I'm still having a difficult time figuring this draft out. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. I want to like it, but for some reason, I just can't. Maybe because we passed up Jimmy Smith, who I see becoming a Pro Bowl corner, or maybe because picking Henery means David Akers is as good as gone. There weren't really any picks I was ecstatic about, but that's how I felt about the draft last year, so there's still hope for this class to change my mind and make me happy about this draft. Individual player analysis and more after the jump.
Danny Watkins- OG, Baylor
What I Like: Watkins has only been playing football for a very limited time, so his upside is tremendous and he has very little wear and tear. Howard Mudd should have a great time with this kid, as he's still pretty raw. I also like his hockey background, which means he has pretty good balance and a good center of gravity. Seems like a very high character guy and someone who will be able to provide some motivation to the team.
What I Don't Like: I'm not trying to beat a dead horse, but his age is just a little bit of a concern. He's going to be 27 by the team the season starts and will probably be 32 by the time his rookie contract is up. Offensive linemen usually have a pretty long shelf life in the NFL, but you figure that his career is already cut three or four years short due to his age.
Overall Opinion of the Pick: At first, I was furious that we didn't take Jimmy Smith, but I've started to warm up to this pick after reading a bit about Watkins. I think he'll make an immediate impact and he definitely addressed a need that we had coming into the draft. Although I think I'll be angry again when we see Jimmy Smith in the Pro Bowl in a couple of years.
Jaiquawn Jarrett- S, Temple
What I Like: He has great instincts and is described as a "high motor guy" (I know that sounds scary, but this guy has other talents than just a high motor). The kid knows how to lay down the hammer, and I think he could add some intimidation to our defense, something that we seemed to be lacking last year. Has fairly average speed, but makes up for it with his instincts and hustle.
What I Don't Like: He seems to be a little undersized to play safety in the NFL (6', 198 lbs), but I think once he bulks up a little bit, his size won't be an issue. His coverage skills are also lacking, but hopefully that can be improved with quality coaching.
Overall Opinion of the Pick: I think we reached for this pick, and I was hoping we would take Brandon Harris, but I think Jarrett has the potential to be an impact player immediately. I think this pick solidifies the notion that Q is gone, and I think it'll be an open competition between Coleman and Jarrett for the starting position, and even if he doesn't win the starting position, he should be an impact player on special teams.
Curtis Marsh- CB, Utah State
What I Like: I love his combination of speed and size. He's 6' 1/2" and ran a 4.42 40 yard dash. We need size at the CB position when we're facing NFC East receivers like Hakeem Nicks and Miles Austin. Has long arms was 6th in the FBS in passes defended per game with 1.25. I think he has a lot of potential, but I certainly don't think he's the answer to our CB woes.
What I Don't Like: Depending on how you interpret the passes defended statistic, it could be scary. It could mean that the QB thought his guy was open, which could mean that his coverage could be a little weak. As long as he's defending the passes, that's ok with me. His interception numbers were also pretty low, with only 3 in two years playing the CB position, and he's a little thin for his frame, but that can be changed by hitting the weight room.
Overall Opinion of the Pick: I like this pick because of his size, but I certainly don't think he's the savior of the CB position. Depending on how free agency goes, he has the potential to contribute, but I don't think he'll be a starter come preseason. Should see some time on special teams immediately, though.
Casey Matthews- LB, Oregon
What I Like: This might be my favorite pick of the draft. I know he's not nearly the physical specimen that his brother Clay is, but his football instincts are second to none and his upside is endless. Has good coverage skills, which is certainly something we need in our linebackers, and plays faster than he actually is. Another guy who can lay down the hammer and add some physicality to our defense.
What I Don't Like: There really isn't that much I don't like about this pick. Not as good of a pass rusher as Clay, but I don't think he'll be asked to pass rush in our system as he is above average in coverage.
Overall Opinion of the Pick: Like I said, this is my favorite pick of our draft. He has the opportunity to compete for a starting position, and he'll be one of the hardest working players on the team. He should see some playing time immediately, even if he doesn't win a starting position. I really hope this kid pans out and becomes an impact player on our defense.
Alex Henery- K, Nebraska
What I Like: He was by far and away the best kicker in the draft. He has a huge leg and he's incredibly accurate. Not much else to say about this kid.
What I Don't Like: There isn't really anything I don't like about him. The only thing that concerned me is how early we took him. I think we could've waited another round and he still might've been there.
Overall Opinion of the Pick: I like the pick, but I'm emotionally torn because it means that David Akers' career as an Eagle has come to an end. We've been spoiled by having such a consistent kicker, so Henery has a lot to live up to by following in Akers' footsteps.
Dion Lewis- RB, Pitt
What I Like: Extremely strong for his size (5'6"), and runs well between the tackles. Very patient with his blockers and has good field vision. Has a nose for the endzone, as he scored 30 touchdowns in 2 seasons, and is a hardworking kid.
What I Don't Like: Doesn't have very fast straight line speed (he ran a 4.62 40). I was hoping he'd be faster for being so small. His height does scare me a little bit, but he has plenty of bulk to solidify his frame. Isn't a very explosive player, and isn't known as a very good pass blocker.
Overall Opinion of the Pick: I'm not really a fan of this pick as of right now. I was hoping we'd get a true power back, not a small RB who has packs a little bit of a punch. I don't think he'll see much time behind McCoy, and I really don't see him succeeding at the NFL level, although I hope he proves me wrong.
Julian Vandervelde- G, Iowa
What I Like: Adds some depth to the offensive line and gives Howard Mudd a project to work on. As the Hawkeye page draft profile says, "solid" would be the best way to describe him, and solid is what we're looking for when adding depth. He isn't going to wow anyone with his technique or his physicality, but he will be consistent and won't make many mistakes.
What I Don't Like: A little undersized, and I think we really reached for this guy. Even Hawkeye fans were surprised to see him drafted.
Overall Opinion of the Pick: He should be a decent backup player, although I think we could've made some better selections at this pick. Honestly, I would've rather taken a chance on Herzlich with this pick, but we'll see how that works out. Can't say I'm upset with this pick, but I'm not happy with it, either.
Jason Kelce- C/G, Cincinnati
What I Like: Once again, another depth pick that Mudd can work some magic with. Has quick footwork as he was originally a walk-on linebacker. He's pretty raw in terms of playing on the line, and he has quite a bit of upside if he bulks up.
What I Don't Like: This seems to be a recurring theme, but he's undersized. Seems like Mudd has had a lot to do with the OL picks, and I trust his judgement, so hopefully he sees something about this kid that I don't.
Overall Opinion of the Pick: Another pick that I'm really not sure about. I'm not happy, but I'm not pissed.
Brian Rolle- LB, Ohio St.
What I Like: Good speed, good instincts, good tackler. Another "high motor" guy that the Eagles seem to like. I really think he has potential, but unfortunately he reminds me of another failed Eagles LB.
What I Don't Like: Ernie Sims, anyone? This kid seems very similar to Ernie Sims. They both have good speed and they both tackle well, but they're both known to overpursue. He's also extremely underized at only 5' 9".
Overall Opinion of the Pick: Once again, I would much rather have taken a chance on Mark Herzlich than taken this guy. The most I see Rolle contributing is as a special teamer, which I think he could excel at due to his speed.
Greg Lloyd- LB, UConn
What I Like: Finally, a player with some decent size. Another player that plays a lot faster than he actually is. Known as a heavy hitter that likes contact, something that we need on our defense.
What I Don't Like: Doesn't have good straight line speed or explosiveness, and his durability is a huge concern. He tore his ACL and MCL in 2009.
Overall Opinion of the Pick: Herzlich would've been a better pick, and I don't see this guy sticking around for long. I think he could contribute for a different team, but I don't see him doing much for the Eagles.
Stanley Havili- FB, USC
What I Like: I love the way this guy runs and his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He's everything that Owen Schmitt isn't in the ball carrying department. I think he could be used as the power back that we've never had, and I really think he has a lot of potential.
What I Don't Like: Horrible, horrible blocker. That being said, blocking is something that can be coached up, but he's been described as not even having the motivation to block.
Overall Opinion of the Pick: Surprisingly, I don't really have a problem with this pick. I'd like to use him as a ball carrier rather than a blocker, and I think Schmitt will still be the starter, but don't count this guy out just yet.