Mel Kiper Ain’t So Wise

Posted: May 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Tags: , , | 27 Comments »

I meant to write about this last week, but it got lost in the shuffle.  I was looking around Bleeding Green Nation when I saw a post from Jason where he had Mel Kiper’s draft grade for the Eagles.  The grade was a C+, which is meaningless.  I don’t care what outsiders have to say.  What did bug me was the logic behind the grade.

As to the selection of Watkins, Mel informs us that he was taken early, but that might make sense because the Eagles may feel he can play tackle.  Oh boy.  Mel has been stuck on the notion of the Eagles going for a RT for a while.  Get over the playoff game, Melvin.  Winston Justice had a bum knee and got outplayed by Clay Matthews.  That hardly means you’ve got to drop the guy like a bad habit.  Watkins only went early in regard to the age factor.  He was the #1 Guard on plenty of boards.  We see the #1 G go in the mid-20s on a regular basis.  Watkins is here to be the RG right away.

Mel mentions that Jaiquawn Jarrett “provides depth at safety”.  Really?  We spent pick 54 on a guy for depth?  Jarrett is here to be the SS of the future and to challenge for the job right away.

The worst comment of all came in regard to CB Curtis Marsh, our 3rd round pick.  “…Marsh will be asked to step in early at CB”.  Wow.  Everybody friggin’ knows that Marsh is a project.  The guy started 16 games at CB in the WAC.  He’s here for the future, not 2011.

The problem with the guys who try to put out immediate draft grades on all 32 teams is that they don’t know what is going on with all 32 teams.  That’s why taking your time and trying to understand what each team did is the more prudent way of discussing a team’s draft.

I don’t mind criticism of the Eagles.  Just make it well thought out and insightful.  Had Mel said that taking a 26-year old O-lineman at #23 isn’t good value…that would be a legit argument against Watkins.  Had Mel focused on Jarrett going too early, that would have been a valid point.  Had Mel said that drafting a CB project didn’t make sense for this team, I could live with that.  Instead he made some bizarre comments which show he’s got no feel for what the Eagles are really doing.

* * * * *

Also from last week, had a 23 minute interview with GM Howie Roseman on the Eagles draft class.   It’s worth the watch.  Roseman doesn’t offer great insight, but has some interesting things to say.

I was pretty curious about Howie when he took over.  I liked Tom Heckert as GM and wasn’t in a rush to let him leave.  One thing that was a problem is that Heckert and Reid thought too much alike.  Both guys are very patient and big picture thinkers.  Howie is more aggressive.  He will roll the dice on players/moves.  That makes him a good counterpoint to Big Red and his way of doing things.  You want people that think differently, but share the same basic values.  Andy and Howie want the same kind of players.  They want the team run pretty similarly.  The fact that Andy is more patient and Howie more aggressive means we’ve got more options on the table, which I think is a good thing.

I’ll be writing a full column on Howie at some point.  Seems like it would be wise to wait for the “offseason” to start to see how he handles the Kolb deal and the RCB situation.

Former Eagles GM Tom Modrak was let go recently by the Bills.  He’s been gone from Philly for about a decade.  I’m not sure he was cut out to be a GM, but he was a good football guy and Tom played a big part in getting this franchise turned around.  He helped scout and choose Donovan McNabb.  There are stories about whether it was him or Reid who pushed for McNabb.  We don’t know the truth.  Tom was definitely involved in the process.

Modrak’s biggest strength was scouting the Eagles and making sure that guys like Troy Vincent, Bobby Taylor, and Brian Dawkins were all re-signed.  Modrak brought a sense of stability to the franchise.  That was huge back in 1998 and 1999.  For most of the 1990s there was no rhyme or reason to the personnel moves of the Eagles.  Harry Gamble, John Wooten, Dick Daniels, etc. all had good intentions, but the results weren’t what they needed to be.  Modrak was far from perfect, but he and Reid put together a plan and executed it.  That sense of vision and stability was important in getting this franchise headed in the right direction.