Slow news day? Yeah, there sure are a lot of those with no OTAs and minicamps taking place like they normally would around this time of year.
And so while we wait for sports to return, we can only entertain ourselves. In an attempt to do just that, SB Nation’s NFL team site writers recently redid the 2017 NFL Draft. Here’s how the entire thing turned out.
I consulted the Bleeding Green Nation war room before making each of the Philadelphia Eagles’ two picks.
First round: Eddie Jackson, S, Alabama
Jackson was selected in the fourth round at No. 112 overall in the real 2017 NFL Draft so this is a clear hindsight pick. His pre-draft process was hindered by the broken leg he suffered during his senior season at Alabama.
But Jackson has turned out to be quite the pro. The Chicago Bears defender was named to the Pro Bowl each of the past two seasons in addition to earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2018. Jackson’s logged 184 total tackles, 26 passes defensed, 10 interceptions, four forced fumbles, three defensive touchdowns, and two sacks through 46 games played.
Jackson clearly wouldn’t have posted those same numbers in Philly. The Eagles were pretty set at safety in 2017 with Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod combining to form one of the league’s better back end duos. But Jackson could’ve played over Corey Graham as a third safety in addition to serving as an important backup behind the two starters.
The Eagles could very well find it challenging to replace Jenkins after moving on from him this offseason. Having Jackson around would’ve mitigated the impact of No. 27’s departure.
Kenny Golladay, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Jonathan Allen were also in consideration at this pick. Fittingly, those three players came off the board right after I turned in the card for Jackson. Given that offense is generally more important than defense, I kind of regret not taking one of the wide receivers. A rookie pass catcher probably wouldn’t have played much in 2017 with Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, and Nelson Agholor ahead of them. But they certainly could’ve helped in 2018 and 2019.
Grade the Eagles’ selection of Eddie Jackson in this 2017 NFL re-draft
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Second round: Tarik Cohen, RB, North Carolina A&T
I took another member of the Chicago Bears with the Eagles’ second-round pick. Wait, does this mean I’m basically Ryan Pace?! Oh no.
Truth be told, I didn’t love my options here. I would’ve taken Kareem Hunt if not for off-field issues we now know about. I landed on Cohen since the Eagles really needed running back help at the time and he could’ve been Philly’s Darren Sproles replacement.
Cohen only has 250 career attempts for 1,027 yards (4.1 average) and five touchdowns as a runner but he’s notched 203 receptions for 1,534 yards (7.6 average) and nine touchdowns as a pass catcher. And that’s with having to deal with Mitchell Trubisky as his quarterback. Cohen also earned Pro Bowl and first-team All Pro honors as a return specialist in 2018 with a 12.5 punt return average.
The downside is that Cohen has 13 fumbles in 48 games played and he’s a part-time player at one of the league’s most fungible positions. Not the most optimal use of resources.
But, hey, the Eagles get Cohen and they don’t waste two picks on Donnel Pumphrey. Or feel the need to bring Sproles back in 2018 and 2019. And they have another weapon for their 2017 Super Bowl run.
Grade the Eagles’ selection of Tarik Cohen in this 2017 NFL re-draft
This poll is closed
- I don’t have the Eagles addressing cornerback until the third round at the earliest. That was a huge need for them heading into the 2017 draft.
- Jackson would’ve been the first Eagles safety ever drafted in the first round.
- Derek Barnett falls 22 spots lower than he went at No. 14 in the real draft. It surprised me to see Sidney Jones only fall 13 spots lower than he actually went.
- Make sure you check out BGN’s Michael Kist’s entire 2017 re-draft for the Eagles.