Let the Board Come to You

Posted: April 25th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Let the Board Come to You

There are a lot of cliches when it comes to the NFL draft. One of the good ones is “Let the draft board come to you”. This means that you don’t reach for players. You have to be patient and let the picks ahead of you happen and then take the best player available when it is your pick.

The point of this is that teams spend from June-January scouting and then spend another few months doing more draft preparations. That information is used to build the draft board. Teams have to trust the board during the draft. Don’t get too cute and throw away all those months of preparation. The board will tell you who the good players are. Take one.

I mention this because this is a tricky time for the Eagles. They just won the Super Bowl and have a strong roster already in place. There is a good mixture of veterans, players in their prime and even young talent. You could argue that they have the freedom to do just about whatever they want in the draft.

The Eagles need to be careful.

Back in 2012 the Niners had what looked to be the best roster in the league. They were loaded with players all over the place. They looked like they could turn into a real juggernaut. The Niners were good again in 2013, but quickly went the other way. You can argue about the QB situation or Jim Harbaugh or ownership, but one of the big problems is that they quit drafting well.

In 2012, the team spent a 1st round pick on WR A.J. Jenkins. That was a major reach and he was an awful pro. He was gone from SF after one season and only caught 17 passes in his short career. He makes DGB look like Canton material. In the 2nd round, the Niners took LaMichael James, the small RB from Oregon. He ran for 193 yards over the course of four years.

The 2013 showed some hubris by taking major chances on hurt players. Tank Carradine had 1st round talent, but SF got him in the 2nd because of his injury. He has stayed somewhat healthy in the NFL, but only has 5.5 sacks in four years. RB Marcus Lattimore, a 4th round pick, never played a down in the NFL.

Good teams must draft well to stay good.

Seattle won the Super Bowl in 2013 and just missed in 2014. Now that team has major issues. Their top pick last year was DL Malik McDowell, who they are considering cutting. Seattle drafted really well when they put together their SB roster, but they just aren’t hitting on those picks in recent years. Remember that Russell Wilson was a 3rd rounder, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor both 5th round picks. Recent 5th rounders have been Jimmy Staten, Tye Smith and Quinton Jefferson. Those guys aren’t key role players, let alone impact starters.

The Eagles have a chance to go on a really good run for the next few years with Carson Wentz and the talent around him. But the team must draft well.

I do think the presence of Joe Douglas will be a big help. He is a former scout and will be a big believe in trusting the board and all the work the scouts have done for the last 10 or so months. Joe won’t overthink things.

The Eagles have looked at a lot of DBs, WRs, TEs and RBs who could make sense at 32. Why? Those are the positions where guys are likely to be available at that spot. There isn’t going to be a good DE on the board at 32.

The Eagles have looked at some DEs who would make sense in the mid-2nd, in case they want to move back. The DEs would be good value there and the team will have a good feel for them if they are on the board after a trade back into the 2nd round.

It feels like the Eagles are being smart and are prepared for a variety of scenarios.

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I posted some more draft notes over at ScoutsNotebook.

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