The Philadelphia Eagles are a team that typically does well during the NFL Draft. They typically get fantastic value for the players they select in respect to where that player is selected.
Now that isn’t to say that the front office doesn’t misjudge a players abilities or even be accused of reaching on a certain player in the draft. 2011 second-round pick Jaiquawn Jarrett is the most recent player the Birds have selected who is said to have been a reach. Most believed Jarrett was a sure thing in the third-round. Then you have players like (DE) Victor Abiamiri, (DE) Brandon Graham, and (DT) Trevor Laws who were tremendous players in college but haven’t quite panned out in the NFL.
This year has a much different feel to it. The Eagles had a blueprint of how they hoped the draft would go and I don’t think it could have gone any better — and neither do the experts.
Every year following the draft the experts examine each pick by every team and then offers a grade. This year, two of the more widely known experts from ESPN, Adam Schefter and Mel Kiper Jr., gave the Birds of Brotherly Love the highest grade offered based on the fact that the Eagles not only selected players of need, they also got great value in the picks they made.
Schefter: “ Philadelphia got the best defensive lineman in the draft in Fletcher Cox; a linebacker in Mychal Kendricks, who’s going to really help; another good pass-rusher in Vinny Curry; a highly rated quarterback in Nick Foles; and an underrated cornerback in Brandon Boykin. How can you not be impressed with Philadelphia’s take here?” Schefter gave the Eagles draft an “A-”
Kiper: “One of the best drafts in terms of lining up needs and getting guys at spots where I didn’t think they’d still be around. They moved up to get Fletcher Cox, an immediate starter. Mychal Kendricks is a perfect fit, and at No. 46, a really good value. The Eagles look a lot better up the middle after this weekend. If Vinny Curry came off the board really early in the second round, nobody would have been surprised, so to get him at No. 59 is a steal. Nick Foles has the upside of an NFL starter, and Andy Reid could turn him into something. Brandon Boykin is my No. 9-ranked corner, so I love the value as a fourth-rounder. I thought they might get a tackle earlier, but it’s hard to quibble given the value they got with every pick early on. I love this draft, and Bryce Brown will be an interesting story if he sticks. Keep an eye on Brandon Washington, a sixth-rounder with the upside of a starter at guard.”. Mel Kiper gave the Eagles draft a solid “A“.
I can’t argue with those grades as I myself gave the Eagles an “A”. Obviously I am thrilled about the selection of Fletcher Cox and hope he helps form an even nastier defensive line than the Eagles had last season. The Eagles needed a linebacker and snatched up Mychal Kendricks who was the best remaining LB on the board. And who can’t be excited to have a life-long Eagles fan be a part of the Eagles organization? I’m also really excited to see what Vinny Curry brings to the defense.
But no other player brings more intrigue in my opinion to the potential he can bring than fourth-round pick (CB) Brandon Boykin. I’m not quite sure how this guy made it to the fourth round but I’m sure glad he did and the Eagles nabbed him…although I’m sure he would’ve liked to have gone sooner.
All in all, this could very well be one of the best drafts, if not the best, in Andy Reid’s tenure as head coach in Philadelphia. We are still a very long way from determining that but on paper alone, this could be something very special.
But leave the “Dream Team” phrases at home!