Saturday, April 30, 2011

4 Round Knockout

[Posted by Jake]

I confess. I am an unrepentant draftnik. This year I even caught a break with the royal wedding. The wife, who typically harrumphs and complains about the family room being turned into a draft war room, went frolicking down the street Friday at 4AM to a neighbor's, in her pajamas and tiara, to celebrate the nuptials of William and Kate. Kind of hard to make the case about the questionable worth of the NFL draft when you're wrapped up in the nuances of royal wedding dresses and Anglo hat fashion.

But I diverge. If there's anything that can get me over my enjoyment of the draft, it's the Eagles' attitude and picks. Only halfway through the 4th round and already I am so sick and tired of these guys, who can't win the big game, telling us how they're the smartest guys in the league.

Does it really make sense to draft a 27 year-old rookie lineman, Danny Watkins, when the team's longstanding practice is to not re-sign any player over 30? I get it that he's a hard-nosed, blue collar sort, but what's a matter with getting an impact player with your first pick? An offensive guard has to be cohesive with the rest of the line. By design, he can't be an impact player.

Meanwhile, a big, strong, fast cornerback is sitting there, just waiting to line up opposite Asante. But no, he had an underage drinking violation two years ago and the Gold Standard Eagles don't select guys with "character issues", whatever that has to do with winning. Actually though, as soon as we saw Jimmy Smith sitting on his couch next to Drew Rosenthal, we knew the Eagles weren't picking him. Not that Jeffrey and Joe hold a grudge or anything.

Second round, it's more of the same. Despite a defense that's too small and too lacking in playmakers, the Eagles take a safety out of Temple, Jaiquawn Jarrett, who isn't even 200 lbs. I'm just as happy as the next guy to see a local kid make good, but come on. Andy wants to sell on us on a guy who will line up as the smallest safety in the NFC East as a "Big Hitter". And just to throw some salt in the wound, he ran a pedestrian 4.65 in the 40, not the speed that could compensate for an undersized safety.

In the meantime, the rival Giants got an impact corner in the first round and a beast of a defensive tackle in the second round, despite his "character issues". I know I'll feel better when the Giants are kicking our butts next year, that our team has more Boy Scouts than they do.

But not to worry. In the third round, the Eagles struck gold...NOT. Despite still working the draft's earlier rounds, the hometown brain trust decided it was a good time to trade down and pick a project. The kid, Curtis Marsh, has NFL bloodlines and potential, but who in their right mind thinks our present cast of cornerbacks is good enough now? How does a project in the third round, for a team that has so many needs, demonstrate Super Bowl commitment?

Maybe the Eagles are just sleeping through this draft. They've got so much money under the cap that they're just going to go out and buy whatever they need on the free agent market. After all, Jeffrey Lurie can only make so many liberal documentaries.

This just in...Eagles trade back in the fourth round to pick (drum roll please) another small and slow defensive player. That's it, I'm done. I'm just giving in and going to watch royal wedding videos.


Blogger Spencerblog said...

Heh. A tiara, huh?

April 30, 2011 at 3:04 PM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

Eagles got a guard who can start right away - O-Line, especially on the right side, was awful in 2010 - remember why Kolb got the concussion? Add Watkins to a Guard spot and Howard Mudd and the Line should be much improved. I take his drafting as a "win now" move in lieu of another 1st round project.

I LOVE the Jarrett pick. I've been watching him for four years, he's a tough SOB who will make the opposing offense pay. I wouldn't worry about his weight - Dawkins was around the same coming out of college. Jarrett started all four years and was a part of those 2007-2008 TU teams where only the defense kept things competitive. Also, I'm sick of this "he could have been picked up later" bullcrap - as if we have actual knowledge of that! Kiper had him ranked as the second best safety in the whole draft, Walterfootball had him going in the second round.

I can't say much on Curtis Marsh - he has speed and he's over 6' tall - which reminds me of the days of Taylor and Vincent. Lets just hope he pans out - my feeling is that the Eagles will be players in Free Agency for a RCB.

May 2, 2011 at 8:48 AM 
Blogger jake said...

Nobody would be more happy than me to see this draft turn out some All-Pros. But it's not likely.

The Sporting News gave the Eagles draft a C-, the worst grade in the NFC East.

According to ESPN's ratings, you could have drafted roughly the same positions with more highly regarded talent:
Gabe Carimi over Watkins, Plus 2
Brandon Harris CB over Jarrett, Plus 7
Chris Conte S over Marsh, Plus 13
That's a huge 22 point difference.

Dawkins was a second team All-American, which is a little more accomplished than Jarrett's first team All-MAC. Despite those national credentials, Dawkins was drafted later than Jarrett.

If the Eagles do as expected and let Mikell walk, then Jarrett will be playing strong safety. At Temple, he played free safety. Typically a free safety is smaller and faster than the strong safety. Jarrett will be switched to a position in the NFL that will highlight his physical limitations.

The Eagles defense is undersized and they failed to draft anybody to address this problem.

May 2, 2011 at 5:49 PM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

22 point spread? Jake, I think you're reading those draft guides like they're Gospel. Please don't tell me you were stressing out when mock drafts were showing Gabe Carimi to the Colts one pick ahead of the Eagles! Sit down, have a fresca and take a deep breath, all is not lost.

If the Eagles, specifically Reid and Howard Mudd, thought Carimi was a better pick than Danny Watkins, they would have done so. Besides, aren't the best OT's usually gone within the first 15 picks? This was a strange draft in that the best OT went at #11 to Dallas - its a premium position, just under QB.

Jarrett and Allen will be a great combo and I hope to see the two of them in that backfield for a good decade - Jarrett crushing people in the short game while Allen's covering centerfield - play to their strengths. Also, RE: MAC - they may not be College Superstars but they're the quality players that bring home titles. Look at the most recent Super Bowl and tell me what conference had the most players represented?

I think the Eagles are going to push hard in FA for a RCB, which is why they weren't going to pick up a rookie this year in the first round. RE: Marsh - they guy needs more technique training but he's a six footer (Reminds me of the glorious Vincent/Taylor Days) and has speed - the talent alone has me intrigued.

May 4, 2011 at 8:45 AM 

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