After another second-round TKO, Andy Reid conceded to what most of us already knew when he said “I goofed”, after cutting last year’s 54th overall pick, safety Jaiquawn Jarrett. That makes six second-round picks on defense that have made no impact on the Eagles since Andy took the helm in 1999.
Jarrett is the latest bust that was touted by the Eagles brass, to be the hard-hitting safety this franchise has been searching for since Brian Dawkins. At Temple, he played down in the box and helped shut down the run, which is surely what Reid had in mind. But he didn’t show any of that in his two training camp auditions to win the starting job. He lacked speed and was generally always out of position in coverage and was a virtually invisible against the run. Most NFL draft pundits projected Jarrett as a third or fourth-rounder at best. So this pick was certainly a reach.
I know the NFL draft is a crap shoot unless the pick is high in the first round, but second round picks should make significant contributions on special teams in their rookie season at the least… and should be contributing at their positions or starting by their sophomore seasons. Out of Andy’s six defensive second-round flops, only linebacker Barry Gardner, became a starter in 2002 after Reid foolishly let All-Pro Jeremiah Trotter become a free agent after 2001. He was too slow and ineffective and ceremoniously shown the door after being embarrassed in the NFC Championship game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
They had no second-round picks in 2000 and in 2001 took linebacker Quinton Caver, who had speed, but couldn’t play the position and only played on special teams before being axed in 2002. In that year’s draft, a blind Reid finally found a couple of nuts in the second-round with solid corner Sheldon Brown and hard hitting safety Michael Lewis. Brown was arguably the best corner in the league not to be an All-Pro and Lewis had his only all-pro season in 2004 before his lack of coverage skills got him traded to the San Francisco 49ers. No pick in 2003 or 2004, but in ’05, another forgettable linebacker, Matt McCoy was a total failure…enough said. After another year off in 2006, 2007 brought us the high hopes of defensive end Victor Abiamiri. He was hurt so much I forgot he was on the team and after being shot in the stomach during an off-season, his career was all but over. In ’08 Trevor Laws was chosen to make an impact on the defensive line, but looked more menacing than he played and now he’s in St. Louis with the Rams. 2009 had no picks, but in 2010, safety Nate Allen was taken and after a knee injury in his rookie season, he’s the starter at free safety, but the jury is still out.
Conversely, Reid’s second-round picks on offense have been rescued by speedy wideout, DeSean Jackson in ’08 and superstar running back, LeSean McCoy in ’09. Prior to that we had wide receiver, Todd Pinkston in ’00, tight end L.J. Smith in ’03 (by the way…Dallas picked Jason Witten 6 picks later) and receiver, Reggie Brown in ’05 shoved down our throats. Mix offensive tackle Winston Justice in ’06 and quarterback Kevin Kolb in ’07. Indianapolis Colts quarterback, Andrew Luck is going to need just that with Justice blocking for him now and Kolb was parlayed into corner, Dominique Roger-Cromartie in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals.
After this look at Andy Reid’s second-round draft choices, I’m more than a little nervous over this year’s pick in linebacker, Mychal Kendricks. But thus far he looks like has the makings of a play maker.
The 2012 draft was the third in which Andy has used his first three picks on defense, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that these will have the success as the 2002 draft class and not 2010…because coach, you can’t afford any more goofs.