After my week off due to exams, I will continue my ON THE CLOCK Draft Analysis. With only 2 teams remaining, I will analyze the Eagles draft today and the Buffalo Bills draft tomorrow.
NEEDS ENTERING THE DRAFT: FS, DE (Depth), LB, OT, CB
STRENGTHS ENTERING THE DRAFT: RB, WR, TE
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES PICKS:
1st Round: Brandon Graham – DE Michigan
2nd Round:Nate Allen- FS South Florida
3rd Round: Daniel Te’o-Neishem- DE Washington
4th Round: Trevard Lindley- CB Kentucky
4th Round: Keenan Clayton- LB Oklahoma
4th Round: Mike Kafka- QB Northwestern
4th Round: Clay Harbor- TE Missouri State
5th Round: Ricky Sapp- DE Clemson
5th Round: Riley Cooper- WR Florida
6th Round: Charles Scott- RB LSU
7th Round: Jamar Chaney- LB Mississippi State
7th Round: Jeff Owens- DT Georgia
7th Round: Kurt Coleman- S Ohio State
The Eagles were a playoff team last year that surprisingly had a lot of needs entering the draft. With the departure Sheldon Brown, in addition to an already shaky defense, the Eagles needed to build on defense through the draft. The offense will have incumbent Kevin Kolb start at quarterback this season, and the rest of the offense has few holes. Therefore, the Eagles focused heavily on defense, as the first 5 picks were defensive players.
With 13 picks in this year’s draft, the Eagles took steps to address almost all the needs. Each of the first 5 picks of the draft addressed key needs for the team. In the 1st Round, the pick of Brandon Graham appeared to be a reach at the 13th overall pick, especially considering the team moved up to make that pick, and Safety Earl Thomas from Texas was still on the board. That would have been my pick at that point. However, the Eagles addressed the gaping hole at Free Safety in the 2nd Round by drafting of Nate Allen from South Florida.
The picks of Keenan Clayton (LB) and Trevard Lindley (CB) were also important in terms of developing the weak spots in the defense. The Eagles also did a good job of drafting depth at the Defensive End position, as the team took 3 DE’s to account for the uncertain future at the position within the organization. The team was already weak at Defensive End, and the long term future of Pro-Bowler Trent Cole is uncertain. Therefore, the drafting of multiple DE’s was very important for the Eagles.
Finally, a potential steal is RB Charles Scott of LSU in the 6th Round. A 4 year contributor for LSU, Scott has shown the ability to run tough in the defensive laden SEC. With some development by the Eagles organization, in future years Scott could provide a good balance in the running game with current Running Back LeSean McCoy.
MY GRADE: B+ Could have been an A- or an A, but the fact that the team moved up to the 13th pick to make a reach for Brandon Graham when Earl Thomas was still on the board dumbfounds me. They could have waited and saved a pick to get Graham, or they could have picked an elite Safety in Earl Thomas when moving up as the team did in the First Round.