Thursday, April 23, 2009

Eagles Draft Preview

So what will the Eagles do with their first-round pick on Saturday? Analysis on each of the options:

  • Trade it for Anquan Boldin - My guess here is that the package would include a 5th-rounder and Reggie Brown as well. I'd take this outcome happily, as Boldin is going to have a bigger immediate impact than anyone the Eagles could pick at 21, but I'm not wetting myself over the prospect. Playcalling and McNabb's accuracy are the two biggest problems with this offense, and a stud WR won't fix either one. Still, once the Giants trade for Braylon Edwards, there's going to be a lot of pressure for the Eagles to match them.
  • Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia - Easily the best RB in the draft. Not a game-changing talent, but a solid, complete back who can block and catch passes as well as run effectively. Could complement/replace Westbrook more capably than any other prospect. He's a top-15 talent who could very well be gone by the time they pick, but only a few teams above the Eagles need a RB bad enough to take one in the first round.
  • Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee - Another DE? Yes. The Eagles have a glut of 'pretty good' ends, but they could really use a great one to bookend with Trent Cole. Ayers has more potential to be that guy than anyone. Matured late, so there's not a lot of tape on him, but he was dominating at the Senior Bowl. Give him two years and he'll be the clear starter, with Pro Bowl possibilities. Another top-15 talent, but without huge sack production or mind-blowing measurables, he may slip to the Eagles. The number of teams switching to 3-4 defenses may help him slide as well.
  • Brandon Pettigrew, TE, OkSt - As the best TE prospect in the draft, he's receiving a lot of attention in mocks as a potential Eagle. Frankly, I don't see it. He had one - one - TD catch his senior year on a team that scored a billion points. I'm not taking a TE in the first round unless he dominated in college, and I don't think the Eagles will either.
  • Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut - As far as a fit with the Eagles' offense, he's the second-best back. Could probably trade down 5 slots and still get him, if there are any takers.
  • Larry English, DE, Northern Illinois - An absolutely dominant pass-rusher in college with strong measurables. At 274 lbs, he's got the size to play DE on first and second down and could possibly switch inside on third. Needs to spend some time in the weight room (only 24 reps) but that's easily fixed.
  • Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut - With DeSean Jackson assuming full-time #1WR duties, don't expect him to be returning kicks as often as he did last year. That would make Butler a possibility, who not only has the skills to become an elite corner, but would make an immediate impact in the return game as well. Sheldon's Brown insane rumblings (the guy is 30, never been to a Pro Bowl, has 14 career picks, and thinks someones going to pay him more than $5/year? dream on) only increase the chance of a high pick being used on a corner.

Notice the position conspicuous by its absence on this list - WR. Beyond Crabtree and Maclin, there isn't a WR in this draft I'd waste a first-round pick on. There are lots of top-of-the-second-round talents like Kenny Britt, Hakeem Nicks, and Percy Harvin that would be useful, but don't expect the Eagles to reach for any of them early. Unless someone of great value falls into their lap, expect them to take a mid-round WR who can contribute in the return game (Derrick Williams, maybe?)


At 4:36 PM, Blogger millhousethecat said...

One thing they won't do ---- support my husband by using his product.

At 4:16 PM, Blogger Sweet Tea said...

But, they are still in negotiations. Don't you have any faith in the Dan Fuck?


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