The term “steal of the draft” gets thrown around way too much. Upon doing a quick Twitter search I can easily find a ton of different people who think a ton of different players qualify as this year’s “steal of the draft.”
But who cares what some random Twitter people. Let’s take a look at what actual NFL talent evaluators are saying about this year’s draft class. In a piece for ESPN In$ider, Mike Sando had evaluators identify the biggest steals in each round. No Eagles players were listed as “the steal of the round,” but three Eagles received voted for the honor.
4th round — RB Donnel Pumphrey
5th round — WR Shelton Gibson
6th round — DT Elijah Qualls
The Eagles traded up for Pumphrey. He doesn’t project as a lead back but instead gives the Eagles another weapon in the backfield. Gibson is incredibly fast and figures to be a big play threat. Qualls is pretty athletic given his weight and has a chance to contribute right away as a rotational player.
I think you can argue the Eagles got pretty good “value” in this year’s draft all around. It wasn’t a sure thing that Derek Barnett was going to be on the board at No. 14. Many thought he’d go in the top 10. Sidney Jones would have been a first round pick for injury. Rasul Douglas was projected to be a third round selection and he got picked very late on Day 3. One NFL draft analyst called Mack Hollins “the steal of the fourth round.” Nathan Gerry is probably the only selection that wouldn’t be considered a strong value pick.
Value is all relative, though. Allow me to be Captain Obvious and say it doesn’t matter much where the Eagles got certain players if they aren’t any good.
The reality is that all of these potential “steals” won’t pan out the way people hope. But if the Eagles can hit on at least one of these late round picks, that would be pretty nice.