid. And NO it IS NOT because he has a brother named Sammy :). I have a question for the gurus among you. I FULLY expected Bryce to be dealt. It didn’t surprise me even a little, like many of you i’m sure. But that said, I also really thought we might nab a back along the way. So my question is this, who do you guys see replacing his skill set? He WASN’T the Bo Jackson 2.0 that the eternally excitable Baldinger had anointed him, but I thought he did give us a really nice 1-2 punch with Shady, given their radically different styles. So who? Sproles? As I understand things he will be key in our passing game & let’s face it, he AIN’T gettin’ SHORTER in the tooth. Must be used STRATEGICALLY. Like really QUICK trips to the mkt. Not road trips. Polk? I like him in short yardage maybe & covering kicks but…..Is this David Fluellen up to the task? Waiver wire? With the run attack so important to making this whole thing go, i’d just like to feel as OK as I could possibly feel if god help us Shady was out a few games. I’m wondering who might just shake loose this summer via waiver wire. Heard anything on that front?

    • Koala

      I totally agree about Watkins. I think he might be the steal of the whole draft based on where he was taken.

      As for Bryce. I don’t think Kelly wants that particular skill-set. I’m happy we got pretty good value for him.

      How is it we could trade Bryce brown for a conditional pick but couldn’t get ANYTHING for Desean? Just the contract?

      • OregonDucker

        LaMicheal James will be available soon. Kelly was making room.

    • mtn_green

      McCoy, Sproles, Polk, Tucker/UDFA.
      Simple.

      • Nicodemus09

        Simple? Really? Hope your right. The way I saw it is, Polk is a high effort guy with below avg. speed & is good on kick coverage. Sproles, if we use him a bit in the return game and as much as everyone is expecting in the pass game, I see him wearing down if he’s regularly toting the ball to spell Shady too. Even if he’s not gassed, his style of play is too similar to Shady’s to be considered a “change up” .Tucker, complete unknown. So i’m HOPING for a nice UDFA surprise. Brown was a perfect change of pace because of SPEED. Shady was complimented well by Bryce going N&S with that uncanny break away ability. Simple? i’m not so sure. Do-able sure. But i’m not seeing that guy on the roster right now anyway.

        • mtn_green

          Brown had no wiggle, didn’t pick good holes, bounced to the outside too much, didn’t trust his blocking and wasn’t a bruiser that could break arm tackles. For all his size and speed he wasn’t busting arm tackles like he should.

          • Nicodemus09

            Excellent breakdown. My issue then is, who do we have that could remedy these deficiencies? Not on the roster in my opinion. The reason I get so worked up worrying about this is due to how our run game makes our offense go. Whether (god forbid) Shady gets nicked up, or it’s someone spelling him, Brown wasn’t the answer clearly. But so far as I can tell neither is anyone else in this line up. This is the reason that unlike most folks, I wanted us to grab a back in the draft.

  • Dominik

    Tommy, two specific questions for you:

    I just watched Oregons bowl game against Florida last night. Planned that anyway and after drafting Huff and Hart it was a lock. Two things stood out for me (far, far away from being a scout, even amateur scout, so it’s with a grain of salt):

    (1) Hart was often used as NT (or DT in the 3-4, if you want to put it that way): do you think there’s a slight chance he will back up Logan? Was that an anomaly for that game in particular? You have watched way more than I have, obviously.

    (2) Huff often started out in the backfield in a 2 back set before he went in motion to go to the slot. I guess that’s the famous TAZR position in Kellys system which we haven’t seen in the NFL so far. Do you think he will do the same thing for us? Will he even get a few carries as a RB? Seems like he and Sproles will have more or less the same position and Huff could maybe replace Sproles in the long run.

    • Tumtum

      Desean was in the backfield with shady on more than a couple occasions last year.

      • Dominik

        Right. Most of the time as decoy, but you’re right.

    • D3FB

      Hart may kick to the nose situationally, but unless there is a big run of injuries on the DL I wouldn’t expect to see him ever play more than a handful of snaps at nose. He’s just so tall that shorter C’s and G’s would have leverage over him. He could do it in short spells or in nickel looks though.

    • Anders

      Huff was the original TAZR for Kelly as HC before he got DAT.

      Huff original had a few carries in 2010 where he averaged a crazy 17.8 YPC (in only 12 carries but still). DAT and Lyerla then took over the TAZR role, so I would think Huff and Burton (if he makes it) together with Sproles will now be that role

      • Dominik

        @Mjoedgaard:disqus @D3FB:disqus Thanks for the clarification!

      • OregonDucker

        Absolutely spot on Anders. Our weapons and versatility increased exponentially with these draft picks and Sproles. Very scary offense.

        • mtn_green

          Huff would take the toss on the option too. Maybe that is the cure for Foles (giraffe with roller skates).

    • James Adair

      I think DJax played a little TAZR last year.

  • bridgecoach

    Great topic! Thanks for shining a spotlight on that article. There really should be a Pulitizer Prize for blogs…

  • ChaosOnion

    “…it projected Marcus Smith – who finished second in the nation last season with 141/2 sacks – as a second- or third-round pick.”

    How did I miss the fact that Smith was second in the nation in sacks last year? Just that makes me feel better about the pick.

    • Tom

      Because he plays in the AAC, which is a pretty terrible conference. Still, one of his most impressive games was against Miami. I don’t think Smith would have done much worse in any other conference. His first step is unreal.

      • D3FB

        Mack put up worse numbers in the MAC.

        • Anders

          BUT HE WAS SO GOOD AGAINST THAT CRAPPY RT FROM OHIO STATE.

          and people then get all offensive when I told them to watch the Baylor game.

          • D3FB

            Exactly. Even Mewhort was really overrated.

        • Tom

          This is a good point. I don’t think it takes a professional level scout to see why we took Marcus Smith at 26. I think he get’s a little hurt by his “tweener” status.

          • D3FB

            I don’t know that he was really a tweener. I think 43 teams may have seen him that way but I think most 34 teams saw him as a good to great OLB prospect.

          • Tom

            Also a good point. I really wonder if the Redskins would have picked him up at sport 34, but traded back after we got him. I’ve been hearing that a number of teams had him as a top 35 prospect.

          • D3FB

            I had him as a guy I liked enough to pick at 22 and got called crazy (vindication is sweet). I don’t even know if he would have made it to pick 34. The Cardinals picking at
            27 needed a rusher. The Pats love to take bigger guys who can cover and rush. The 49ers could have used an insurance policy for Aldon Smith. And the Seahawks could have 50 pass rushers and would still draft more.

          • Tom

            I think the Pat’s worked him out also (as did the Panthers?) Also it seemed like their was a run on pass rusher’s in this draft. The only pick I managed to call was Jordan Matthews, but I’m glad we got Smith.

          • TheRogerPodacter

            all of that really bugs me. some people can look back at it and say “there was a pretty good chance that another team was going to take him before we got the chance to pick again, why risk it?” and other people see the same thing and say “thats a lame excuse, every team says that about every pick.” or “his ‘value’ doesn’t meet that of pick #26″…

            i dunno. i look at it like… we already traded back once, why risk losing him when all we would get would be another 4th rd pick? we could very well end up with nothing… then we trade back again?? thats worse than not getting your guy, IMO.
            and for the ‘value’ argument, i’ll always think that getting the player you want + a few later picks is greater value than not getting him (having to reach for some other player) + even more later picks.

          • James Adair

            My problem with Marcus is his motor. If he had Trent Cole’s motor he’d have been rated much higher.

      • Koala

        That being said. You would think there’s be dozens of guys with that many sacks right? There’s something to be said for Achieving greatness even when not surrounded by greatness.

        • Tom

          True, and when you watch his tape you can see it’s more a testament about how good he is than how terrible the other teams are. He is consistently the first person off the snap.

  • bridgecoach

    Perhaps one the the greatest of Chip Kelly’s strengths is his ability to communicate what he wants to the GM and his staff. I get the feeling that Howie really understands what the coaching staff needs in terms of personnel to advance the teams growth. So credit Kelly for making a clear shopping list and Howie for his ability to fill it and do so at the best price.

  • bill

    Gentlemen, you can’t fight with Howie here! This is the War Room!

  • Greg

    “Did the Eagles get better over the weekend? Yes. Did they draft good players? Yes.”

    We don’t know anything until these guys take meaningful snaps.

  • Tumtum

    The title of this post describes why I don’t get into predraft stuff. Ignorance is bliss. I’ll make my own decisions, usually through green tinited goggles.

  • eagleyankfan

    http://pbrfishing.com/ just wondering if that’s what T-Law does on his down time…

    • Tumtum

      Don’t give Tommy incentive to leave the confines of his film room. We need epic detailzzzzz on rookies!

  • Tumtum

    If 11 is the base as it was last year one of these WR is going to be called a starter. Either one that shines is fine with me.

  • new coach

    Not every pick hits or is a success. the ? is who will make it, who will be Ok, who will struggle

    my bets
    make it- Matthews, Watkins
    ok- , hart
    struggle- huff, Reynolds, Smith
    practice squad- Allen,possibly reynolds

    this is based on no logic, intuition, or insight. i liked the picks.. just trying to guess how it will shake out

  • Mitchell

    I just watched Reynolds again and I like what I saw. I only saw him get burned once and that’s just because the qb made a good play. He had 6 ints in 2012 which shows he is a playmaker but only had 1 in 2013. I did see that qbs weren’t really throwing at him (based on 2 tapes….). When they did throw at him, he general broke up the pass or got the tackle. Very few missed tackles. I like him in the fifth. In summation I think he is at least a very good future S and at based a decent starter.

    • Dominik

      Question is: what are you planning to do with him this year? Kelly and Kiper said (in a rare coalition of opinions for those two) that he would have been picked much higher (Kiper said maybe 2nd round!) if he would have stayed at school for another year.

      This tells me that we have a very raw, but maybe pretty talented player. Very much like Kruger last year in the 7th. Hoping he has a minor ‘injury’ that puts him on IR. Think we could go with 9 DBs this year (4 CBs, 3 Safeties, Maragos, Watkins as CB #5 and Safety #4). If we don’t want/can’t put him on IR, maybe he makes the 53 and won’t be active on gameday much.

      If he develops like Chip hopes, he can replace Allen next year.

      • anon

        STs, STs, STs

        • mtn_green

          STs

          • Mitchell

            STs?

          • James Adair

            Special Teams, that will determine if he suits up on game day.

          • Mitchell

            Lol, I know, I was just joking because we were saying ST so much.

      • GEAGLE

        I liked Reynolds..I just thought he wouldn’t make it out of round 4 and I didnt want to add a safety before the 5th…think this kid would have definitely been a 3rd round pick next year…..Reynolds will make this team…
        ..
        IMO the Main Battle is Nate vs. Keelan
        Wolff/Jenk projected to start
        Maragos has Colt Anderson’s 5tb safety spot on lock
        Ed will make the team unless fake an injury and IR him which I doubt
        ..
        I’d rather keep Nate, and expect them to do so, but not re sign him next year, but Keelan turned down better opportunities cuz we told him he could compete here..how much do they like Keelen? I doubt Nate will sign with us next year if Wolff and Jenk start all year, so if Nate is here one year! is he worth losing Keelen over? I know nothing about that kid, going to be interesting to see whether him or Nate make this team….but I think Reynolds in the 5th was a score. He won’t pay off right away, but two years from now he will be pushing Malcolm for his job. Hart and Reynolds are really solid 5th round picks..love baeu in 7th…and never thought Jalen would fall to boy!in zone. A few minor mistakes in how they played the game, but I think he are a lot better than when we finished last season….
        …Loving this regime…one more draft and you will fear the birds

        • Dominik

          “.think this kid would have definitely been a 3rd round pick next year…..”

          After Kelly and Kiper you are the third person to say so. What leads you to this conclusion? He doesn’t seem to be a (raw) athletic freak.

          “but Keelan turned down better opportunities cuz we told him he could compete here..”

          Who was offering Keelan better opportunities?

          And, to a broader point: yeah, you need to give young players time to develop. But my sympathy keeps within limits if I think that he couldn’t beat Chung or Coleman out. With Chung, there was a money commitment, but Kurt? I don’t want to rush to judgment on Keelan, but he had his chance. If he would have rocked the practices, they wouldn’t have drafted Reynolds. And it wasn’t that hard for a solid Safety to beat out the scrub Coleman.

          • D3FB

            Someone tried to sign Keelan away at some point during the season. The Eagles did what they did with Thornton a couple years ago and raised his pay to the equivalent of rookie minimum despite being on practice squad to stay.

    • mtn_green

      Watch the ucla game. Takes bad angles on RB for first 2:30 then come his sweet int and TD.

      • peteike

        someone else said that the entire UCLA game was really bad overall for him minus that INT. Bad angles in coverage etc

      • Mitchell

        That RB had literally everyone missing in that game. I did notice from 2012-2013 he really tightened up his tackling which is encouraging.

  • ICDogg

    Running out of movie references?

  • GermanEagle

    here are no Jon Harris’s or Jaiqawn Jarretts or Bryan Smiths

    Tommy, what makes you so sure?!

    Did we know shortly after the draft that Jaiqawn Jarrett was only…well, Jaiqawn Jarrett?!

    • Dominik

      My first impression, too. But I think Tommy gets specific in the post why he doesn’t think that’s the case. No projections about scheme fit or production, no athletic prospects without a position, no small school etc.

      Does make sense altough it would be pretty interesting what Tommy thought about Jarrett right after the draft.

      • D3FB
        • TheRogerPodacter

          lol that thread only had 7 comments?! how is that even possible… haha

          • shah8

            And that Sam Lynch character, complaining about how the 2011 draft was a bit thin…

          • D3FB

            I think up til around the 2012 draft anything more than 50 comments was a huge thread. There were only a dozen or so regular commenters. Times, they are a changing.

          • Anders

            Im surprised I didnt comment on that post.

            Also I miss Mroton.

          • A Roy

            Think I was still a TATEr at that point…

          • Anders

            The worst is im 100% sure I have been on Igglesblitz the whole time (I was reading his old blog even before he joined igglesblog), but it seems I didnt comment back then.

            I do know I spent a lot of time on BGN and still might have been a TATEr back then as well.

          • TheRogerPodacter

            yea, same here. even still, its hard to imagine only 7(!!) posts. i’m hoping that there was another thread for more ‘live’ talk for the draft round or day.
            it could also be that people were like me in thinking “i have no idea who this guy is so let me shut up about it until someone tells me who he is” lol

          • D3FB

            Not as much as I miss Morton. Mroton was a weird imposter for a couple of weeks. Then we had morton. Some of the guys who try to troll for arguments here are children compared to Morton.

          • Anders

            True, that was his name.

          • GEAGLE

            Toms DGRs are literally better than any post game analysis you can find from philly media

        • Dominik

          Very interesting. Thanks! For whatever reason, didn’t thought Igglesblitz was already online for that draft, otherwise I would have checked it myself.

        • Dominik

          Tommy nailed it about the value of Jarrett, not so much about Marsh and Matthews, though. ;)

          http://igglesblitz.com/2011/04/eagles-select-lb-casey-matthews-a-kicker/

          “At the very least, could be a terrific role player and STer. I like the fact the Eagles didn’t just go for an athlete. They got a guy who knows how to play the position. Too often we’ve taken LBs with size or speed. Good to see them add a guy with instincts.”

          http://igglesblitz.com/2011/04/eagles-select-cb-curtis-marsh/

          “Good player, good value.”

          On the other hand: it would be tough to rip all of the picks (altough the draft was as bad as it gets, but we know that NOW). He was inconclusive about the Watkins pick, mainly because of the age thing. Thought he’d be at least a very good Guard, but apparently all people thought that at the time, including the Eagles.

  • xeynon

    Nobody knows whether this is a good draft, and nobody will know for another two years at least. A few years ago, the Seahawks drafted Bruce Irvin in the middle of the first round, and the pick was widely slammed as a major reach since he was projected as a 2nd-3rd rounder. Irvin developed into a dominant pass rusher for the best defense in the NFL, and now nobody argues that the Seahawks should have held off on picking him because they probably could have gotten him a round or two later. If Marcus Smith develops into a similarly dominant force the fact that many people think he was overdrafted as of right now will become completely irrelevant.

    • shah8

      Irvin did not become a dominant pass rusher. He became more of a coverage LB like Barwin. Not really a bust, though, but still a little Tyson Alualu-ish.

      • Anders

        yep, Irvin plays SAM for the Seahawks, its a “bad” pick if you are picked 16th overall and become a 4-3 SAM. Normally only MLB and WILLs are picked high and then you need to have the impact of a Lavonte David.

      • xeynon

        He was a top 10 player by every measure of pass rush productivity in his rookie year, when he rushed the passer regularly. I’d call that dominant. He was asked to do other things last year which impacted his sack totals, but he’s still a dynamic player.

    • GEAGLE

      Sorry, but I KNOW this was a very good,draft lol, unless injuries destroy it

  • shah8

    Ultimately, my real problem is the lack of drafting any lotto picks like Martavis Bryant. Doesn’t mean that one of the players we got couldn’t go boom, but this lowers the chances of getting difference makers that dictate what the other team does on offense or defense.

    I mean, I’m still processing someone like Jordan Matthews as a slot guy.

    /me shrugs

    • jpate

      Marcus Colston works mainly out of the slot. It’s not something unheard of.

      • shah8

        Sure, there are a number of big guys that work out of the slot, but they generally have a somewhat specific skillset that Matthews doesn’t seem to have in spades, unless it’s a pretty all out vertical spread.

        • Dave

          With a response like that, you could be a politician.

          Please tell us what specific skill set the Colston has that Matthews doesn’t.

          It seems they both are tall, weigh over 210 lbs, have the ability to catch the ball in traffic, pretty good route runners. Mathews is faster and has much larger hands. What does Colston possess that Mathews doesn’t have in spades?

          • IAteLunchToday

            NFL experience?

          • Dave

            Experience is not a skill set.

          • IAteLunchToday

            It was just a non response showing that I agreed with you (which is why I upvoted you). Nevertheless it was a very reasonable answer in response to your question “what does Colston possess that Matthews doesn’t have in spades?”

          • Dave

            Lol, my bad. Sometimes its hard to concentrate in a waiting room whilst on my phone.

          • shah8

            Try: http://www.fieldgulls.com/2012/4/16/2948350/the-mike-williams-conundrum-and-the-big-slot-receiver

            Broadly, though, most long term big bodied receivers are much more dynamic (Anquan Boldin, for example) than Jordan Matthews appears to be. A look at Matthews raw physical stats, to me would suggest that he should be a Z-type receiver. If the coach is all “let him be a slot, given that we have Sproles, and shit after Maclin…I’m not sure that says good things about Matthew’s ability to handle NFL grade cornerbacks. Sure, Matthews might be slowly brought along and put in opportunisitically–he’d be easier for Foles to hit past the line of scrimmage than Sproles, but I think in general, it says bad things about Matthew’s putative ceiling.

          • Alistair Middlemiss

            Not sure what more ‘dynamic’ is really? The thing you have to remember is that Matthews was 50% of their passing game. He was always double covered. That limits some of the wow plays you want because he is catching the ball and then being tackled by the safety.

          • shah8

            I’m going off scouting reports. I’m also going off what his physical stats appear to be. They aren’t so much different from fairly successful WRs playing X or Z. That’s a pretty big warning sign that he lacks moxie or some other slight thing.

            No video or game stats. Understood about the nature of of his “only good guy on the team” issues. However, good players are usually *easier* to perceive and trust the numbers of, when they’re the only good player on the team. You see Mack, and all the stuff he does, and he’s the only guy that the other team preps for. Same with Colin Kaepernick. This as opposed to someone like Matt Leinart or Ken Dorsey. Certainly opposed to someone like Ron Dayne as well.

            I do anticipate that he’ll be a useful player, but I wonder just how much of an upgrade he is over Avant. When he’s *young*.

          • Maggie

            Don’t know how many times it needs to be said, but the Eagles have a plan, a backup plan and a long term plan. None of their plans include listening to fans with little knowledge about college players. None of their plans include going helter-skelter after every whim of somebody wanting this, that or the other WR or LB in these comments. If they tried to please everybody here, they would end up certifiably insane!

          • CTAZPA

            @shah8:disqus Moxie-wise or as per “some other slight thing”, I concur completely with the Ron Dayne comparison with Jordan Matthews. Furthermore, his “only good guy on the team” putative usefulness matches exactly with Mack. Though, admittedly, I *sometimes* prefer Cornelius to Khalil. And if you’re looking for readers who perceive and trust Avant, you’ve posted in an idyllic locale.

        • Maggie

          Huh?

          • shah8

            Yup, I think you said it best.

    • xeynon

      Since the Eagles have a slow-footed, noodle-armed quarterback who makes bad decisions and doesn’t get rid of the ball quickly, it doesn’t matter where Matthews plays. Until the team trades for Joe Webb no Eagles receiver is going to reach his potential.

      • Koala

        lol well played

  • Ben Hert

    The Marcus Smith pick makes me feel really uneasy. Just feels like a *potential* above average starter at a premium, impact position. His inability to be an impact player in a bad conference before 2013 bothers me a lot. I want to like him because he feels well rounded, but there just hasn’t been enough out there for me to feel comfortable with him as the ROLB of the future.

    Huff is also another pick I dislike a lot. I think the glut of Oregon players is a fair question to ask, and the Huff pick didn’t do anything to ease my concern. Doubling up on WR when there is a glaring lack of OL depth or prospects with aging players in 3 positions across the line is a huge oversight to me. I’d feel more comfortable if we got to see some of them on the field last year, but that’s kind of a Catch-22. If we don’t see the serious strides from our younger OL guys this year, I’m going to be very concerned going into next year. We might just end up making another Watkins-esque pick, and the Smith pick felt much more similar to that than it did to Fletcher Cox or Lane Johnson.

    • TheRogerPodacter

      in Smith’s defense, i think that he has only been playing OLB for a few years. he certainly has the potential to improve as he gains more experience at the position.

    • Ark87

      I somewhat agree with you assessment of Smith, but if we get a solid starter out of 26, that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. He’s still learning, as Geagle points out, he makes leaps and bounds every year.

      With the Oregon picks, the way I see it is those are safe picks at the expense of potential. He’s comfortable with all these players, high chance he gets what he paid for. Lesser chance for a pleasant or unpleasant surprise imo. Eventually the knowledge disparity won’t be as high and he will be forced to make more gambles. For now I don’t necessarily judge him one way or the other on the amount of Ducks he’s bringing in.

      I wasn’t big on the Huff pick either btw.

    • mtn_green

      Smith was a QB in highschool then from a 4-3 to 3-4 and has the athletic measurables. He doesn’t seem to be a one hit wonder like some other players with one great year.

    • Bob Brewer

      That’s the difference between drafting mid teens, fourth, and 22nd.

      I’m not sold on Smith either, but honestly I don’t know anyone that I would have been enamored with either. You could have had Lee at 26, but I’ll take Smith, Matthews, J. Watkins, and Hart for Lee and whoever we would have taken with our 4th round pick.

      • peteike

        yup, I didnt want Lee or Dennard there. Also there are so few 3/4 OLBs coming out anyway they always have to convert them. This was a guy that did it all which is rare and was next best. Even Barr needs polishing.

    • Maggie

      “Glut” of Oregon players? Please. Were you paying any attention to the draft at all? For starters, there were 32 teams in it. Oregon had much fewer players drafted than some other schools. CK took a couple from a roster he knows. For crying out loud. Do you complain if the sky isn’t the exact shade of blue you wanted for Tuesday? And just HOW is any team’s management supposed to draft according to what 10,000 fans, all with DIFFERENT opinions and zero knowledge, demand?

    • GEAGLE

      Marcus smith will prove to be a GOD SEND! I feel like we hit the lottery

    • Weapon Y

      Not an impact player? He was second in the nation in sacks! What more do you want from him?

    • Anders

      Smith is not just potential above average, Smith is a potential pro bowler.
      Smith still had 5.5 sacks in his first season playing DE, then 4.0 and then 14.5. Those are really good overall college production from a guy switching position.

      Huff was a Howie pick and its not like he is a bad player. Also you just bash the Eagles for “reaching” for a need and then bash them for not “reaching” for a future need?

      The problem with Watkins had nothing to do with “reaching” as Watkins was said to be the best guard and a late first rounder, Watkins was just an older prospect ad 26 (in general beware older prospects) and didnt have the drive to play football.
      Smith as actually a lot like Johnson, made position switch in college and didnt dominate until his draft year. Johnson wasnt on anybodies radar until his senior year

  • GEAGLE

    I’m getting so tired of every where I turn, uneducated dopes who have no clue, crushing the Marcus pick…it’s pathetic..people who know better were debating whether our best bet was to trade back and are Marcus our first pick which is what ended up happening. The eagles would have taken Marcus at 22, but they knew they could trade back and still land him. We could have traded back from 26 again, but would have risked Marcus not being on the board, which MEANS THAT HE WASNT A REACH.
    Cowboys took Deamarcus OLB at 34
    Skins took Trent Murphy 40
    Giants tools Damontre Moore in round two last year
    ..
    You have to be an ignorant, clueless, uneducated FOOL to want any of those NFC East edge rushers instead of Marcus

    I can’t even stress how much better Marcus at 26’is than Demarcus at 34..we got extra pick taking Marcus at 26, cowboys spent multiple picks on Lawrence who isn’t even on his level. It’s pathetic that we can’t get decent coverage in this city. Fans deserve better than to turn on the radio and hear how it was such a bad pick and we should have taken Dennard or ford, two players who probably weren’t even on our dash board..

    This young stud deserves better than to come to a city that’s trashing him….I can’t even call a radio station and say, trading back and drafting Marcus was exactly what I wanted to happen! because these idiots are so ignorant and clueless that they can’t possibly believe I’m telling the truth…

    Eagles will NEVER draft a CB like Dennard..,and Dee Ford is a horrible fit for what we do….

    We just had a really really quality draft, and it’s sad that Iggles blitz is the only place I can talk eagles with people who actually have a clue. It’s not fair that on a two hour drive I can’t listen to sports radio because it’s so bad….

    I complained about reaching for Huff…but if you had to turn down lucrative trade back deals because you know someone will take Marcus! how the hell can these dopes continue to call it a reach.

    I think the world of last years draft, and I have a feeling this one will prove t be even better. Had Reynolds gone back to school he would certainly be a 3rd sound pick…

    • CrackSammich

      See, when you reference a Dallas OLB named Demarcus, The guy they just drafted a few days ago isn’t the one that comes to mind.

      • GEAGLE

        Ok…..

        • CrackSammich

          They had a good one for a while. Perhaps you’ve heard of him, or at least a bit more than the new one.

          http://www.nfl.com/player/demarcusware/2506349/profile

          ‘Demarcus’ isn’t exactly ‘Chris’, ‘Tom’, or ‘John’.

          • GEAGLE

            No idea wtf u r trying to say…no clue what ware as anything to do with anyone thimble..but whatever

          • Anders

            I think saying Demarcus in context with the Cowboys, the most obvious one is Ware, not the newly picked Lawerence

    • ACViking

      Reports during the draft suggest the Eagles — after all 6 of their targets went off the board — were prepared to swap No. 22 to the Vikings for Minnesota’s 2nd Rd pick, #8 in the Rd 2, and at least one other draft choice.

      But Cleveland ponied up its 3rd Rd pick and beat out the Vikings for pick #22 overall.

      And shortly after the trade, the Vikings brain trust reportedly said they thought they had a deal with the Eagles for No. 22.

      That story has retained its legs now for 4 days.

      Who would the Eagles have been looking at selecting early in Rd 2?

      A DE/ROLB?

      A WR?

      _______________

      GE:

      Small correction. The G-men drafted Tx A&M’s Damontre Moore in Rd 3 in 2013. He did only 12 reps and ran a miserable 4.95 40 at the Combine — though he showed some explosiveness.
      http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/damontre-moore?id=2540138

      • GEAGLE

        That’s not what I heArd.. I’m under the impression that the Vikings wanted to swap with us when we had the 26 pick, not 22……

        Marcus is on an enterily different level as prospect than Lawrence, ford, Murphy …if we would have traded out of round 1, I’d assume we would have used our first PICK ON Jordan Mathews, hope Attachou fell to us at 54, and been screwed…..
        …100% believe that Marcus will be a brilliant pick for us.,

        • peteike

          I heard the Vikes at 22 deal also. My assumption was that why would Vikes deal for our 26 when none of the remaining teams would want Bridgewater anyway. Thats completely my guess though, they could pay less at 32 and still get him. Probably why they couldnt trade down again there at 26 even though everyone speculated that, who knows though.

    • peteike

      ya Im actually getting tired of reading everyone justifying the pick. In other words, if they cant figure out why its a great pick and maneuver then theres nothing you can say that hasnt been said at this point. Worked out for the best. Dee Ford, cmon, thats like BG all over again palease. Are we really surprised at sports radio anymore, glad I live in Denver haha.

    • A_T_G

      Yeah, I know what you mean. It is frustrating to put up with people announcing their opinion loudly and repeatedly and dismissing all counter opinions as stupid, isn’t it?

      • GEAGLE

        Not everyone has enough information to offer an opinion,,,you can take you silly shots at me.. No problem…but to hear a few media members turning a legion of fans into zombies bashing a player that haven’t see…and talk shit for 4 straight days about our new kid is just tasteless crap…

        Anyone can talk, but you should have a certain amount of info to have an opinion…if you never mind…. Just never mind..

        • SteveH

          While I find ATG’s comment highly amusing, GEagle does have a point, the common fan really is ignorant of these prospects outside of what people like Kiper, Mayock and Ray Diddy have told them. And yet they trumpet those opinions loud and long as if they are absolute and irrefutable proof.

  • GEAGLE

    You guys remember when I used to talk about “the Boykin Zone”??? Getting a serious CB talent in the Boykin zone (4th round)????

    This was 2012 all over again. I’m sitting begging at my TV to draft Boykin and Watkins, instead I hear the names Nick FOles and Josh Huff called…yet we were still fortunate to find Boykin on the board still when it was our turn to pick in round 4…I dubbed that. The Boykin zone…..can’t believe history repeated itself and we managed to get a stud DB in the Boykin zone, after passing on him in the 3rd…

    I loved last years draft, but have a feeling this past draft will be chips MONEY DRAFT…one more draft like this and we will have an elite NFL roster. So thankful and excited by the direction Chip is taking us

    • ACViking

      If either Cooks or Clinton-Dix made it to 22, the Eagles would have had a very different draft.

      1. No chance to get Marcus Smith — absent a big trade up late in Rd 1 or early in Rd 2. I don’t think the Birds would have done it.

      2. Do the Eagles still move up to get Matthews in Rd 2? Or do they go after someone else at a different position? And who would that have been?

      3. In Rd 3, the Eagles took Huff. I think they make the same pick.

      4. Without the trade back in Rd 1, no way the Birds land Watkins. Probably only Hart and in Rd 4.

      • peteike

        ya I was thinking same exact thing, it wouldve changed entire draft. I really wanted a trade back and it just happened to work out that way. Way to list it out, interesting

      • GEAGLE

        I Genuinly don’t believe we have any interest in drafting Dix and possibly no interest in cooks…part of me wishes the were both on the board so fans could see the Eagles pass on them, trade back and draft Marcus Anyway…but the other part of me would be in no mood to hear the fools who think they know what they are talking about, start a shitstorm because we passed on them for a player they never heard of….DONT I LIKE Marcus, then blame the Sal pals and all the radio hosts too lazy and Incompetant to know who he was….don’t be mad at the Eagles..be mad at the media who’s evaluations were off, and it brainwashed into our fanbase thinking it was a reach…I’m dying to turn on the radio and hear eagles chat, but I swear I can’t get,thru two minutes of it with out turning it off..it’s so na
        ….
        I ALWAYS MAINTENED two things about this draft:
        1)’It would be used to get Bigger, longer and more athletic across the board
        ..
        2)use our early round pics to fortify our front 7 and get Chip his own weapons
        …..
        3) we wouldn’t see any DBs drafted before round 4 and ATleast one would be a CB/S hybrid we would figure out where to play later(betwee D ontae johnson,Exum and Watkins)…

        4) Bennie Logan’s backup would be added late (Deandre C ole man,Beau Allen or shemar Stephans)

        And the the 2015 draft would be used to spend our early picks getting younger at OL and CB. Draft a OG early and he should be a plug in play pick. By then Lane would be going in his 3rd year and Kelce will be a 4yr vet, so you can plug a rookie guard between them) if you follow that plan! we also get another year to figure out what we have in Tobin,Bamiro,Kelly?Vandervelde)..
        Coincidence that Oregons Hironiss Grasu projects as the best G/C prospects in next years draft?

        How can I not be happy with this draft, when it followed most of my expectation? The ONLY downers were:
        1) couldn’t get value for BG
        2) couldn’t get a backup ILB who would help in coverage in certain sub packages…I’m absolutely thrilled with this draft.,
        .,,
        Some things didn’t go my way, but we quickly rectified them. FOr example, I had a 4th round grade on huff and we took him in the 3rd..BUT, I had a low second/early 3rd round grade on Watkins so that evens out and all is right in the world..

        I asked for the Eagles to draft one player from each group:

        1) Taylor hart! Brent Urban, Josh Muarro
        ..
        2) A Rob, Moncreif, Latimer!Jordan , Martevis, Devante)
        ..
        3) Deandre Coleman, Beau Allen, Shemar Stephan’s

        4) Kirksey,KVN,C Jones, Telvin smith…

        Considering my personal wants, and expectations, how could I possibly not love this draft?

        • anon

          Agree i don’t think we’d have take n those two either — i think if either was still on the board we would have traded further back.

          • GEAGLE

            I think Chip is extremely high on Malcolm and Earl Wolff..I also think Marcus has as much upside if not more as HAHA only Marcus plays a more important position..

            I think we would have taken fuller or Mosley! but I think we would have passed on:
            haha
            Calcin
            Dee Ford
            Verrett
            Denard
            Cooks
            I don’t at all believe we would have drafted any of them, If we couldn’t trade back, I think we still draft Marcus which would have really started a shit storm
            ..
            I just don’t think enough people understand what a great prospect Marcus is, he has only played defense for a could years! it’s just amazing to me. Think he will be a terror in 3 years and the best pass rusher than the NFC east..
            ..
            Has the explosion
            Has the oh so important bend
            Can convert speed to power
            Can drop in coverage
            Will be able to set the edge

            I just think he was a brilliant addition. I hate people who underestimate the importance of his QB intelligence. I can’t put into words how special it is being so new to the defensive side of the ball and he is already helping out his defensive team mates calling out the checks and audibles because of his QB brain

            Think is a good, committed kid, with a great work ethic, who improves drastically in short periods of times. We have our selves a serious player, and I’m so damn happy

            Last year Chip got us a super high upside OT who has seen the game thru the eyes of a QB, improves by leaps and bounds, and this year he got us a similar player on the most important position on the opposite(defense) side of the ball)

            I’m so excited about the next 3 years of eagles football. After next years draft, I expect to have a juggernaut in pla

          • SteveH

            Maybe we should start calling him “Demarcus” Smith, the way you describe him.

      • Jason

        This is spot on. If Cooks fell to Eagles, their draft was complicated. If Clinton-Dix fell, their draft approach would have been compromised.

        Given the apparent strong interest by both Washington and Dallas in Marcus Smith, it would have been very difficult to land him in Round 2 if they passed him over in Round 1. It is apparent that the Eagles valued Smith’s versatility and coverage skills at OLB and therefore devalued Attaochu — moreso than Tommy and many of us on the board did.

        No extra picks from moving down from 22 to pick Cooks, and then where for your pass rusher? If you still would settle for Attaochu, you still have to surrender a 4 to move up and get him. Now you’re down to five picks unless you split a five to get some sixes.

        Clinton Dix would have even further complicated their priorities to improve pass rush and get a quality wideout. You probably can’t land Smith or Matthews in Round 2 because you won’t surrender a third. So you “settle” for Lattimer or Robinson in Round 2 and then reach for whom in Round 3 as your OLB, Will Clarke?

    • botto

      nice. i agree with your take on this draft. i been waiting to hear it too…
      why do folks think they have a better idea then the guys in charge anyway, those who dont like Marcus smith? forget the media, we know they dont know crap, but the coaches and Chipper know a lot more about what they want and what they see fo rme to trust them completely.
      I think Huff will surprise people and Marcus might just go off sooner then most think.
      this should be a good year.
      Mathews is going to be a big time player in this offense.
      he is smart enough and talented enough to excel quickly with the birds.

  • Andrew

    I feel sorry for all those young guys out there who can’t appreciate the title of this article! Brilliant!

    • Maggie

      Bombs away!

    • Dominik

      I’ve been waiting for that one day Casey Matthews goes to Chip and says: Mein Führer! I can play!

  • GENETiC-FREAK

    Team now looks to have quality depth at all positions.. Next year not much left to needed to add just some polishing up.. Anyone think Thorton could have a battle on his hands for a starting spot with Hart and Kruger?

    This is how i would have the depth chart on D so far

    LE – Thorton, Hart, Kruger
    NT – Logan, Allen
    RE – Cox, Curry
    LOLB – Barwin, Long, Braman
    SILB – Ryans, Kaddu, Acho, Phillips
    WILB – Kendricks, Matthews, Goode, Knott
    ROLB – Cole, Smith, Graham
    CB – Williams, Fletcher, Boykin, Carrol, Watkins
    FS – Jenkins, Wolff
    SS – Allen, Reynolds, Magaros

    ILB looks like competition for backup spots too

    • Richaud Jeaffreson

      Goode is definitely ahead of Matthews on the depth chart. I think Allen backs up Jenkins, and Wolff starts along side Jenkins.

  • Vick or Nick

    This is what I wrote before the draft:

    “”If the Eagles can come away from this draft with:

    1. Receiver
    2. OLB pass rusher
    3. Safety
    4. Corner
    5. Guard/Tackle
    6. NT/DE

    That would be quite the coup. Not saying everyone of those players has to be a stud, but at least 1-2 should be high ceiling prospects.””

    The Eagles clearly had needs in mind when they drafted.

    1. Mathews/Huff
    2. Smith
    3. Reynolds
    4. Watkins
    5. None
    6. Allen, Hart

    Still don’t feel great about OL depth. Our starting 5 is near the best in the league. Feel like Herremans might get beat out for a spot this year.

    • Dominik

      As long as one starter is injured, we have great insurance with Barbre.

      What we don’t have and what we need to draft and develop next season are future starters. But depth in case of (one) injury is there. I still think some people don’t see what a great back-up Barbre is. He played extremely well when he had to play last season.

  • GEAGLE

    Can’t know what you need, if you don’t know what you have…not prioritizing drafting any OL, while I know probably wasn’t the ideal fan, it probably provides a vote of confidence that our young hogs on the bench are developing into quality players. I have never been so excited to watch a 4th quarter of a preseason game.li want to see Bamiro!Tobin,Kelly,Vandervelde, Maehl and Bruce smith as the WRs, Casey, Braman and Long as the OLBs, Knott/Phillips,G ood rotating ILB..Ed Reynolds and maragos, Watkins and Carrol…
    ………………..Hart…………………Beau……………..Kruger
    Braman……………,Knott/Phillips……..Goode……………Long
    Watkins…….Reynolds……….Keelan/Nate………………….Nolan carrol

    • Dominik

      “Can’t know what you need, if you don’t know what you have…not prioritizing drafting any OL, while I know probably wasn’t the ideal fan, it probably provides a vote of confidence that our young hogs on the bench are developing into quality players.”

      Thought exact the same thing. Until I read these quotes from Howie:

      http://www.phillymag.com/birds247/2014/05/12/eagles-exit-draft-without-o-line-help/

      Not drafting O-Line was an accident, not a vote of confidence.

      “I have never been so excited to watch a 4th quarter of a preseason game.li want to see Bamiro!Tobin,Kelly,Vandervelde, Maehl and Bruce smith as the WRs”

      You are the first guy probably ever who wants to see Maehl play. ;)

      • GEAGLE

        After years of pathetic depth players like Akeem Jordan, damn right I’m excited to see our backups play

    • Mitchell

      This looks awesome, in theory of course. It may look really really ugly in the preseason game lol.

  • ACViking

    Re: Kelly on Brandin Cooks

    Kelly doesn’t strike me as the kind of coach who’d outright lie to the faces of the local football literati.

    Post-draft, per 24-7, Kelly seems to have said he’d have drafted Brandin Cooks:

    “We want to be bigger at the receiver position, but you would
    be crazy if you looked at Brandin Cooks and said we’re not going to take
    him because he’s 5-9. You know what I mean? He’s also a rocked‑up 190
    some odd pounds and a physical player.”

    Some commenters — despite Kelly’s post-draft remark — say Cooks was not an Eagles target.

    I can’t square Kelly’s comment with that view.

    What am I missing?

    • Ark87

      Chip can’t always be honest, but I take him at his word on this. Cooks and awesome and would be devastating weapon in an offense like this.

    • GEAGLE

      Don’t believe it..especially knowing how high we are on Jordan Mathews. How he broke down 4eagles videos….we KNOW he wanted Huff, and it sounds like he really WANTED Mathews,,,you think woulda taken Brandin and passed on Mathews later? We will have to agree to disagree because I absolutely believe Chip got the two WR he wanted……and Chip KNEW if he didn’t get Marcus in round 1 who we really wanted, it would be hard to get. Pass rusher in round 2…

    • Miami_Adam

      I heard on the radio that the 6 guys they were allegedly targeting at 22 were Barr, Mosley, Beckham, Cooks, Fuller, and Clinton-Dix.

  • Media Mike

    I was away for the entire draft, but thankfully I was able to follow it on my phone when not in front of the hotel room TV.

    I agree with the concept that the Eagles added a boatload of players who will be making strong impacts from the jump. Smith, Matthews, and Watkins will all be starting here in 2015 while ridding us of the salaries of Cole and Cary while giving us the bonus of seeing “unnamed source” Maclin the self-serving snitch ply his trade in another city.

    I’m not totally sold on the flippant attitude from some folks in the media that was reflexively put against some draft folks criticizing the selection of Smith well before he was predicted to go. On one hand, I’m happy to have a play we all think will be good. On the other hand, I would have loved to have drafted him at an even lower pick and added even more picks by trading down in the process. Reports of the Redskins and Falcons looking at Smith with their 2nd rounders are no more valid than other folks saying Smith should have gone at the top of the third. I’m not sure which perspective is correct, but I’m laughing at some of the jock-sniffers who insist Smith had to be taken at 26 or we’d lose him. How do they know any better than folks who had him predicted to go in the upper 3rd? The truth most likely lies somewhere in the middle, but I’m not counting the draft board put together by the slow adults in Washington as gospel.

    All in all; great draft.

  • Jason

    Below, in responding to another good ACViking post, I am positive about the Eagles’ draft results. My quibble is with the Huff pick in Round 3, not who, but when. I wish that Howie could have calmed down Chip enough as he did with Taylor Hart to wait on Huff until the 4th. With Martavius, Moncreif, Ellington, & Herron still on the board, there was little chance he would have been scooped up before Round 4, and there were good alternatives even if he were.

    But by taking him in 3, Howie admits they missed the OL sweet spot they could have taken, and hopefully eventually obviated the meh Reynolds pick in the 5th.

    • Media Mike

      I think there were several O-linemen who would have helped this team, but considering they were going into the season with little or no talent at WR, getting the 2nd WR before an O-lineman makes a lot of sense.

  • Vick or Nick