Three days, a few trades and eight picks later, the Philadelphia Eagles are done with the 2016 NFL Draft. Before I get into the nitty gritty throughout the upcoming week, here are some thoughts on the Eagles' draft as a whole ...
- The Eagles added two offensive linemen with Isaac Seumalo and Halapoulivaati Vaitai. First of all, those are some pretty incredible names. Second, it is encouraging to see the team not only (finally) add youth to the offensive line group, but also establish a great philosophy. Both Seumalo and Vaitai are large, athletic and incredibly physical. Vaitai is a project player, but his tools are tremendous and he plays with a chip on his shoulder. Giving these two high upside players to a coach like Stoutland bodes very well for the offensive line group down the road.
- The Eagles did not draft a single player in my top 50. That is really worrying. Of course, I am one of only a few analysts who are lower on Wentz than most people, but even outside of that, the Eagles had chances to get guys I had highly ranked on both day two and three ...
- Where are the playmakers? When you draft a rookie QB, it is imperative that he is supported by some established playmaker. The Eagles offense going into the draft had a bunch of wildcards on offense. Agholor needs to take the next step, Matthews is transitioning to outside receiver and Ryan Mathews cannot be depended on to stay healthy. Look at the young quarterbacks around the league ... Raiders drafted Cooper for Carr, Vikings drafted Treadwell this year, Rams will have an outstanding running game to support Goff, Bortles has weapons galore... Regardless of how good Wentz is, the lack of support from the skill players is worrying to say the least. The only skill player the team drafted was Wendell Smallwood, who looks like a gadget type of player. The Eagles are taking a massive bet on their roster.
- Wentz is a really, really corny guy but I absolutely love what I have seen from him thus far in interviews. Nothing will make or break and NFL quarterback like confidence and Wentz absolutely has it in spades, both on and off the field. That is incredibly encouraging and he's an easy guy to cheer for.
- One of the underrated parts of the Chip Kelly era is that the fan base didn't have to cheer for bad guys. Kelly had a strictness to character concerns that kept the roster squeaky clean, for the most part. People got worried that this somehow hurt the team, but the presence of a choir boy roster isn't what ultimately sank the team. However, the Eagles drafted Jalen Mills on day three and the days of having a squeaky clean roster are over. Mills, while talented, has a past that involves charges for domestic violence. While they were ultimately dropped, the whole story is incredibly sketchy. I hate the idea of cheering for people like that. I have been critical of the NFL's support of domestic violence for a very long time and the fact that the team I cover and am a fan of is now complicit is very upsetting.
- Joe Walker was a really nice late round pick. Besides DeForest Buckner, who went top ten, Walker was the only impact player on a horrible Oregon defense. He is physical, rangy and is always gunning for the big play. His aggressiveness can hurt him, but he makes a lot of splash plays. He probably makes the team as a special teamer and could work his way into snaps on defense down the line.
- Overall I think this was a poor draft. A lot hinges on how Wentz turns out, obviously, but the other eight picks leave a lot to be desired. Sure, upgrading the offensive line depth is nice, but the failure to address the skill players will be really bad for the team and Smallwood is far off from being a featured back in the NFL. For a quarterback who is coming from a run heavy, play action based offense, the team is not really supporting that right now. As for the other picks, while I like the team trying to get depth at cornerback, the players they did it with 1) have massive character concerns (Mills) and 2) don't have high upside at the position (Countess). I feel like the entire Eagles draft was the team addressing the right positions with the wrong players. There are way too many huge "what if's" with this class to be very comfortable right now.