Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Eagle Draft: Big, Fast, And From Places You've Heard Of

Smart hands
It is, of course, a routine and pointless exercise to judge a pro team's football draft the day after it concludes; so long as you aren't deep in the well of obvious reaches and panic moves, or a team having an overdose of top picks, it's impossible to judge 90% of what happens for 2-3 years after it's done. But it's also impossible not to draw ideas from what went on, and when you look at the Eagles draft... well, it's easy to be encouraged.

We've already covered Lane Johnson at length. Zach Ertz from Stanford with the 35th pick disappointed some, since it was another offense selection for a team with a historically awful defense. But Ertz is such a specimen, with great hands and production, that it's hard to fault the pick, really. Especially with Brent Celek starting to slow down, and coach Chip Kelly being a multi-TE devotee, and Ertz looking like all kinds of nightmare as a big slot WR. After years of smurf WRs who lost effectiveness at the goal line, Ertz signifies yet another welcome change from the old regime.

Bennie Logan from LSU went at 67, a 6'-2" 310 DE from LSU, and while every lineman that goes at that point of the draft has more than a few questions about them, Logan was a 2-year starter and early entry from an LSU team with a dominant defense. He's going to need some coaching and conditioning, but I like the pick, and he's got some ceiling.

Matt Barkley will be the pick that's talked about the most, at #98, and it started the 4th round run of QBs that people have heard of. Rather than waiting for their own pick and taking someone from the tier, the team moved up with Jacksonville to get Barkley. While some believed him to be a first round talent and projectable prospect, my distrust of the history of USC QBs makes me happy that the team didn't go early for him. I doubt he's got the footspeed to make him a clear win in this system, and he looks like a guy that needs a system and weapons to produce numbers... but that's pretty much true for everyone who plays QB, and if you can actually get a guy with star potential this deep into the proceedings, it's worth the dice roll.

The last four picks were all for defense, as they should have been; note that the team didn't get a RB in the draft, which is as it should be, given the talent on the roster. Earl Wolff from NC State looks fast for a safety, but a little undersized. Joe Kruger from Utah is another tall (6'-6", 270) junior entry, this one from Utah. Jordan Poyer, a 6' 190 CB from Oregon State, has to be a guy that Kelley has seen, but at this point in the draft, just having the guy make the roster is enough. David King, a 6'-4" 280 pound DE from Oklahoma, finished the festivities.

The commonality here is that they are all from schools you have heard of, and no one looks like they are too small to play pro ball. There were some risks, but no one who looks like they were drafted wildly away from their value. And if it works out, the core of the next great Eagles team, with a new QB to TE tandem, protected by a new bookend T, and set into position by a defense that's no longer an undersized scheme-only group.

We're a long way around from the worth of the draft being known. But for what it's worth, it feels better than any draft for this team has in years.

No comments:

Ads In This Size Rule