This draft was worse than pulling teeth, in my opinion. I wish I was a Lions fan so I could be ecstatic right now but hey, here's to praying we get Asomugha. There were picks I didn't like at first but warmed up to and there were picks that I thought were flat out stupid. I feel like the picks were good but were overvalued for where we took them. At no point did we ever take the BPA at my opinion. Overall though, I thought it was a very weak draft class and I'm sure I'm not alone. A lot of teams made out with some steals in an weak class while others reached left and right and made what seems at this moment really crappy choices. Let's all hope we create a tidal wave in FA.
WarGeist's not-so-expert opinion on the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles Draft Class after the jump!
Round 1, 23rd Overall- Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor-
Alright, I'll be honest, literally, right before this pick, I was making fun of someone on NFL network mocking this guy in the first round. I was talking to a friend saying, "Yeah, he mocked him in the late first to Seattle. The guy is 26 gonna be 27. Who would take father time in the first round?" and all I could think about was us picking either Carimi or Jimmy Smith. Then the pick was announced and I walked out of the room. I hadn't known much about him aside from his age and him not playing much football up until this point. At first, I was furious so I decided to look up film.
I think his technique is sound although his kick step is a little weird but Howard Mudd can coach this guy up. He's a high character guy and he can get nasty on the field. He can engage defenders well and will fit perfectly for us at RG. Sure, my friends and I made a bunch of old jokes about how OG on the depth chart next to Watkins means Old Guy and how he got a Life alert endorsement but in the end, I really warmed up to the pick. I'm glad to have the guy on the team and feel that by him just being there and being such a coachable player, he'll help make those around him better.
Round 2, 22nd pick- Jaiquawn Jarrett, S, Temple-
I still think this pick was a reach. I want to warm up to this pick because I still haven't been able to because of how many mocks I've seen with him going in the 4th especially when Brandon Harris was still on the board. I like his tackling ability and how he plays the run. His pass coverage skills are eh to me. I feel like he's slow to react to the pass. I hope he's the second coming of Weapon X but thats a significant reach at this point. We probably could have done more with this pick in my opinion. Anyway, welcome to the team Jaiquawn Jarrett, I hope you crack the starting lineup and make a difference on this team.
Round 3, 26rd pick- Curtis Marsh, CB, Utah State-
Alright, so we didn't get Brandon Harris in the second nor Jimmy Smith in the first. I do like Marsh though. In the event that we do not acquire Asomugha, Joseph, Marshall, Talib or whatever CB willing to take the RCB in Philly, I'm sure Marsh can be coached up to pick up the slack if we don't have an immediate solution. He's a big guy and his frame will probably enable him to engage WR's at the line and make more plays on the ball with his wingspan. Yes, he's raw at CB but I think down the road, this kid will be a solid CB in the NFL. He's one of those guys with the "rare combination of size and speed" but I like the fact that, although he may have gotten thrown at a lot, the kid just kept batting balls down left and right. I don't care if he's constantly getting targeted, if he's constantly defending those passes and not giving up TD's, he's ok in my book.
Round 4, 19th pick- Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon-
Ok, at first, I had no idea what to make of this pick since Casey was an inside linebacker at Oregon. Then I started to think rationally and how he would pan out for the Eagles. Upgrade over Sims, for sure. Casey is a smart, athletic, instinctual linebacker which could only help our linebacker core. He can wrap up, he can cover, he reads and diagnoses plays very well not to mention the kid is relentless on the blitz and he navigates down the line well and doesn't get hung up too often. I like the pick and I hope he becomes the difference maker we need at outside LB.
Round 4, 23rd pick- Alex Henery, K, Nebraska-
Well this pick shocked the shit out of me. I sat there in disbelief like, "Wow, we really took a kicker." but then people kept telling me that this kid is the best kicker in college football, not to mention he punts. So I looked the guy up and found he has very few missed field goals in his college career. Not to mention the 57 yarder that JimmyK included in his post. Wow. I mean, yeah, it's the 4th round, yeah there were other players to pick from but if this is our future kicker, especially after Akers missing the field goals in the playoff game, I'm fine with it. Let's just constantly kick 57 yard field goals if thats the case. I was furious with this pick but to be honest, it might now be my favorite pick of our draft. Weird, I know, but 3 points is 3 points.
Round 5, 18th pick- Dion Lewis, RB, Pitt-
I knew it. In my gut I knew if we're going to pick a running back it was going to be Dion Lewis. I liked the kid at Pitt and with the departure of Shady, Pitts run game didn't lose a step as Dion stepped in at running back. He has a nose for the end zone and hands. He follows his blocks well and with patience and he can make people miss in open space. Lets teach him how to block in the backfield though. He isn't a big guy so he's not going to be in on every down, especially with Shady at the no. 1 rb spot, but this guy is a solid compliment to Shady. I liked the pick and I do believe I called it in one of my posts a while back. Only pick I got right I believe lol.
Round 5, 30th pick- Julian Vandervelde, OG, Iowa-
I figured we were going to add more depth along the offensive line and I thought we got a pretty good pick here. He's a bit of a project but his engaging of defenders is solid. He can engage and although he may get driven back, he will not let go and will not let the defender get around him. I like that and I'm sure Howard Mudd likes that. His pass protection needs work but I like this kids run blocking ability although it's still raw but plays mean. He can maul guys in the run game at times but other times he plays too high. Thankfully we've got Howard Mudd on our side and I'm willing to bet he shapes him along with the rest of our OL into animals up front on both the left and right side. I think this pick has a ton of upside.
Round 6, 26th pick- Jason Kelce, C/OG, Cincinnati-
Another mean offensive linemen. I like the fact that him and Watkins can play more than one position on the OL. The only downside to Kelce is he needs to add weight to become a successful offensive lineman at the next level. He ran the fastest 40 time at the combine out of all the offensive linemen which doesn't prove much but I hope it means that his release into the second level is solid and can block downfield very well. Anyway, I hope he's the 3rd of the 5th round Cincinnati choices by the Eagles to flourish on this team.
Round 6, 28th pick- Brian Rolle, LB, Ohio State-
I don't like this pick. I think Rolle gets lost too much on the field at linebacker. I'm sure he'll be decent on special teams but I do not expect him to crack the starting LB core in the least. He's a warrior on the field, I'll give him that, but it's one thing to be a warrior and it's another thing to be a warrior and win wars. Rolle is just a warrior to me, continuously fighting but to no avail. He's easily blockable and his coverage skills aren't that great. I feel like Ernie Sims is head and shoulders above this guy. That is not good. Not at all.
Round 7, 36th pick- Greg Lloyd, LB, UCONN-
This pick was dumb to me but hey, it's the 7th round. If you aren't Jamar Chaney, I don't really care. But you're Greg No-CL Lloyd. Is it a tradition that we have to pick up players who have been plagued with knee injuries? Marlin Baby Knees Jackson comes to mind when I saw this pick. I saw the pick analysis on the front page of the board and thought, oh great. Another guy with no knee. Don't even see this guy making the roster.
Round 7, 39th pick- Stanley Havili, FB, USC-
Well, this guy can run and catch but apparently, he's not a blocker. Which defeats the purpose of being listed as and playing as a fullback. If Weaver doesn't come back and Schmitt is the no.1 fb and this guy is the depth behind Schmitt, I'm nervous. Someone better teach the kid how to block before he embarrasses himself at the next level. On the pick analysis by JimmyK it says
No thanks. If you're listed at FB, you better be ready to block. Welcome to the NFL. Learn the position.
However, the knock on Havili is that he's neither a good, nor willing blocker, and has been criticized for lack of effort at times
Well thats it for my not-so-expert opinion on our draft class of 2011. As always with my posts, let me know what you think about the content and let me know how you guys feel about this class in general or each specific prospect. It's 2:30 AM and I'm out of here.