The Philadelphia Eagles had a pretty successful draft and attempted to shore up some areas that they struggled with last year. It was clear that the team with new GM Howie Roseman was set on making sure that their defense, which was their Achilles heel last year, would get much better. They moved up in the 1st round trading up to the 13th overall pick to secure Michigan DE Brandon Graham. I, like many fans, expected this pick to be Texas safety Earl Thomas who many had speculated the Eagles had really coveted. They instead went the route of D-Line help and I feel like they certainly added a great talent in Brandon Graham.
Being a Penn State fan, Brandon Graham is a very well known name. He may be somewhat undersized, but he gives the Eagles even more speed off the edge which will complement nicely with the players they have and most likely take pressure of Trent Cole. Also, it will be a move that should provide even more pressure on opposing quarterbacks which was clearly an issue in their final two games against Dallas. Graham should be able to contribute right away for this team and it will be interesting how he continues to improve under Sean McDermott’s Defense.
The next pick came at 37th overall and was talked as the Donovan McNaab pick, because this pick was what they got form the Redskins in return for Donovan. They took Nate Allen a safety from South Florida. I love this pick for the main reason that this guy is a playmaker. He is able to find the ball in the air and make sure receivers know he is there. The only question surrounding him is that he may be a little inconsistent tackling wise, but other than that he should be a great fit on D.
Then in a somewhat perplexing move, the Eagles took yet another D end in Daniel Te’o-Nesheim from Washington. This pick should provide a D end they can groom into another great pass rusher for their defense.
The Eagles then traded down and it seemed like they would never pick again with all of their moves. I joked with a friend saying it seems like they are trying to get as many late round picks as possible. Eventually they started picking again in the 4th round taking Trevard Lindley a corner from Kentucky and Keenan Clayton a linebacker from Oklahoma. Lindley will provide another solid corner to go along with Asante Samuel and should be able to come in and make a difference on defense. Clayton may have been somewhat of a stretch this early in the draft. The different draft boards did not have him rated this high. With that said however, he is a very athletic player who could be made into a solid linebacker down the road.
Their final two 4th round picks were QB Mike Kafka from Northwestern and TE Clay Harbor from Missouri State. Both obviously future guys as the Eagles already have defined starters at those two positions in Kevin Kolb and Brent Celek respectfully. Kafka, if Kolb does not work out, down the road could be a potential starter and his style of quarterback play fits in well with the short passing scheme the West Coast offense utilizes. Harbor is a very talented tight end coming out of a smaller school but could contribute as a 2nd or 3rd tight end in the upcoming seasons.
The 5th round selections were DE Ricky Sapp and WR Riley Cooper. Sapp came off a solid season at Clemson and could very well fit in on this young Eagles D-Line. Riley Cooper may have been one of my favorite picks of the draft. This guy played very well in Florida’s spread offense. He is a great possession receiver and a very athletic player. He can definitely step in to this offense and be a solid 4th or 5th receiver. I feel like the Eagles got a steal in the 5th round with this pick.
Their lone 6th round pick was Charles Scott from LSU. Scott battled some injuries in his time at LSU but also produced in their offense. He is a perfect short yardage running back that can really be a change of pace from LeSean McCoy. He should be able to provide that short yardage running game that the Eagles have been searching for.
The 7th round saw the Eagles with 3 picks and they became LB Jamar Chaney, DT Jeff Owens, and DB Kurt Coleman. All three could potentially become solid players in the future, but I wouldn’t look for them to contribute right away.
The Eagles had the most picks in the NFL draft this year with 13 total picks, 10 of them coming on the last day of the draft. I feel that they made some very solid picks that can really have an impact on this team’s somewhat cloudy future. With a new quarterback at the helm and a defense that clearly needed help, they made some great decisions in adding new weapons. This is a very young team that is looking to the future. With these players settling in and learning the system the Eagles could be looking at making another run towards the NFC Championship in the relatively near future. Overall I’d give the Eagles a B+ in this year’s draft.