Saturday, April 24, 2010

Messing Up The Draft Two Years Straight

For the second year in a row, I really don’t understand the Philadelphia Eagles strategy for the NFL Draft.

Frankly, in case Andy Reid missed it, the Iggles have needs everywhere: safety, cornerback, defensive line, right tackle, linebacker- probably QB too. Really, the defense is not good. After ridding themselves of multiple high priced veterans and accumulating 5 of the first 87 picks, conditions seemed ripe for the re-stocking of talent this team badly needs. Philadelphia needed to find two or three "plus" starters, plus another three/four roster guys, that can play a lot thru 2013.

Basically, they need new bodies. And you can absolutely get guys who can play in the third round. Why else did the Eagles accumulate six fourth and fifth round picks?

And instead we gave up THREE picks in said first 87 selections for a guy, Brandon Graham, who won't play 50% of the total defensive snaps over the next two years?

The Eagles rotate DEs like crazy on game day- no defensive end is going to play exclusively in today’s NFL. And don’t tell me Graham is a first-round level run-stopper... if Philadelphia wanted the generic, all around quality rotational DE, that guy is on the board at 24- and the Eagles still have that pair of third rounders.

Or they are going to keep him on the field as an OLB. Yeah right. Now the Eagles have spent three picks on a guy who has never played standing up, covered tight ends, etc. Lord, the #14 overall selection is now spent on a situation pass rushing linebacker! That isn’t risky.

Still, it is not so much I don’t think Graham can play (although, again, it isn’t a straight shot: new position, specialist). But the road to finding three "plus" starters in the draft is easier with the original five picks than this plethora of fourths and fifths. It smacks of being too smart- you need really to hit 100% of Graham and the safety from South Florida. And that is just it- even if your talent evaluation is perfect, stuff happens in the NFL. Guys get hurt, discover drugs, get in accidents. Reid has zero room for chance or error- whereas had they taken the five picks, the necessary hit rate is three in five.

Jeez, we could have packaged those two threes to get more “prospects” like Shady McCoy in here. At least this year we're not spending high draft picks on guys who can't block. Thus, it isn’t a total disaster.

More optimism, and video, here.