I know a few of us have given their views on the Draft, however I'm not going to just reword and spit everything back at you. I want to go over how the Eagles set themselves up for this draft, give my look at each pick and give my thoughts on what we can expect moving forward.
As always I'd love for everybody to share what they think, give their perspectives and share.
Setting up for the Draft:
What I think the Eagles did heading into the draft paved the way for us to do what we did. Peters went down with an injury so instead of being pigeon hold into taking an OT high they went after Bell and signed him so that there was no longer a need to potentially reach for an OT. The Eagles snagged Ryans up for pretty much nothing which theoretically fills the MIKE position we've been dying to fill for years so that we didn't have another major need to fill high, then they unloaded Asante to make room for DRC to start in his natural position and added depth at DT with Landri and (resigning) Dixon.
Make no mistakes about it, the Eagles had a plan, they wanted to drafted based upon talent not need and that's how you have to do things in order to be successful in the short and long term in the NFL.
Not to mention, the Eagles put themselves in a position where they don't need to rely on any rookie day 1, and depending on health likely the entire season, so if the rookies come in and produce it's simply a bonus for us.
My take on the picks (Not going into UDFA's here, though I think Polk will be a quality player)
Fletcher Cox- Simply a great trade, we gave up practically nothing to move up and snag him. Cox will likely be the man who makes our wide-9 scheme work for years to come, he was the best DT in a very deep class and honestly is up there with Suh, Fairley and Gerald McCoy as far as pure talent coming out of College. As far as his role here, look for him to be like Jenkins, and I think he has the potential to be an even greater player than Jenkins is. Cox simply knows how to penetrate and leave his mark on QB's, I look forward to "Cox" and "Sack" being used hand and hand for years to come.
Mychal Kendricks- We all know I love Kendricks, but that's simply because he has the necessary tools to become a force on our team. He's good at shedding blocks, he can run with any TE you ask him to cover, he has great instincts and not only tackles but knows the value of just getting a guy down, so you'll see few whiffs from him on Sundays. His talents are what makes him the ideal fit for SAM LB despite his "lack" of height. Of the rookies we brought in I think the pressure is highest on him considering the options we have at LB.
Vinny Curry- Not only did I view him as a 1st round talent, but I viewed him as a great fit for the wide-9. Honestly I thought the Lions would have snagged him up in the 2nd so when he fell to us you can imagine my reaction. The guy is not the most talented but he is relentless and simply knows how to get after the QB, not only that but after his press conference you can tell that he not only wants to be an Eagle but he's willing to do everything within his power to become a star. I think he'll end up backing up Babin (who I feel he resembles the most) and will make an impact once he's acclimated to the NFL.
Nick Foles- Many people were pissed about this pick, and I see that viewpoint, however take a look at what Andy Reid does and you can't be to mad. Foles has the tools to become a good-great passer in the NFL, he has the intelligence to run a pro-style offense and I think that is why Andy took him. At worst the Eagles wasted another 3rd round pick, at best he's our future star QB, however I think he'll fit somewhere in between and net us some draft picks in a few years after he proves himself as an up-and-comer. With the way the draft went I think we can allow Reid one pet project right?
Brandon Boykin- Not only will he get the "Samuels" treatment by many people but he looks like an ideal fit for our Slot CB. He is a willing hitter and playmaker who can line up with the best of them. I saw him as a 3rd round pick after breaking his leg and I was happy when we bagged him in the 4th. Whether he beats out Hanson has yet to be seen, but as an eventual replacement in the Slot and quality depth guy it's hard to see any negatives with this pick.
Dennis Kelly- I like the guy as a developmental prospect, he's the type of guy that Mudd can turn into a stud. He won't play anytime soon.
Marvin McNutt- He has a high ceiling, he could end up being a stud however I think he falls somewhere between what Avant is and what Maclin is. I think he could be a great Slot WR for us in the coming years and he may eventually beat out Avant for that job, I liked watching his highlights because he has sure hands and a knack for making weird catches. The thing that has me excited is his body control, take a look at his aerobatic catches and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Brandon Washington- You guys heard me talking about him from early on this offseason. I think he has the potential to be a decent OT however with his abilities and strengths I think he could eventually develop into Mathis's replacement. The guy is loaded with talent but had issues staying healthy and transitioning to LT last season at Miami. I though he'd go in the late 2nd or early 3rd so to grab him when we did I started to think this draft was to good to be true.
Bryce Brown- Low-risk/high-reward guy right here. He has tons of off the field issues and seems to quit on every team he's apart of. Hopefully Polk beats him out in TC because I don't like him. But that being said there is no denying the talent he brings to the table.
Second year players I expect to make the jump:
Danny Watkins- He struggled early on and the Eagles had to bring in DeVan to patch things up until Watkins was ready. Once he took over he played decently and as the year went on he started to become what I though he could be. He's older however I expect for him to make the jump to become an above average RG for us.
Casey Matthews- I think with a full offseason to acclimate to the NFL and some muscle added onto his frame he could end up becoming a quality WILL LB for us. I see Matthews as a very talented player who just needs to put things together, his biggest issues last season were the mental lapses he had which put our team in bad situations, if he can limit that and become a better tackler he's our best bet at WILL LB.
Brian Rolle- He gave us some solid play at WILL LB last season, I like the kid but I view him as a backup who comes in from time to time. That being said, I'd like to see him make a jump along with Matthews, we need 2 good options for WILL LB, and they both need to provide competition for the other. If he becomes a stud then by all means keep him in the starting lineup.
Jaiquawn Jarrett- First off spelling that first name is nearly impossible for me, had to check it like 5 times. Now for the important stuff; Jarrett needs to make a jump, we need a viable option as SS who's more than just a solid player. Jarrett has all the tools to become a good SS, perhaps even great, he just has to make it happen with hard work and good play on Sundays. I have high hopes for him, if he shows up and plays like a 2nd round pick then our Defense goes from good to great.
The Eagles set themselves up very nicely over the last two offseasons, they brought in elite talent, great depth and added high potential guys via the draft. I think they have laid the foundation for a team that can be very successful for years to come. All in all we've set ourselves up where we don't have to rely on young players anywhere aside from the OLB spots and SS, which in my eyes is a very good thing moving forward.