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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Evaluating the Philadelphia Eagles 2012 Draft 1 year later

ROUND 1
Pick 1: Fletcher Cox DT, Mississippi State
Cox had a very solid rookie season.  He finished the season with 39 tackles and 5.5 sacks, which are good numbers for a DT.  He showed the ability to play in all facets which made him such a high draft pick.  The Eagles need him to be the leader of their young defense, and so far so good.

ROUND 2
Pick 46: Mychal Kendricks LB, California
Kendricks was thought to be a big of a project with a really high upside.  He was known to be a very athletic linebacker, but not overwhelmed opponent in college, though he did show good production.  Some people graded his second round selection as a reach, but it turns out that the Eagle may have known something that the rest of us didn't.

Kendricks finished the season with 75 tackles, with 5 sacks, and is at the top of the depth chart at one of the OLB spots for the Eagles.

2 picks, 2 starters

Pick 59: Vinny Curry DE, Marshall
Curry was a disappointment in his rookie season.

He was a healthy scratch until week 12 and finished with 9 tackles and 0 sacks.  There is potential here, but Curry has to work his up the depth chart or this will be a wasted pick.

ROUND 3
Pick 88: Nick Foles QB, Arizona
Foles got to sit behind Michael Vick for the first 9 weeks and showed well in his opportunity late in the season.  He did make some mistakes, as will be expected of a rookie thrown into the fire late in the season, but stood tall and delivered the ball well. 

He has the arm to make all the throws, showed some touch, and has enough athleticism to survive in the pocket.  He even showed glimpses of escapability which is somewhat surprising in a man his size.  It is less surprising for him as he was recruited to play big-time college basketball as well as football, so you expect him to have good feet.

Regardless, you have to lose a rookie QB who can manage a positive TD/Int ratio and throw for an average of around 250 after being thrown in for the starter.  Hell, I would be happy to get that from any backup QB.  If you take out his low stat game against Carolina where he only threw for 119, the stats are even better. 

Foles is either the QB of the future, or a great chip for the Eagles to flip for value to restock their team.  With Vick's injury history, I expect him to be the former, but it will depend on what offers they get.

ROUND 4
Pick 123: Brandon Boykin CB, Georgia
Boykin did a solid job of covering the slot for the Eagles in his rookie season, seeing more of the field as the season went on.

He is a very agile player who can be useful as a blitzer.  It remains to be seen if he can be more than just a 'guy', but I expect to see more of him on the field for the Eagles over the next few years.  He also has the potential to get some snaps at safety, which is a spot that the Eagles need some help.

ROUND 5
Pick 153: Dennis Kelly OT, Purdue
Kelly stated the last 10 games for the Eagles, moving between filling in a Guard and Right Tackle.  His pick was a bit of a surprise and looked like a project, but they got very good value out of him. 

He is currently slotted as the primary backup at Right Tackle behind Todd Herremans.

ROUND 6
Pick 194: Marvin McNutt WR, Iowa
McNutt didn't do much as a rookie.  He didn't see the field until the last few weeks of the season and didn't catch a ball. 

The question is whether it was because of him, or because of the quality of the depth chart above him.  This is an area of strength for the Eagles, but he needs to do work to stick.

Pick 200: Brandon Washington OG, Miami
Washington did not make the Eagles roster, which was very surprising for a player with his athletic ability. 

He is currently on the roster for the Rams, which is a great gamble for them.  He could be a tremendous upgrade, and I am surprised that the Eagles didn't try to trade him.

This was a wasted pick.

ROUND 7
Pick 229: Bryce Brown RB, Kansas State
Brown has been a bit of a rolling stone in the football world, after being a top recruit out of Wichita Kansas.  His talent was never in question though.  He is a big back, with speed, who can catch the ball. 

He showed that potential late in the season when Shady McCoy went down.  He had some problems with fumbles, but finished his rookie season with 564 yards and 4 TD's.  A great value in the 7th round.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS


Matt Reynolds OT, BYU Reynolds was originally signed by Carolina after the draft, and did not play for the Eagles.  He was a well-regarded prospect coming out of a pass-heavy BYU offense though, and depth at Tackle is a need for the Eagles.  This is a low risk move, which could prove to very smart.

He may project better at Guard due to his size, but I will be surprised if he is not on the roster for 2013.

Ryan Rau LB, Portland State
Ray finished season slotted as second on depth chart at OLB.  His rookie season was not statistically significant, but he is another piece of depth for a young Eagles defense. 

I consider any RFA who is on the roster all season to be a win.

Chris Polk RB, Washington
Polk was a solid pickup after a productive career at Washington.  The Eagles signed him as insurance for the Bryce Brown pick, and that insurance ended up to not be needed.  He did see time early in the season, but was not statistically significant.

Damaris Johnson WR, Tulsa
Johnson was a projected high draft pick before off-field items hurt his draft stock.  The Eagles brought him in to give him a chance.  He made the most of that chance, finishing his season with 256 yards.

I recognize that those are not overwhelming numbers, but this is a loaded corp of receivers.  Getting snaps and targets in this offense is no small feat.

SUMMARY

This was a pretty good draft for the Eagles.  They didn't miss much, and found multiple starters and future starters in this league.  Most importantly, they found good depth and talent for a defense that needed it.  It's difficult to give an A to teams that have misses, but stealing playings like Damaris Johnson and Matt Reynolds outside the draft gives this a solid B/B+ value.



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