At the end of the day, there’s not too much to critique about the Eagles draft. They did what they needed to do. They addressed their main problems from last season by taking nine defensemen in their 13 picks (their first five and six of their first eight). Andy Reid and Howie Roseman practically revamped their defensive line (three DE’s and one DT) and added a few key players to their secondary (two safeties and one cornerback) and linebacker core (three).
Even though I was a bit skeptical at first, articles about safety Nate Allen (South Florida) swayed me with the pick. Apparently former Eagle J.R. Reed has worked with Allen first-hand and gave the Eagles insight into his talent and ability to fill Brian Dawkins’ old role at safety. Allen’s numbers were best during his senior season (4 interceptions and 55 tackles) despite only playing seven games for the Bulls. In order to fill that void, Allen will have to beat out Macho Harris, Quintin Demps and Marlin Jackson.
I also like the decision to go with Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. He was a force for Washington during his collegiate career, notching 11 sacks on the season and 30 ½ during his four years (school record). He is a bit undersized, but he had a great outing during his combine: second-fastest in the 3-cone drill and third-best 20-yard shuttle at his position.
Although once considered a first round draft pick in 2009, Kentucky’s Trevard Lindley missed most of his senior season with a high ankle sprain. He played in 48 games, totaling 10 interceptions, 189 tackles, 44 pass break-ups and three fumble recoveries while earning first-team All-SEC honors as a junior in 2008. If his health is not a major concern, this might have been a good steal for the Eagles at the cornerback position.
One of the best defensive picks in my opinion was Ricky Sapp. The former Clemson Tiger is reckless and compiled 16 sacks and 160 tackles during his four years. He could be a big help to pass protection because one of his biggest strengths is getting to the quarterback. The only big concern is his history of an ACL tear during his junior season in college.
On the offensive side of the ball, the front office selected Mike Kafka (QB: Northwestern), Clay Harbor (TE: Missouri State), Riley Cooper (WR: Florida), and Charles Scott (RB: LSU). Kafka will be a solid third string option behind Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick. He had a great senior year for the Wildcats and led them to a 8-4 record with 16 touchdown passes.
Wide receiver Riley Cooper had a standout senior season for the Gators. Despite only racking in 535 yards and nine touchdowns in his first three seasons, Cooper became Tim Tebow’s favorite target last season and finished with 961 yards and nine touchdowns. He has good height at 6-3, which will help him standout during training camp as he competes for the four and five spots on the depth chart.
For a look at scouting reports for the other draft picks, click here.
The only main issue I had with the Eagles draft was the lack of attention toward the offensive line. Even though scouts say offensive linemen are the hardest to draft, I still think the Eagles should have focused on bulking up their line after a treacherous 2009 season. Considering Kevin Kolb has yet to prove himself as a quarterback that can throw the ball 40 times a game, shouldn’t the Eagles focus on giving him and the running game a little protection? I’m sure the Eagles will sign a number of undrafted offensive linemen in the next few weeks before mini camps begin, but will that solve the problems? I’m not saying I disliked the defensive mentality in the draft, but I do think the Eagles are forgetting how little their offense was able to do at some points during last season.
Now we wait and see if any of these draft picks become DeSean Jackson’s or Trent Cole’s.