In truth, one can never evaluate draftee impacts until two to three years down the line. However, as bloggers we are free to spew our opinions and make ourselves our own little Mel Kiper Jr. or Mike Mayock for a time. The NFL Draft is one of my favorite events of the year and I really wish I was able to pump out more previews and a mock draft but sickness got the better of me the week leading up to the draft.
Watching the NFL Draft from my couch for the three days was still exciting and now is the time to review the Eagles haul. Coming into the draft I felt the Eagles were needing the address DE, FS, OG/C, LB, and CB. All of those positions need additional depth before the season kicks off on September 12th against Green Bay.
Brandon Graham, the Eagles traded up for the high motor Michigan standout. Regarded as the top pass-rushing DE in this draft class the Eagles hit a home run with this pick. While I was very high on Earl Thomas in the lead up to the draft and I know in listening to a bunch of Eagles fan he was the peoples choice, free safety is simply not as important a position as DE. A quality pass rush will make an average secondary look good and in the Eagles case a terrible front four pass rush can make a good secondary look average.
Nate Allen, nice pickup at this point for the Birds. Very pleased they go with the natural coverage safety rather than Taylor Mays at this point. I believe this is important in going with the Graham pick for the Thomas lover. A Graham/Allen combo is better than a Earl Thomas/Best available DE at this selection in round two. I think Allen takes this job early in the year possibly from day one.
Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, situational pass-rusher. Real head scratcher here. He had a low round draft grade and is widely regarded as a reach. The Eagles obviously saw something in him but I really question his value at this point. He is considered a high motor DE but I don't see much upside here. The Eagles could have brought in a quality CB, LB, or interior OL at this point.
CB Trevard Lindley, Eagles get their CB prospect at this point. I had my eye on a few other guys at this point namely my big time sleeper IUP standout Akwasi Owusu-Ansah who later went to Dallas (sigh). However, nobody at this point was going to hop in and start at CB from day one. He could work into nickel or dime situations while he develops for a year or two.
QB Mike Kafka, I like the pick here. Vick is probably in his last season here in Philadelphia so the Eagles need to groom the next backup in town. Kafka has excellent mobility and really impressed me in a few games I saw this year. McShay believes he is one of the few developmental type QBs in this draft with real potential to be a quality QB in the league for what its worth.
LB Keenan Clayton, Bit of a reach here. Just the Eagles taking another body to compete at WLB.
TE Clay Harbor, seems like a solid sleeper pick at TE. Solid speed to stretch the field and adequate blocking. Good insurance policy if Ingram is unable to recover from the ACL injury.
DE/LB Ricky Sapp, one of the higher ranked players entering Day Three slipped to to the fifth round. Should be given a chance at DE/SLB to compete for immediate minutes.
WR Riley Cooper, better known at Tim Tebow's roommate at Florida. Was drafted by the Phillies in baseball a few years ago so I guess it was destiny to be here. Tall receiver and worth a look at this point. Will have to prove special teams worth to make the squad.
RB Charles Scott, productive career at LSU. Bigger back but his stock has fallen since previous seasons. Not sure he has what it takes to break through this squad.
LB Jemar Chaney, don't have much on him but scouts were raving about this pick for being in the seventh round. Should push for a backup role at MLB.
DT Jeff Owens, should compete for one of the final roster spots here. I can easily see him beating out former bust Trevor Laws for the fourth DT spot.
S Kurt Coleman, Ohio State standout was the final pick for the Birds. He should come in and push guys like Demps and Harris for roster spots. Will have to prove worth on special teams as well.
All in all this draft has both quality and quantity. This will make for a lot of interesting roster cut decisions for the Eagles brass. Thirteen draftees will not make the roster but if the Birds can find 4-5 quality impact guys out of this group it will be excellent.