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Grading the Eagles Prior Drafts


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I always thought one of the more ridiculous things somebody can do is assign draft grades to a team.  So I thought I'd go back in time and see how some of the team's prior drafts were graded.  (For context, I'm getting buggy stuck at home without a lot of work coming in).  As you could imagine, the draft graders didn't grade out so well.  Let's start with 2010 and work up from there.  We'll post draft grades assigned in later years in replies below:

Here is BGN summary of the different grades assigned right after the drat:


Philadelphia Eagles 2010 NFL draft grades

By JasonB Apr 26, 2010, 9:40am EDT

As soon as the draft ends, the question becomes "How did we do?" The real answer to that question obviously won't come for several years, but in the meantime we try to guess anyway by giving out grades. Some of these guys base those grades on whether a team addressed a need, some on the perceived "value" of a pick, some on the quality of the players, and some on the volume of players and trades. They don't really mean much right now, but they're fun to look at anyway. Good news for us, the experts seem to really like the Eagles draft. If there's any more grades out there that you've found feel free to put them in the comments. Listed below are mostly the heavy hitters.

Fox Sports - B
The Eagles gave up a lot to move up in the first round to take Michigan pass rusher Brandon Graham (pictured), who was a dominant performer in the Big Ten. Andy Reid is hoping that second-round pick Nate Allen of South Florida can shore up the safety position, but he’s not an intimidator like Brian Dawkins was for this franchise

Rob Rang CBS Sports - B
An indication of just how active the Philadelphia Eagles were on draft day is that of the 13 picks they made, only the 121st overall, outside linebacker Keenan Clayton, was an original Eagles selection. A year after spending great resources on improving the playmaking ability of their offense, the Eagles spent their first two days of the draft re-stocking their defense.

Mel Kiper ESPN - B+
he Eagles were positioned well to take advantage of a deep draft, and they did, piling up seven productive picks between the third and fifth rounds. But Philly started well too. In Brandon Graham they have a potential Rookie of the Year on defense. They filled a need at safety with Nate Allen, and I like Trevard Lindley in the fourth. He has second-round ability. Ricky Sapp may be a tweener, but getting a guy who can get to the quarterback like he can in the fifth round is good value. He could be a solid situational pass-rusher early in his career. Riley Cooper is quicker than many people think to go with above-average size.

Rick Gosselin Dallas Morning News - C
Graham was the most polished pass rusher in this draft. The Eagles also had the best fourth round. Harbor gives QB Kevin Kolb a move tight end in the Dallas Clark mold, and Kafka gives Andy Reid insurance at quarterback. Grade C (FYI most teams got a C)

Paul Domowich Philly.com - A-
Graham and Allen should help a defense that gave up 27 TD passes last season. Added more speed at LB, but didn’t get a corner until the fourth round. Grade: A-minus

USA Today - B-
They had an NFL-high 13 picks, and just one of the choices was an original selection. Not so typical: The Eagles didn't pick an O-lineman, breaking an Andy Reid pattern and more stunning considering how the Dallas Cowboys manhandled the front at season's end. But this was about a defense that slipped in 2009. The first five picks were used for the defense, including a first-round trade-up for end Brandon Graham and second-round pick of cover safety Nate Allen.

Sporting News - B+
They had to improve their defense and went all out to do it. They traded up to get pass rusher Brandon Graham, and safety Nate Allen could start right away. They also might have gotten a late-round steal in wide receiver Riley Cooper. Overall, a nice job.

Pete Prisco CBS Sports - A+
You look up and down their draft board and it's full of really good players. They had a lot of picks and the Eagles really did a nice job with them. That shouldn't be surprising.

NFL Draft Insider - A-
Analysis: Even after trading with the Seattle Seahawks for Darryl Tapp, the Eagles felt they needed to address the defensive end position. Brandon Graham entered the draft competing to be the first pass rusher taken. Despite not being very tall or having long arms, Graham was extremely productive at Michigan. As well as being an excellent pass rusher, Graham is very strong against the run.

NFLDraftScout.com - A+
You look up and down their draft board and it's full of really good players. They had a lot of picks and the Eagles really did a nice job with them. That shouldn't be surprising. Grade: A+

Pro Football Weekly - A-
While completely retooling the roster, the Eagles easily landed four starters and found a lot of quality depth, although the jury remains out on the decision to deal McNabb.

I'll continue to update this thread as more grades come in.

Here is Bleacher - 2 years removed.


Philadelphia Eagles: Grading the Team's 2010 Draft Two Years Later

Cody Swartz

May 2, 2012

The Philadelphia Eagles are two years removed from the 2010 NFL draft, and it’s a good time to look back and see the progress the team made with the selections they had in the April draft. Andy Reid began the draft in his typical fashion—trading up to select a defensive lineman—and using enough picks to select 13 different players in all.


1 of 13

The Philadelphia Eagles traded up in the draft and selected Brandon Graham, a stud defensive end out of the University of Michigan. Graham was a phenomenal high school football player, running a 4.43 40-yard dash in his senior year of high school while earning distinction as the best high school football player in the state of Michigan. He was an All-American in college, and the hope was that he would combine with Trent Cole to give the Eagles a dynamic pass-rushing combination off the edge.

Graham progressed slowly in his rookie campaign, picking up just three sacks in 13 games before tearing his ACL. Graham began 2011 on the PUP list and made little to no impact when he finally returned, dressing for just three games and failing to record a sack. The general consensus among fans and experts is that Graham is a bust; while two years and a serious injury are far too little time to determine whether a player is a bust, Graham has not produced, and he needs to have a big season in 2012.

I think Graham might be best utilized as a 3-4 pass-rushing outside linebacker given his frame, but that’s not going to happen in the Eagles defense. Graham is helped by a slew of talented pass-rushing teammates in Cole, Jason Babin, Fletcher Cox, Cullen Jenkins and second-round pick Vinny Curry. Graham just needs to put it together and emerge as a playmaker on defense.

*Note: Graham’s grade of an F in no way means I think he will never make it. He might turn into a Pro Bowler, and he might not. But at this point in his career, two seasons in from being an upper first-round pick, his grade is a straight-up F.

Grade: F


Nate Allen, S, South Florida (2nd Round, 37th-Overall Pick)

2 of 13

Nate Allen headed into his rookie season as the team’s starter when Marlin Jackson tore his ACL in mini-camps, and he had a fantastic start to his NFL career. Allen intercepted a pass in his first two games and three in his first four games, winning NFC Defensive Rookie of the Month honors for September.

Allen played well in pass coverage before tearing his patella tendon in December. The injury carried over to 2011, as Allen struggled early before playing well down the stretch. He held opposing quarterbacks to just a 48.8 passer rating, picking off two passes, and he didn’t commit a single penalty in 770 defensive snaps.

I don’t think enough people realize just how good Allen has been for the Eagles in his two seasons. With all due respect to Kurt Coleman—a good football player who gives it his all every snap—Allen is not the problem for the Eagles. Coleman is. He’s just better suited as a backup.

Grade: B+


Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, DE, Washington (3rd Round, 86th-Overall Pick)

3 of 13

This goes down as one of the worst draft picks of the Andy Reid Era. Daniel Te’o-Nesheim was a stretch as a third-round pick out of the University of Washington, and he made absolutely no impact for the Philadelphia Eagles. Te’o-Nesheim was your typical Reid draft pick—an undersized defensive end with a high motor.

He registered just two tackles and one sack in 2010 before he was mercifully released from the team in training camp in 2011. Te’o-Nesheim signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers afterwards—remarkable that he found a new team—but his damage to the Eagles was enough to give him an F.

Grade: F


Trevard Lindley, CB, Kentucky (4th Round, 105th-Overall Pick)

4 of 13

Trevard Lindley spent his rookie campaign buried on the Philadelphia Eagles’ depth chart, seeing action in 11 games while registering just 18 tackles and one interception. He was released prior to 2011, but then was re-signed after the season. He will enter next season with the opportunity to compete with Brandon Hughes and several other players for the final cornerback spot.

Grade: C


Keenan Clayton, LB, Oklahoma (4th Round, 121st-Overall Pick)

5 of 13

Keenan Clayton has spent the last two seasons as a member of the linebacker corps, seeing action at all three positions as a strong side, weak side and middle linebacker.

Clayton appeared in 112 snaps on defense in 2010 and 156 in 2011, and he probably won’t see much more action in 2012 with DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks having joined the team.

Grade: C


Mike Kafka, QB, Northwestern (4th Round, 122nd-Overall Pick)

6 of 13

The Philadelphia Eagles spent a fourth-round draft pick on Mike Kafka, taking a chance on a player who had a strong senior season at Northwestern University. Kafka is limited by his physical tools, although he is a near-genius with his ability to learn the playbook and master the West Coast offense. He will see extensive competition next season for the back-up quarterback position in 2012, going up against new draft pick Nick Foles and free-agent acquisition Trent Edwards.

Kafka has struggled when he has seen the field, throwing two interceptions among 16 passes in 2011 and posting a 47.7 passer rating when he filled in for an injured Michael Vick.

Grade: C+


Clay Harbor, TE, SW Missouri State (4th Round, 125th-Overall Pick)

7 of 13

The NFL has now gone to a new two-tight end revolution, and the hope is that Clay Harbor can serve as a good complement to Brent Celek. Harbor has taken limited snaps in two seasons on the Philadelphia Eagles, totaling just 22 receptions for 235 yards and two touchdowns since the team spent a fourth-round draft pick on him in 2010.

Harbor hasn’t taken the next step to becoming a productive tight end yet, but he could still take that leap.

Grade: C+


Ricky Sapp, DE, Clemson (5th Round, 134th-Overall Pick)

8 of 13

The Philadelphia Eagles spent a fifth-round pick on Ricky Sapp, so it’s not as if he was supposed to be the next Reggie White. Sapp spent his rookie season on Injured Reserve and then was waived the following training camp. He signed briefly with the New York Jets, but never saw action in an official game.

Grade: D


Riley Cooper, WR, Florida (5th Round, 159th-Overall Pick)

9 of 13

Riley Cooper has been a disappointment in the two seasons in which he has been a part of the Philadelphia Eagles, but I do give him credit for lasting this long as just a fifth-round pick. Cooper did catch 16 passes for 315 yards and a touchdown in 2011; not bad numbers from a fourth receiver.

He will have a much tougher job making the Eagles in 2012 with the addition of sixth-round draft pick Marvin McNutt, but Cooper could come back as the fifth receiver.

Grade: C+


Charles Scott, RB, LSU (6th Round, 200th-Overall Pick)

10 of 13

The Philadelphia Eagles traded Charles Scott in training camp of his rookie season, sending him to the Arizona Cardinals for sixth-round draft pick Jorrick Calvin. Scott hasn’t taken an official snap in the NFL, and he probably won’t ever at this point.

Grade: Incomplete


Jamar Chaney, LB, Mississippi State (7th Round, 220th-Overall Pick)

11 of 13

Jamar Chaney has been one of the best seventh-round picks of the Philadelphia Eagles during Andy Reid’s career. He didn’t play much as a rookie before breaking into the starting lineup when Stewart Bradley dislocated his elbow against the Dallas Cowboys.

Chaney played so well in his first start—a Week 16 game against the New York Giants—that NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger called him one of the top 10 middle linebackers in the league. Chaney racked up 16 tackles, including one for a loss, and helped hold Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw to just 100 ground yards.

Chaney struggled a lot in 2011, failing to solidify the middle linebacker position. He was torched in pass coverage and didn’t help much in the running game, proving to be one of the biggest problems for a defense that was otherwise excellent last year.

He will likely step into 2012 as a backup, considering the Eagles have added DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks, and Brian Rolle will be a likely starter at the outside linebacker position, but Chaney should provide depth off the bench as a nickel linebacker in passing situations.

Grade: B


Jeff Owens, DT, Georgia (7th Round, 243rd-Overall Pick)

12 of 13

Jeff Owens saw very little playing time in his rookie campaign, seeing three snaps before rupturing his left patellar tendon so badly that he failed his physical seven months later. Considering Owens is now coaching defensive line for a high school football team, he is likely done with his NFL career.

Grade: C


Kurt Coleman, S, Ohio State (7th Round, 244th-Overall Pick)

13 of 13

Andy Reid got two pretty solid defensive players with his seventh round picks in 2010—first Jamar Chaney and then Kurt Coleman. Coleman is slated to go into 2012 as the starting strong safety. He’s probably best suited as a backup, but Coleman has done admirable considering most seventh-round picks don’t make the team coming out of their rookie training camp.

Grade: B+



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2011 was a real clusterF.  The only good player drafted was Jason Kelce.  Let's see how good the graders graded for 2011:

Here are Bleacher grades right after the draft:


NFL Draft 2011 Results: Grading the Philadelphia Eagles Draft Round-by-Round

Mike BurkeMay 1, 2011


NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) poses for a photo with Danny Watkins, #22 overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles, on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chri
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The 2011 NFL Draft is over.  We had three days of football action, and now it's uncertain as to the next time we'll be able to see anymore football action.  So for the time being, we have to cling to the draft as much as we can.

For the second year in a row, the Eagles walked away with a large draft class.  They made 13 selections in 2010 and followed it up with 11 more this year.  Many players out of last year's large draft class contributed as rookies.  We'd like to see the same thing out of this year's draft class, but we'll have to wait awhile to see how things pan out.

In the meantime, we can only imagine how they will fit into the system when the season begins.  After three days of drafting, here is how I rate the Eagles draft by each round.


First Round

1 of 8


NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Danny Watkins, #22 overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Selection: Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor

As usual, the first round of the NFL Draft was pretty interesting.  Many players were picked higher than expected, and in turn, other players fell down the board.  The Eagles could have made a play for some of the players that were falling, but they held tight at 23.  I found this a bit odd because the Eagles always seem to move around in the first round.

However, I believe they knew who they wanted coming into the first round and felt confident that he would be available without having to make a move for him.  This man was offensive guard Danny Watkins.  The pick was a bit surprising, but not overly surprising considering the need at the position and the fact that they didn't draft a single offensive lineman last year.

As I just mentioned, there was definitely a need at this position, and Watkins should be able to step in and start at right guard from day one.  He might not start training camp running with the starters, but I expect him to be there by the end of camp and in the starting lineup opening day.

At 26 years old, Watkins is a mature player with a hard work ethic that should develop well under offensive line coach Howard Mudd. 

Grade: B+


Second Round

2 of 8



Selection: Jaiquawn Jarrett, S, Temple

This pick was a bit of a surprise to me.  It could also serve as an indicator that the Eagles don't plan on re-signing Quintin Mikell when free agency opens.  However, Jarrett has been given some high grades from scouts and is no stranger to playing football at Lincoln Financial Field.

Although he's considered to be undersized, Jarrett is known as being a big hitter and a guy that's not afraid to make contact.  Andy Reid noted that Jarrett is a bit like Brian Dawkins in the way that he delivers hits on ball carriers.  This doesn't mean that Jarrett will be just like Dawkins, but it's nice praise for a guy coming out of college.

Jarrett is known as a very instinctive player who is able to position himself well to make plays despite not having incredible speed.  He spent a lot of time starting while he was at Temple and was a leader on their defense.

I'm surprised the Eagles went for a safety this early, but Jarrett is very athletic and should be able to develop into a solid player.

Grade: B-


Third Round

3 of 8



Selection: Curtis Marsh, CB, Utah State

Everyone expected the Eagles to take a corner in this year's draft, but it was a bit of a surprise that they waited until the third round to do so.  It was also a bit surprising that they took Marsh, a guy who played two seasons at running back before making the switch to corner.

However, Marsh displayed a lot of upside in his two seasons at the position.  What I like most about him is his ability to play physical.  To me, any guy who the Eagles want to line up opposite of Asante Samuel has to have the ability to be physical.

Marsh showed that he can do this in college but also has the ability to play off the receivers and close quickly with his 4.4 speed.  He's versatile but still has a lot to learn about the position.

He earned All-WAC honors as a senior and was sixth in the nation in passes defended.  It's likely that the Eagles will look for a starting corner in free agency, but Marsh could challenge for the nickel corner position as a rookie and work his way into a starting position down the line.

Grade: B-


Fourth Round

4 of 8


SEATTLE - OCTOBER 24:  Quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies passes under pressure from Casey Matthews #55 of the Oregon Ducks on October 24, 2009 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Selections: Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon; Alex Henery, K, Nebraska

The third day of the draft started in the fourth round and was the first round that the Eagles had multiple selections in a round.  I think they did very well in the fourth round.

They started by taking Casey Matthews, brother of the very dominant Clay Matthews.  However, Casey let it be known that he doesn't want to be referred to as Clay's little brother.  He's ready to make a name for himself in the NFL, and I think he has the ability to do so.

As an Eagle, I don't think he'll be able to crack the starting lineup as a rookie.  However, he's a relentless guy that should be a solid contributor right away on special teams and could be used in passing situations on defense.  He has the ability to rush the quarterback and run with tight ends, so it'll be interesting to see if Juan Castillo plugs him in on third downs.

The other fourth round selection came as a surprise, but looks like a very solid pick.  Henery was the best kicker in college, and with David Akers deciding not to sign the transition tag the Eagles placed on him, it looks like he'll be leaving Philly.

Henery has a tremendous leg, and you don't use a fourth round pick on a kicker if you don't expect him to come in and take the job.

Grade: A-


Fifth Round

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CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 04:  Dion Lewis #28 of the Pittsburgh Panthers runs with the ball during the Big East Conference game against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium on December 4, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Pittsburgh won 28-10.  (Photo by A
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Selections: Dion Lewis, RB, Pittsburgh; Julian Vandervelde, OG, Iowa

The Eagles had multiple picks again in the fifth round of the draft and added two offensive players.

Before the draft, the Eagles worked out a number of running backs who projected as mid-round selections.  Lewis was not a guy they brought in for a workout, but they chose to take another running back out of Pittsburgh.

Like LeSean McCoy, Lewis draws concerns about his size coming out of college but has shown the ability to make big plays.  He's a very solid runner despite his small stature and also has shown that he can catch balls out of the backfield. 

McCoy bulked up after his rookie season, and it worked out very well for him.  I expect Lewis to do the same thing, hopefully before he comes in as a rookie.  Lewis will need to work on his pass blocking, much like Shady did, but I think McCoy will be a good mentor for him, as they both hail from the same school.

With their second selection in the fifth round, the Eagles took Vandervelde to add some depth to the guard position.  The Eagles have some free agents at the position, and it looks like some backup roles will be available.

Vandervelde will try to fit into one of these roles.  However, he has already voiced the fact that he wants to come in and be a starter and will fight until he is.  You have to like that type of attitude, and I'm sure the Eagles definitely do.

Grade: B


Sixth Round

6 of 8


COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 25:  Brian Rolle #36 of the Ohio State Buckeyes defends against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Ohio Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  Ohio State won 73-20. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Selections: Jason Kelce, C, Cincinnati; Brian Rolle, LB, Ohio State

The Eagles kicked off their sixth round by adding more depth to the offensive line.  They did this by adding Kelce, a guy who originally walked on to Cincinnati as a linebacker.  However, after his freshmen season, he moved to guard.  After two years there, he finished his career by playing center as a senior.

We know that the Eagles love offensive linemen who have the ability to play multiple positions, and Kelce will likely have to learn the center and guard spot for the Birds.  At 280 pounds, he'll likely be asked to bulk up a bit, but he has great footwork and did very well as a pulling guard.

With their second pick in the sixth round, the Eagles added another high-motor linebacker.  Out of Ohio State, Rolle was a guy that used his speed and athleticism to make plays all over the field.

Where he lacks in size, Rolle makes up for it by being absolutely relentless.  He can get pushed a round by bigger blockers but will fight like a caged animal to get off blocks.  Like Matthews, he'll struggle to crack the starting lineup but should be able to shine on special teams as a rookie with his non-stop mentality. 

Grade: B-


Seventh Round

7 of 8


PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 09:  Stanley Havili #31 of the USC Trojans runs with the ball during their game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Selections: Greg Lloyd, LB, Connecticut; Stanley Havili, FB, USC

The Eagles ended their draft by adding two more players in the seventh round.

With their first pick in the seventh round, the Eagles selected Greg Lloyd, whose father was a dominant player for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Lloyd has good size and is known to be a guy who will blow up running backs who come through the middle.  The Eagles really lack a scary big hitter, so you have to like the presence that Lloyd brings in.

However, Lloyd was definitely a risky pick for the Birds.  He tore both his ACL and MCL towards the end of his 2009 season, and it caused him to miss significant time in 2010.  In recent years, the Eagles have shown a willingness to take risks on players with knee injuries out of college.  They haven't exactly panned out, so they will hope that Lloyd's injury days are behind him.

With their Mr. Irrelevant pick of the 2011 draft, the Eagles took fullback Stanley Havili.  Although he's listed as a fullback, Havili may be better labeled as an over-sized running back.

Havili isn't your traditional blocking fullback.  Instead, he's more of a situational runner and a guy with a nice set of hands who can catch passes out of the backfield.  I'm sure the Eagles love his pass catching ability, but in a crowded backfield, it's hard to see where Havili fits in.

Grade: C



8 of 8



Overall, the Eagles 2011 draft class definitely has some potential.  Guys like Watkins and Henery look to be players who will come in and start right away.

Outside of those two, they have some players with talent, but we likely won't fully see that talent for a few years.  There are some players who should be able to immediately contribute on special teams, but they will likely see limited time outside of that role.

There may have been some guys who could be considered reaches, but there is definitely a lot of talent in this class that can be developed.  Rookies from last year's class were asked to jump into the starting lineup due to injury, so the players from this class need to be ready at all times.

I'm fairly happy with this class as it stands now, but I think they can definitely impress me even more down the line.

Grade: B

Here's the Foxsports Grade:




Philadelphia Eagles: B-

Draft picks: G Danny Watkins (first round), S Jaiquawn Jarrett (second round), CB Curtis Marsh (third round), LB Casey Matthews (fourth round), K Alex Henery (fourth round), RB Dion Lewis (fifth round), OL Julian Vandervelde (fifth round), C Jason Kelce (sixth round), LB Brian Rolle (sixth round), LB Greg Lloyd (seventh round), FB Stanley Havili (seventh round).

Analysis: The Eagles were able to secure at least three future starters with their first three selections. However, selecting a kicker in the fourth round is a bit questionable.



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2012 was a much better year.

Bleacher does a better job grading this year - but Marvin McNutt at a A - is a joke:



Philadelphia Eagles 2012 NFL Draft Report Card: Grading Every Draft Pick

Randy JobstApril 29, 2012

Andy Reid and company grabbed the 2012 NFL draft by the throat and didn't loosen their grip until their final pick in the seventh round. The Eagles got high marks from several of the NFL draft experts including Mel Kiper Jr. and Adam Schefter.

Not every pick for the Eagles was a need pick, but they were all quality players who will have a very good shot at making the team. They were all good fits for the schemes and most of these nine players will have a shot at making an immediate impact this season.

Andy Reid has taken some criticism recently for some poor drafts. This wasn't one of them. 2011 wasn't either. Ten of the 11 players that were taken in the 2011 draft are projected to make the team this season with only Greg Lloyd Jr. expected not to. He probably spends another year on the practice squad. Technically all 11 could make the Eagles roster in some way this season.

The 2012 draft should yield similar results with at least eight of these players making the team. The only player who might not make the team, running back Bryce Brown, was the highest-rated high school recruit of all the Eagles draft picks.

No doubt this was a stellar draft class that all Eagles fans can agree deserved an "A" overall. Here is a report card on every single Eagles pick from the 2012 NFL draft.

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First Round, Pick 12: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State: "A+"

1 of 9

Fletcher Cox has seen his draft stock rise since this whole draft process was kicked into high gear following the 2011 college football season. He started out as a second-round projection and jumped as high as the favorite for the St. Louis Rams sixth overall selection. Due to some other teams trading up for other picks along with both Luke Kuechly, Ryan Tannehill and Dontari Poe being selected earlier than expected, Cox lasted all the way to the 12th overall pick.

The Eagles traded up with the Seattle Seahawks and it only cost them a fourth-round and sixth-round draft pick. They were able to get the player that was probably the highest player on their board outside of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Trent Richardson.

Cox is the perfect fit for the Eagles wide-nine scheme that defensive line coach Jim Washburn utilizes. He has the best size, athleticism combo of all the defensive linemen in the 2012 draft class. He runs like a defensive end but he looks like a big defensive tackle. He is listed at 295 pounds, but he looks and plays like he is about 315 pounds.

Cox is coming into the perfect situation. The wide-nine will best demonstrate his speed off the line and his ability to get into the backfield in a hurry. He also will get the least attention on the defensive line at times. Think about an obvious passing down where Washburn sends out Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins and Fletcher Cox. The other three players racked up 34.5 sacks last season. Fourteen teams didn't get that many sacks in 2011. Cox will get a lot of one-on-one matchups against the right guard who he will be lining up against in the wide-nine.

Jim Washburn summed up the Fletcher Cox draft pick best when he said  "When God made him, he made him to be in this system right here."


Second Round, Pick 46: Mychal Kendricks, LB, California: "A-"

2 of 9

Luke Kuechly and Mychal Kendricks were the two best prospects coming into the draft at both the MIKE and SAM linebacker spots in the 4-3. The only reason Kuechly was ranked higher was his height. Kendricks is listed at 5'11".

Kendricks ran a faster 40 (4.47) and had a higher vertical jump (39.5) than Kuechly at the combine. There have been very few starting SAM linebacker that were under six feet tall. That is a concern for some people. The key factor to keep in mind regarding Kendricks are his incredible leaping ability make will help him cover tight ends alone in man coverage.

His job will be to make an impact against the run from his strong side spot and cover tight ends all over the field. The Eagles are expected to play primarily man coverage this season. They needed an outside linebacker who can cover tight ends all over the field and they got one.

Kendricks was the Pac-12 defensive player of the year in 2011. He covers the entire field and plays with a real mean streak at linebacker. He is the type of player that Buddy Ryan would have loved in the late 80s and early 90s.

The 2012 NFL draft has completely changed the Eagles linebacking corps. They spent a fourth-round draft pick to acquire Pro Bowl middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans from the Houston Texans. They spent their original second-round draft pick on another solid 4-3 linebacker. Both players are three down linebackers who should play about 99 percent of the defensive snaps in 2012.


Second Round, Pick 59: Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall: "A"

3 of 9

Vinny Curry had the greatest weekend a diehard Eagles fan has ever had in the history of this franchise. Not only did he get drafted by the team he grew up cheering for in Neptune, New Jersey, he got to attend the Brian Dawkins ceremony in Philadelphia last Saturday. I don't think Curry will be able to stop smiling for a long time.

Curry was a standout pass-rusher from Marshall who racked up 49 tackles for loss, 26.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles while at Marshall. He was the key to the defense and received consistent double-teams but still managed to put up incredible numbers on a mediocre team.

He isn't a complete defensive end quite yet. He will struggle in run support early in his NFL career. He needs to put in a situation in his first season where he can just pin his ears back and go after the quarterback. The wide-nine will allow him to do that the majority of the time he is on the field.

The Eagles like to rotate all their defensive linemen for four quarters. Curry will be rotated in primarily on passing downs. He won't get fatigued as much as he did in college. He should play about 40 percent of the snaps with the Eagles which will allow him to go at full speed on ever down without worrying about wearing down.

At the 59th overall pick, this was an incredible value for a players that some experts believed could go as early as late in the first round.


Third Round, Pick 88: Nick Foles, QB, Arizona: "B-"

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Maybe the least popular Eagles draft pick. My knee jerk reaction wasn't favorable. When I watched tape on Foles prior to the draft I saw a player I didn't think was a good fit for the Eagles offense.

Foles had a slower release than you would want in a starting quarterback. He isn't a very mobile quarterback either despite being heavily recruited to play basketball coming out of high school.

I watched more tape on Foles after the selection and I did a complete 180 on the pick. He throws the most accurate deep ball and fade pass in the entire draft outside of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin. His accuracy needs to get more consistent and his composure while under duress isn't good at this point.

Foles is a great project. If Andy Reid can quicken his release and work on his technique a little bit he will become a much more accurate quarterback with a really pretty deep ball. As far as his character goes, he is right up there with Andrew Luck.

I don't know if this was more of a future trade value draft pick, like Kevin Kolb turned out to be, or if Reid expects Foles to be the starting quarterback of the future. I would expect both to be the case. If Vick learns to take care of himself and the football he will be the starting quarterback in Philly for the next four or five seasons.

Foles is a really good project for Reid. He doesn't need a complete makeover on his throwing motion. He isn't a fixer upper that needs about two years of home improvement before the house becomes livable. He just needs some new windows and installation. By 2014, he should be ready to be a very good starting quarterback in the NFL, maybe sooner. Great value in the third round, even if it clearly isn't a need position.


Fourth Round, Pick 123: Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia: "A+"

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The Eagles needed to get a slot corner and a kick return specialist. They got both late in the fourth round. Boykin's lack of size and some injury concerns dropped his value quite a bit. He was projected as high as a late first-round draft pick, but most commonly was seen in the second round in mock drafts, including my final one.

Boykin is fast, quick, physical and demonstrates great ball skills. He is more than a willing tackler as well. He has the complete skill set you want in a slot corner. His lack of height won't matter as much in the slot. As long as he can be physical with the slot receiver at the line and have the quickness to stay with the receiver in man coverage, he will thrive at the position at the next level.

Even if he bombs out as a slot corner, this is still a good pick because of his kick return ability. He had the second most kick return yards in SEC history and also had three 100-yard returns in his college career.

In the fourth round, the Eagles took care of two different needs with one player. That is what you call a value pick.


Fifth Round, Pick 153: Dennis Kelly, OT, Purdue: "B"

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Heading into the fifth round the Eagles didn't have any need that needed to be addressed. They got their slot corner, they got their return specialist. They also got two elite pass-rushers that will fit right into the wide-nine scheme and they also got a starting-caliber outside linebacker.

After the fourth round, every pick from then on was a luxury pick. It was about finding players who could develop into starters down the road. Dennis Kelly is that type of player.

Kelly is a great project for Howard Mudd. He is a staggering 6'8", 321 pounds. The Eagles could have a really physical basketball team along with 6'9" King Dunlap. Kelly is more than just a big body. He has good feet for a mammoth tackle and he moves well laterally.

He has a great deal of upper body strength as he showed at his pro day when he bench pressed 225 pounds 30 times. Mudd will have to turn that big, strong body into a quality pass-protecting left tackle, where he is being projected at.

Worst-case scenario, the Eagles might have the best field-goal blocking team in the league now. They already had King Dunlap lining up as a defensive tackle on the field-goal blocking unit along with one of the fastest players in the NFL, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie coming off the edge. Now they can add Kelly to the middle of that line. There will be no low kicks coming through against the Eagles in 2012.


Sixth Round, Pick 194: Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa: "A-"

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The Eagles got a steal in the sixth round with one of the most polished wide receivers in the draft. Marvin McNutt is an exceptional route-runner with great hands and body positioning. He does lack elite speed and has struggled to gain separation with the elite corners in college.

McNutt is exactly what the Eagles need at wide receiver. They have two deep threats on the outside. They need a quality possession receiver for those critical third-down and red-zone situations. They got a good one in McNutt.

I like comparing McNutt's 2011 season with Alshon Jeffery's. Neither player had much help around them this past season. Jeffery had a down season with 49 receptions for 762 yards and eight touchdowns. McNutt had a monster year on a dull offense. He had 78 catches, 1,269 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The difference between the two players is Jeffery is a great athlete but not a clean route-runner and not quick in his routes either. McNutt is a little bit quicker but a lot more polished in his routes.

I expect the Eagles to use McNutt a lot inside the 20. They need a reliable receiver over the middle and I believe they got one. Great value very late in the draft.


Sixth Round, Pick 200: Brandon Washington, OG, Miami: "B+"

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Another great project for Howard Mudd. If he decides to stay on for at least two or three more seasons, he might have the most physical line in his prestigious career. Brandon Washington is a bit of a project. He played both tackle and guard at Miami, but I expect him to be permanently moved to guard in the NFL.

He isn't athletic enough to play tackle on either side at the next level, but boy is he physical enough to play guard. He is the type of player you want to run behind because he will push his man back in a hurry, especially in Mudd's aggressive blocking scheme.

He will have to really clean up his technique to become a starter, but physically he is ready for pro football.


Seventh Round, Pick 229: Bryce Brown, RB, Kansas State: "B"

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The seventh round is all about taking chances. The New England Patriots selected Alfonzo Dennard in the final round. He was rated as high as the second round by some people until he allegedly punched a cop in Lincoln.

The Eagles took a similar risk in running back Bryce Brown. Brown was rated higher than Trent Richardson coming out of high school by some scouts. He is certainly one of the most physically talented running backs in the draft, but he is far from reliable.

He never honored either of his college commitments to Tennessee or Kansas State. He seemed more interested in becoming an NFL player than he was at being a team player in college. Maybe a pay check will change his motivation at the next level.

He is a big, strong back at 6'0", 223 pounds but is also an athletic back as he proved at the combine with a 4.47 40. He has all the athletic ability to be a star at the next level, but we all know it takes more than physical ability to make it at the next level.

It's a very good situation for Brown as he will have the perfect mentor in LeSean McCoy. McCoy has always been the ideal team player who is also about to get a serious payday. Brown can learn from McCoy and maybe get a serious payday of his own one day.


Similarly, Mel Kiper was on point too:



Mel Kiper's NFL Draft Grades Have Eagles, Bucs At Top

The most recognizable draftnik has handed out his grades for the 2012 NFL Draft. ESPN's Mel Kiper graded out every team in the NFL Draft last weekend and his final analysis has the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the highest grades in the class, both A's, which he defines as exceptional.

The Eagles moved up in Round 1 to select Mississippi State DT Fletcher Cox, saw Cal LB Mychal Kendricks drop to them in Round 2 and then used another second round pick on Marshall DE Vinny Curry, who was rising up draft boards. QB Nick Foles was a nice value in Round 3, and I really like the Brandon Boykin pick in Round 4.

The Bucs' big move was trading down in Round 1 and still picking up Alabama safety Mark Barron. That's an interesting pick because it wasn't really until a couple of days before the draft before the top 10 buzz on Barron started. The Bucs moved back into Round 1 to select Doug Martin, the second best running back in the draft. They also picked up Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David in Round 2.

The Cincinnati Bengals, who I think had the best draft, received an A- from Kiper, which is fair. It's obviously up for debate, but I still believe the Bengals came away with the best class.


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As well, 2013 was a good draft - in large part because of the Eagles bad record in 2012

Bleacher got it right for the most part - but missed out on a few grades:



Grading the Philadelphia Eagles' 2013 Draft

Brad Gagnon

February 12, 2014


PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 01:   Zach Ertz #86 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates his touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals on December 1, 2013 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania.The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Arizona Cardinals 24-21.
Elsa/Getty Images

The common belief is that it takes several years to properly assess a team's draft class. But we don't have that kind of patience.

We were already issuing grades just hours after the Philadelphia Eagles and their 31 NFL counterparts made their picks last April. Now that one season is in the books, we're ready to reassess things in regard to the eight players the Eagles suited up as drafted rookies in 2013.


Round 1, pick 4: Lane Johnson (OT, Oklahoma)

If the Eagles could go back and do it all again, I'm pretty sure Johnson would still be the pick. Despite being considered somewhat raw, the 23-year-old started all 16 games at right tackle, improving dramatically as the season wore on. 

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It was far from a perfect rookie year. Johnson took too many penalties (eight in total) and gave up too many sacks (he was one of eight tackles to surrender 10 or more), but let's consider whom he was protecting.

Nick Foles was basically a rookie who did a poor job getting rid of the ball under pressure, and Michael Vick again spent too much time in the pocket. 

Johnson still earned a positive grade from Pro Football Focus (subscription required), which found that his productivity shot up during the second half of the year. 

Lane Johnson's rookie season
Pro Football Focus
  Pressures/game Sacks/game
First eight games 5.3 0.9
Last eight games 1.9 0.4

Jason Peters is 32 now, so don't be surprised if Johnson continues to emerge and becomes a franchise left tackle in a year or two. 


Round 2, pick 35: Zach Ertz (TE, Stanford)

This was a somewhat questionable pick at the time, just because it didn't really appear to address a major area of need, but Ertz excelled as a rookie, catching 36 passes for 469 yards and four touchdowns. He also added a clutch touchdown grab in the Wild Card Game against New Orleans.

The 23-year-old might not be the blocker Brent Celek has become, but give him time. Like Johnson, he clearly improved during the second half of his rookie campaign, so don't be surprised if he supplants Celek as the team's top tight end in the near future. 

Most productive rookie tight ends, 2013
Pro Football Reference
  Catches Yards Touchdowns
1. Tim Wright 54 571 5
2. Jordan Reed 45 499 3
3. Zach Ertz 36 469 4
4. Tyler Eifert 39 445 2
5. Mychal Rivera 38 407 4

Sure, Philly could have waited and taken Jordan Reed instead. But everyone missed on Reed, including the Redskins in Round 2.

Despite not being a starter, Ertz was one of the team's top five receivers on paper. Not bad for a second-round pick playing in a deep, talented offense. 



Round 3, pick 67: Bennie Logan (DT, LSU)

It's amazing how quickly Logan made veteran nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga expendable. He was solid from start to finish, also getting better in October, November and December. The 24-year-old is big enough to play inside and versatile enough to line up outside as a 5-technique end.

He started eight games but played in all 16, recording a pair of sacks and getting pressure a solid 22 times, per PFF, despite being a stronger run defender than pass-rusher. He might never be the stud on this line, especially with Fletcher Cox lining up to his left, but Logan has been a pleasant surprise from Round 3. 

The only reason they don't get an A+ is because Terrance Williams, Keenan Allen and Jordan Reed were all still on the board here. 


Round 4, pick 98: Matt Barkley (QB, USC)

At the time this seemed like a smart, calculated gamble. Barkley didn't look to be far from pro-ready and came into the league with plenty of big-game experience. You can't win in this league without a strong quarterback, and nobody knew at the time that Nick Foles was on the verge of exploding.


PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 27:  Linval Joseph #97 of the New York Giants sacks  Matt Barkley #2 of the Philadelphia Eagles during their game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 27, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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But regardless, this can't be viewed as a good pick now.

The Eagles obviously weren't confident enough in either Vick or Foles, which means that they misjudged their quarterbacks. And Barkley, whose stock had already been plummeting, was a complete mess as a rookie.

The 23-year-old wasn't exactly on the field in favorable situations, but nobody turns the ball over five times on only 57 dropbacks. He had a 44.6 rating in that limited sample size, which is simply terrible.


I can't see Barkley turning into anything more than a decent backup, which makes this a bad pick when you consider the areas where they could have upgraded with this pick, as well as the seventh-round selection they traded away to move up to draft him.  


Round 5, pick 136: Earl Wolff (S, North Carolina State)

The fact that Wolff started six games and recorded 45 tackles while earning a half-decent PFF grade already makes him a worthwhile fifth-round pick, giving this selection a positive grade.

However, the Eagles were desperately missing Wolff when a knee injury forced him to miss six of the team's final seven games, including that wild-card loss to the Saints.

I won't hold that against Wolff because injuries happen. But it's a slight concern moving forward. It slowed his progress, too, because he likely would have started all six of those games that he missed. 

Wolff had only one interception on 538 snaps, but he also missed only four tackles and was a sneaky-good pass rusher. The 24-year-old will compete for a starting job this summer, and the future appears quite bright. 


Round 7, pick 212: Joe Kruger (DE, Utah)

He had a solid training camp and was on track to make the roster before a shoulder injury cost him his season in late August. The strong start alone, though, makes him a worthwhile selection.


Round 7, pick 218: Jordan Poyer (CB, Oregon State)

I had high expectations for Poyer, who is versatile, strong in coverage and has a knack for making plays, but he was on the field for just 17 snaps in Philly before being waived in October.


I still contend that this was a good value pick, but Poyer just didn't work out. There was little risk involved, so it's not a complete fail. 


Round 7, pick 239: David King (DE, Oklahoma)

He wasn't able to earn a spot on the roster or the practice squad and was released before the season. Not a ton of seventh-round compensatory picks pan out, but this still counts as a soft miss for Howie Roseman and Co. 


So those three seventh-round picks didn't deliver at all, which is a shame, but it does look as though this will be a bust-free draft for Philadelphia where it counts.

Four of their top-five picks will either start or play key roles in 2014, which is something very few teams can say one year after the draft. If those four can continue to improve and excel, this will be looked at as a great draft.


Walter Football laid an egg in large part on this one.




2013 NFL Draft Individual Grades:

4. Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma: C Grade
This is a great scheme fit for the Eagles. Lane Johnson is the most athletic tackle in this draft, so he'll fit in well in Chip Kelly's high-tempo offense. However, Johnson is incredibly raw; he has just one year of left tackle experience and just two seasons of tackle experience period. He was considered a fringe first-round prospect a few months ago for a reason. However, there's no denying his upside, and he could eventually replace Jason Peters at left tackle.

Follow @walterfootball for updates.

35. Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford: B+ Grade
Chip Kelly loves his tight ends. He signed James Casey, but he needed another one because Brent Celek has been a huge disappointment recently. Zach Ertz is the top tight end available by far and No. 35 is the right range for him. Like the Jaguars though, you have to wonder what Philadelphia plans to do at quarterback.

67. Bennie Logan, DT, LSU: B- Grade
I guess the Eagles will be running a 4-3 Under scheme because Bennie Logan is an awful fit in the 3-4. Logan is very talented, but he hasn't lived up to his potential. If Philadelphia can get him to play to his ability, he'll form quite an interior pass-rushing tandem with Fletcher Cox.

98. Matt Barkley, QB, USC: C- Grade
This makes very little sense. Matt Barkley does not fit Chip Kelly's offense at all. In fact, he's a lot like Nick Foles, so I don't understand why the Eagles would make this selection. It appears as though the Eagles will utilize the West Coast offense under Kelly, so why even bring Kelly in as your head coach? I like the value with Barkley, but this pick is pretty illogical.

136. Earl Wolff, S, N.C. State: B- Grade
I didn't want to mention to this before the draft because I didn't want to ruin his draft stock, but I know that one team took Earl Wolff off their board because they deemed him "too stupid," that he didn't even know what schemes his college team ran. There's no questioning his talent level though. From a pure skill perspective, he probably should have been a second-round pick.

212. Joe Kruger, DE/DT, Utah: B Grade
This pick makes a ton of sense. Joe Kruger fits the draft range in the seventh round and fills a need for defensive line depth. Chip Kelly is familiar with Kruger, having coached against him in the Pac-12.

218. Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State: A+ Grade
Save for Zach Ertz and Lane Johnson, Jordan Poyer could easily be the best player that the Eagles drafted. He should have been a second-round pick, but fell because of speed concerns. Going against him in the Pac-12, Chip Kelly knows how skilled Poyer is.

239. David King, DE, Oklahoma: C+ Grade
I didn't have David King as a draftable prospect, but we're now in the compensatory picks of the seventh round, so that doesn't matter. King is a good fit in the 3-4 as a five-technique, much like Joe Kruger.

2013 NFL Draft Team Grade: B .



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2014 featured the Marcus Smith fiasco.  Any grade higher than a D would be suspect.

Here's how Bleacher graded the draft:



Philadelphia Eagles Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades

Andrew Kulp

May 7, 2014


Jason DeCrow/Associated Press

Welcome to Bleacher Report’s instant results, analysis and grades for every Philadelphia Eagles selection or trade during the 2014 NFL draft—also known as your home for the next week or so.

No matter when and where the Birds pick, we’ll have all the details right here.

Entering the draft, the Eagles were in possession of six selections, beginning with the No. 22 pick in Round 1. This organization is no stranger to wheeling and dealing, though. General manager Howie Roseman has since traded up and down the draft board numerous times.

A handful of rostered players are undoubtedly on the trade block as well.

We’ll learn more in the coming days. Round 3 is set to wrap up on May 10 beginning at noon ET from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Keep it here for all of the latest developments concerning Philadelphia.

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[TRADE] Round 1, Pick No. 26: Marcus Smith, OLB, Louisville

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This began innocently enough. Not content to hold only six selections in a stacked draft, with many of their perceived top targets off the board and the Cleveland Browns chomping at the bit to move up, the Eagles traded out of the No. 22 pick. Philadelphia dropped four whole slots in exchange for a third-rounder.

That’s tremendous value, which general manager Howie Roseman should be applauded for, even if it was sort of a no-brainer. With Nick Foles firmly entrenched as the starting quarterback, the Eagles had no interest in Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, so getting anything for a minimal drop down the board was great.

Then the Eagles arguably committed one of the cardinal sins of drafting, possibly reaching to fill their need for a pass-rusher with Marcus Smith. Most rankings had Smith rated as a second- or even third-round prospect. CBSSports.com listed him as the 61st-best player in the draft. Scouts Inc. (subscription required) buried him at 80th.

Why the huge discrepancy between projections and where he actually went? Perhaps in part because Smith only had one productive season of college ball. The AAC Defensive Player of the Year racked up 18.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks in 2013, which was more than the rest of his career combined.

Smith does have experience at outside linebacker, or lining up most anyplace for that matter, so at least he should fit Philly's scheme. And it is entirely possible due to the lack of pass-rushers for 3-4 defenses in this year’s draft he was always going a lot higher than his ranking—certainly before the Birds’ next pick at No. 54.

He also could fill the team’s biggest need. The Eagles finished 20th in the NFL in sacks last season, plus Trent Cole is about to turn 32 and his salary cap figure balloons to in excess of $11 million next season according to Spotrac. There is no time to waste. they must begin grooming a potential replacement right away.

Still, for an organization that preached "best player available” all offseason, this was a surprise.

Grade: C+


[TRADE] Round 2, Pick No. 42: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

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The Eagles are no stranger to wheeling and dealing on draft day, and they're already at it again on Day 2. This time, Howie Roseman sent Philadelphia's fourth-round pick—No. 122 overall—to the Tennessee Titans to jump 12 spots, from No. 54 to No. 42.

Their selection: the anti-DeSean Jackson, Jordan Matthews.

The highly productive wide receiver out of Vanderbilt is a bigger, stronger target for quarterback Nick Foles than Jackson who will not sacrifice too much in the way of speed. At 6'3", Matthews has ideal height to play outside the numbers, and runs well for a receiver his size, clocking a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash according to NFL.com.

Matthews was also a highly productive against SEC competition, leading the conference in receptions (112) and receiving yards (1,477) as a senior. Over his last two seasons alone, Matthews hauled in 206 passes for 2,800 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Most of all, he doesn't come with the diva mentality and questionable off-field behavior that likely led to Jackson's release. Scouting reports describe Matthews as a professional.

The Eagles desperately needed to bolster their receiving corps, and the move up wasn't too pricey. Great selection for the Birds.

Grade: A


Round 3, Pick No. 86: Josh Huff, WR, Oregon

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Philadelphia began the day with two selections in Round 3, but opted to swap the pick they got from the Cleveland Browns (No. 83) for moving down in Round 1 in exchange for choices later. The Eagles now own the Houston Texans' fourth and fifth (Nos. 101 and 141), the former of which will open Day 3.

Then the Birds picked from their original slot for the first time this weekend, and it was something of surprise. Everybody knew wide receiver was a need coming into the draft, but Josh Huff makes back-to-back pass-catchers for Chip Kelly

Was using two of the top three picks on wideouts really necessary when they have Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Jordan Matthews and a plethora of other weapons at the offense's disposal?

Nothing against Huff, who could be a decent pro. Then again, there's nothing particularly special that stands out about him, either. Not on the stat sheet, not in workouts.

Huff posted 62 receptions for 1,140 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior, which accounts for roughly half of his career production. At 5'11", 206 pounds, he has only adequate size. With a 4.51 in the 40-yard dash according to NFL.com, he has only adequate speed.

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly did recruit Huff at Oregon though, so I guess he knows exactly what the offense is getting. And it's not like the team didn't need another wide receiver, but two this early? Hm...

Grade: C


[TRADE] Round 4, Pick No. 101: Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida

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The Eagles sent a third-round pick to the Houston Texans for a fourth and a fifth on Friday, earning the privilege to make the first selection on Day 3 for the second year in a row. They wound up getting great value out of it.

Jaylen Watkins didn't have an especially productive career at Florida—at least as far as impact plays are concerned—recording just three interceptions, zero sacks and zero forced fumbles in four seasons. That being said, this kid has all the tools to succeed at the next level.

It turns out Watkins was one of the fastest and strongest cornerbacks invited to the combine this year, according to NFL.com's tracker. 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash was tied for fifth, while 22 reps in the bench press was the most of anybody in his position group.

But what likely appeals most to Chip Kelly is Watkins' versatility. He played all over the defense, lining up outside the numbers, in the slot and at safety during his time at Florida. He contributes on special teams as well.

At 5'11", Watkins is just a shade undersized for the outside compared to the corners the Birds have targeted in recent years. However, that's a little less important given his other qualities. A great value for this point in the draft.

Grade: A


RB Bryce Brown Traded to Buffalo Bills for Future Draft Pick

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Adam Schefter for ESPN reports the Eagles have agreed to send third-year running back Bryce Brown to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2015. The pick can become a third-rounder in '16, the criteria for which was not immediately known.

A seventh-round pick in 2012, Brown exploded on to the scene during his rookie season with back-to-back 150-plus-yard/two-touchdown rushing performances while filling in for LeSean McCoy. Fumbles marred an otherwise promising campaign.

Brown had far less success under Chip Kelly in '13. He struggled to to go forward in Kelly's rushing attack, averaging less than 3.0 yards per carry in nine of the 14 games he touched the ball. He didn't offer much in the passing game, either.

The writing was on the wall for Brown once Philadelphia traded for Darren Sproles from the New Orleans Saints. Brown could be a starting running back in the NFL, but the Eagles are going in a different direction. Oh yeah, and they have the reigning NFL rushing champion in LeSean McCoy.

Still, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the Eagles would get more than a sixth-round pick for Brown, if that. The body of work simply isn't there. This was a fleece-job by general manager Howie Roseman.

Grade: A++


[TRADE] Round 5, Pick No. 141: Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon

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No. 141 was the second of two picks the Eagles received in exchange for No. 83 overall. As for the selection itself, it was very easy to see coming.

Philadelphia sorely needed to add depth along the defensive line, and Taylor Hart certainly fits that bill. At 6'6", 281 pounds, Hart has the natural size and strength to make it as a 5-technique at the next level.

And if any team knows what they are getting in Hart, it's the Eagles. Obviously, Chip Kelly was the head coach at Oregon, but when he made the jump to the NFL, he brought defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro with him. The defensive scheme won't be exactly the same under defensive coordinator, but Hart should play a similar role to the one he did in college.

Hart's production dropped off a bit as a senior, as he went from 11.0 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks in 2012 to 6.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in '13. However, his job won't be as much about numbers as it will be doing the dirty work.

Hart should be able to step into the defensive line rotation immediately, and may eventually be able to earn a starting job. You may understandably roll your eyes over another Oregon pick, but this simply made too much sense.

Grade: B+


Round 5, Pick No. 162: Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford

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Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

For just the second time in this year's draft, the Eagles chose in their original slot. By staying put, they were able to address arguably the biggest remaining need on the roster, taking safety Ed Reynolds out of Stanford.

At 6'1", 207 pounds, Reynolds was one of the bigger safeties in this year's class. Based on combine results via NFL.com, he's not a bad athlete, either, clocking in at 4.57 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He could probably stand to get stronger though.

A two-time first-team All-Pac-12 selection, Reynolds finished second in the conference with six interceptions in 2012, returning three for touchdown—tops in the nation. He had just one pick as a senior however.

Whether or not Reynolds has the tools to succeed at the next level remains to be seen, but he has the measurables. Plus, you count on intelligence coming out of Stanford, which is not unimportant for the safety position. Not an overly sexy pick, but fills a need and could develop into a reliable backup at the very least.

Grade: B


[TRADE] Round 7, Pick No. 224: Beau Allen, NT, Wisconsin

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As if a future fourth-round pick (that can become a third) wasn't enough for Bryce Brown, the Buffalo Bills kindly allowed Philly to move up 13 spots in the seventh round, too. It might not sound like much, but it's something.

As for the pick, Wisconsin's Beau Allen rounds out the draft, and I like the pick. Bennie Logan was very effective at nose tackle last season, and he's bulking up. But who would play there if Logan went down?

Last season, it would've been Damion Square, an undrafted free agent out of Alabama. That would be a disaster. Square barely made a dent in the little bit of playing time he got last season, and probably isn't big enough to anchor the middle of a defense anyway.

If there's one thing Beau has, it's size—plenty of it in fact. He's 6'2", 333 pounds, which is both ideal height and weight for a nose. He'll occupy blockers with sheer size, but isn't so big they'll be able to get underneath his pads.

He's not a guy who's going to fill out the stat sheet, but he can come spell Logan, or Logan can even move outside for a proper a "heavy" or goal-line package. My guess is the Eagles were eying him all along, which is why the move up actually ended up being important.

My only concern with the pick, which prevents this from being an "A" grade, is that the team did not come up with an offensive guard in this draft. Oh well.

Grade: B+

SB Nation gave the Eagles a C+ overall.  Here's what they had to say:

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Marcus Smith (LB, Louisville, 1st Round, 26th Overall)

  • Jordan Matthews (WR, Vanderbilt, 2nd Round, 42nd Overall)

  • Josh Huff (WR, Oregon, 3rd Round, 86th Overall)

  • Jaylen Watkins (CB, Florida, 4th Round, 101st Overall)

  • Taylor Hart (DE, Oregon, 5th Round, 141st Overall)

  • Ed Reynolds (FS, Stanford, 5th Round, 162nd Overall)

  • Beau Allen (DT, Wisconsin, 7th Round, 224th Overall)

Cutting ties with DeSean Jackson was the story of the offseason in Philadelphia and the Eagles are counting on Jordan Matthews to help fans forget him. Matthews doesn’t have Jackson’s speed, but he catches the ball well and moves well for a big man. Marcus Smith was a surprise pick, but his pass rushing ability should be a welcome site on a defense that stocked up on depth during this draft.

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2015 featured Nelson Agholor, whose production was very spotty, and in large part, inconsistent and poor. 

BGN laid an egg with its analysis.  Let's see how they did:


NFL Draft 2015 Grades: Eagles best picks were Eric Rowe and JaCorey Shepherd

After the Philadelphia Eagles made their 2015 NFL Draft picks, we asked you whether you approved of each selection. The numbers below are the result.

GettyImages-451625957.0.jpg William Mancebo/Getty Images

1 (20) Nelson Agholor, WR, USC: 83 percent


The first night of the draft felt a little deflating for those who believed the team had a legitimate chance to get Marcus Mariota. The reality of Sam Bradford being the Eagles quarterback wasn't (and still isn't) easy for some to accept. But if you can get past that, you can see that the Agholor pick was one that made sense for the Eagles at No. 20. The team is thin at wide receiver and he should be a great addition. Agholor is a very impressive player both on and off the field. He's versatile and can contribute right away. He's also a really good punt returner, which is important due to Darren Sproles getting up there in age. The Agholor pick kind of sums up the Eagles 2015 draft class for me: good and above average but not quite elite.

2 (47) Eric Rowe, DB, Utah: 97 percent

The Eagles made a very fair deal to move up five spots to grab Eric Rowe. The Eagles showed a ton of interest in Rowe leading up to the draft so everyone saw this pick coming. Rowe really fits what Philadelphia values in their defensive backs in terms of size, athleticism, and versatility. It seems like he'll start out playing as a cornerback, which is definitely a big position of need moving forward. Walter Thurmond, Nolan Carroll, and Brandon Boykin are set to enter the 2015 season on the last year of their current deals.

3 (84) Jordan Hicks, LB, Texas: 55 percent

The Jordan Hicks pick came as a surprise and was easily the Eagles' least popular selection. Why are the Eagles taking another inside linebacker when they already have a logjam at the position? If the Eagles are moving on from Mychal Kendricks, which doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, it makes sense that Hicks fills a need. It seems like Hicks is being groomed to eventually take over for DeMeco Ryans while serving as a backup and special teams player in the meantime. Along with his size and athleticism, the Eagles seem to value Hicks' leadership and ability to line up the defense. That quality is a big reason why the team re-signed Ryans.

6 (191) JaCorey Shepherd, CB, Kansas: 97 percent

It was a long wait to get to this pick but the time was well worth it for Philadelphia. JaCorey Shepherd is a player who many draft analysts felt was a good value pick for the Eagles. Mike Mayock said he had a fourth round grade on him. Former WVU quarterback Clint Trickett called Shepherd "the steal of the draft." ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. had him as his best player available for a significant part of Day 3 until he was finally picked. Shepherd had a whopping 28 passes defensed to go with five interceptions in his final two years with the Jayhawks. Shepherd won't need to contribute right away but he can be a nice depth player to have.

6 (196) Randall Evans, CB, Kansas State: 89 percent

It was a little surprising to see the Eagles double dip at cornerback. Well, it's really a triple dip if you include Rowe as a cornerback, which seems like a safe assumption. Evans has some experience at outside cornerback, nickel cornerback, and safety but he saw most of his action in the slot. The Eagles already have Walter Thurmond and Brandon Boykin for the slot position but the former is on a one-year deal and the latter could be traded away.

7 (237) Brian Mihalik, DE, BC: 83 percent

Mihalik is one of those "big people" Chip Kelly likes to add to the team's offseason roster. Not only is he big but he's a pretty good athlete as well. Mihalik is raw and the Eagles are deep on the defensive line so he'll have to stand out to earn a spot. Maybe he makes it to the practice squad in 2015. Vinny Curry, and Cedric Thornton are both scheduled to be free agents in 2016 so it doesn't hurt to add a piece here.

Bleacher did  better job, giving the Eagles a C+



Round 1, Pick 20 (20): Nelson Agholor, USC WR

Round 2, Pick 15 (47) (from Dolphins): Eric Rowe, Utah CB

Round 3, Pick 20 (84): Jordan Hicks, Texas OLB

Round 6, Pick 15 (191) (from Dolphins): JaCorey Shepherd, Kansas CB

Round 6, Pick 20 (196): Randall Evans, Kansas State CB

Round 7, Pick 20 (237): Brian Mihalik, Boston College DE

Agholor is tall without being freaky big and fast without being freaky fast. He's a polished route-runner and a fine complement to young Jordan Matthews, on whom the Eagles will rely. However, he's not (yet) Jeremy Maclin, and Matthews sure isn't DeSean Jackson.

Unless Agholor stuns everyone and plays like one of the marquee receivers in this draft, Kelly's decision to twice let an established star wideout walk and burn his first-rounder on a rookie to replace him will rightly be questioned.

On the other side of the scale, Rowe is a perfect fit for what the Eagles need in the secondary and an outstanding value at No. 47 overall. A flex corner/safety who could have been taken at the bottom of the first, Rowe's contributions will be felt right away.

More reinforcements for the defensive backs came in Round 6 with Shepherd. Almost the opposite of pricey free agent Byron Maxwell, Shepherd could push for time in a threadbare Eagles secondary.

Grade: C+



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These are tough to look at.  I had to stop.  Some of these grades are even worse.  Some arsewipe graded Danny Watkins as a better value pick than Jason Kelce.  😂

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BGN is first up here as they give a summary of all the draft grades allotted by the different publications.  Let's see what they had to say:




The 2016 NFL Draft is over so naturally it's now time for everyone's favorite activity ... 2016 NFL Draft Grades. Draft grades may be completely meaningless and arbitrary at this point but who cares? It's all for fun anyway. As reminder, here are your 2016 Eagles draft picks. Click on the link for more detailed write-ups.

1st (2) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State - [READ MORE]
3rd (79) - Isaac Seumalo, OL, Oregon State - [READ MORE]
5th (153) - Wendell Smallwood, RB, West Virginia - [READ MORE]
5th (164) - Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OL, TCU - [READ MORE]
6th (196) - Blake Countess, DB, Auburn - [READ MORE]
7th (233) - Jalen Mills, S, LSU - [READ MORE]
7th (240) - Alex McCalister, DE, Florida - [READ MORE]
7th  (251) - Joe Walker, LB, Oregon - [READ MORE]

Let's start off with my own grade.

My first impression of this Eagles draft class is that it really all comes back to the Wentz pick. He's the one who will make or break this draft class just as he will make or break this current Eagles regime. The Eagles have long needed a franchise quarterback. They've tried several options but none of them have panned out. The Birds took a big risk by trading those draft picks for Wentz but the reward has the potential to pay off. If he's as good as the Eagles expect him to be, this will automatically be an "A" draft.

Outside of Wentz, I think this draft class is a whole lot of "meh." Not really bad, not really great. Just solid. I think this offseason is the perfect reminder of what Howie Roseman brings to the table: mediocrity.  He's very good when it comes to contracts/free agency, but he's just average at best when it comes to drafting. Not bad enough that he makes disastrous picks that can get him fired, but not good enough to mold the team into a legitimate contender. The difference this year is that he stuck his neck out with the Wentz trade and that will make or break him.

To their credit, the Eagles did address some big needs. They finally drafted some offensive lineman. They have a versatile guard/center type in Seumalo and a tackle/guard type in Big V. Running back was a huge need as well, though Smallwood seems like a committee guy more than a lead rusher right now. Countess adds to the team's defensive back depth. Mills was expected to be a Day 2 pick but fell due to character and injury concerns. He might be a risk worth taking. McCalister also has red flags but has good size and athleticism. Maybe Walker can be a valuable contributor on special teams.

The Eagles aren't getting a lot of immediate impact from this draft class. None of these players are guaranteed to be sure-fire starters. Seumalo has a chance to realistically compete for a starting job. Smallwood should get regular touches in the running back rotation. If Wentz really lights it up and has a great summer, the Eagles might need to consider starting him sooner than expected. But that's about it.

I'll give this draft a B- for now. Again, it all really comes back to Wentz. See below for more hot takes and grades from around the web.

Sports Illustrated - B

"The Eagles traded a king's ransom to move up and select Carson Wentz as the future of their franchise. It's a good pick in that Wentz is the most pro-ready of all the elite quarterbacks in this class, but with so much money already tied up in Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel, Howie Roseman will be filling a lot of holes with lesser picks for a while. Philly's strategy after Wentz in this draft was... interesting. Oregon State interior lineman Isaac Seumalo could be a guard or center at the next level. West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood is a decent player with pass-blocking ability. TCU offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai is a powerful player with limited athleticism who will probably have to kick inside to guard. The steals came in the later rounds: sixth-round cornerback Blake Countess is an efficient and underrated defender, and LSU cornerback/safety Jalen Mills should have gone a lot higher than the seventh round. It was most likely Mills’s injury history that scared teams off."

CBS Sports (Rang) - B

"Kudos to the Eagles for the aggressive trade up to land Carson Wentz, who possesses the athletic tools to succeed in Doug Pederson's offense as well as the intangibles needed to handle the pressure of Philadelphia. Like many, I was skeptical of Wentz's production against FCS competition until watching him in person at the Senior Bowl. Durability was an issue for Wentz at NDSU as it was for the Eagles' next pick, blocker Isaac Seumalo. Like Wentz, however, the talent with Seumalo is obvious, with his best fit in the NFL inside at guard rather than left tackle as he was asked to play, at times, for the Beavers. Of the Eagles' six Day 3 selections, I'm highest on former LSU defensive back Jalen Mills and TCU offensive lineman Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Running back Wendell Smallwood could also surprise."

CBS Sports (Prisco) - B-

"Their entire draft will be defined by what Wentz becomes. If he's a star, it's a great draft. If not, it's a bad one. They love him. I don't. So time will tell. I do like the aggressive approach to make the move to get him."

SB Nation - C+

"As expected, the Eagles took Wentz with the second overall pick. If he pays off, the Eagles have a franchise quarterback. If he doesn't, it's the type of pick that guts the roster because of what Philadelphia gave up to get him. Isaac Suemalo isn't a sexy choice in the third round, but don't be surprised if he becomes a dependable starter for years, whether it's at guard or center. Wendell Smallwood is an elusive back who will make defenders miss. He'll be a solid third-down player for the Eagles and may work on special teams. In the sixth round, the Eagles added an experienced dime corner in Blake Countess. The Eagles followed that up with a nice pick in Jalen Mills, an experienced defensive back who can play safety and cornerback."

NFL.com - C+

"The Eagles are gambling big (gave up CB Byron Maxwell, LB Kiko Alonso, 2017 first-round pick, two top-100 picks this year, 2018 second-rounder) on the ability of Carson Wentz to become a legitimate top-tier starter. We'll see. Howie Roseman had just one pick in the third round after the trade for Wentz. Seumalo is an athletic guard prospect who should play well for them. I like Smallwood as a complement to Ryan Mathews, and Countess was a solid pick for depth in the secondary. Countess, Mills, and McCalister will make a difference."

Rotoworld - C

"Eagles GM Howie Roseman made a YOLO aggressive pre-draft move to land Wentz, sending Cleveland third- (77) and fourth-round picks (100), Philly's 2017 first-rounder, and its 2018 second-round pick in exchange for just a six-spot jump in round one. That left the Eagles with two selections inside the top 150, and prevented Roseman from acquiring a starting-caliber cornerback, which was very much needed. Seumalo could get an early look for snaps at left guard, while fifth-round sleeper Smallwood combines 4.47 speed with an above-average running back build (5'11/208). Vaitai, McCalister, and Walker are day-three long shots. Countess is a 184-pound slot corner, while Mills is a 'tweener safety/corner. Like the Rams, the Eagles' draft is tough to grade because the results are so heavily tied to Wentz's development. This could be a franchise-changing draft, or it could be a killer."

ESPN In$ider (Mel Kiper) - C

"It's hard to give the Eagles an above-average grade just based on the draft value they gave away to get up to No. 2, where they are drafting a player I really like in Carson Wentz, but a real mystery in terms of when he'll be ready to handle the starting job in an NFL offense. The problem is, even though I like Wentz, I wasn't a fan of the value elsewhere on the board as well. I hadIsaac Seumalo as a reach in the third, and I had a number of other running backs ahead of Wendell Smallwood when he came off the board in Round 5. I think they were smart to target the O-line a couple of times, includingHalapoulivaati Vaitai in the fifth, but I'm surprised they didn't add a wide receiver at any point, or a cornerback earlier than Jalen Mills in Round 7, though he could be a good value. Hey, they got the QB they wanted, so the grade going forward is all wrapped in him, but they definitely paid for it."


Phil Sheridan, formerly of ESPN didn't like the Wentz pick and thought the team should have done a better job building around Sam Bradford (which could be one reason why Phil Sheridan is no longer with ESPN)





2016 Philadelphia Eagles draft picks: Analysis for every selection

Apr 29, 2016
  • sheridan_phil.png&w=160&h=160&scale=crop
    Phil SheridanESPN Staff Writer

Phil Sheridan breaks down the 2016 Philadelphia Eagles draft class so far.


Round 1, pick No. 2:Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State | Highlights

My take: The Eagles could have gone the other way. After signing Sam Bradford to a new contract and adding backup Chase Daniel, the Eagles could have focused their energy on building the best possible team around Bradford. That probably would have meant holding on to their draft picks and taking the best player available with the No. 13 pick in the draft.

That might have worked. That still might work in the short term, since the Eagles are saying Bradford remains their starter. He might finally stay healthy and reach his potential in Pederson’s offense. But the Eagles were not inclined to place all their chips in Bradford’s square.

That’s because the Eagles haven’t won a playoff game since Donovan McNabb left. For years, they have been on the mediocre quarterback carousel of Michael Vick, Kevin Kolb, Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez. Bradford was their last spin on that carousel and they’re ready to take a shot at something better.

They may turn out to be wrong about Wentz. They may find out they paid too high a price to move up. But at least they took their best shot.

The next level: One of the risks associated with Wentz is that he played at the NCAA FCS level, what used to be called Division I-AA. Quarterbacks from that level have succeeded in the NFL -- Joe Flacco, to name one -- but it adds another element of risk to the already uncertain prospect of taking a quarterback high in the draft.

And then there is this: North Dakota State has won the FCS national title five years in a row. It won the first three with Brock Leonard as the quarterback. It won in 2014 with Wentz having a terrific season.

Last year, Wentz broke his wrist in the Bison’s sixth game. He returned to play in the championship game. Overall, Wentz’s record as a starter was 5-2. But a freshman quarterback named Easton Stick went 8-0 while Wentz was hurt.

Wentz had success at North Dakota State. So did Leonard and Stick. Is it the quarterback or the system?

The Bradford issue: If the Eagles’ ideal was for Wentz to develop with Bradford and Daniel running the offense, then Bradford’s boycott of voluntary practices will certainly have an impact. Bradford’s unhappiness shouldn’t concern Wentz, but it does add a complication to the Eagles’ careful plan to get the most out of Wentz.

After drafting Wentz, the Eagles stuck to their plan.

"Sam's our quarterback," Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said. "We've been clear about that."

Roseman and Pederson said that Bradford's absence from OTAs would allow more work for Daniel and Wentz. By the mandatory camp in June, Bradford should be able to catch up, Pederson said.

"We'll welcome Sam with open arms," Pederson said.

Round 3, pick No. 79: Isaac Seumalo, C, Oregon State| Highlights

My take: The Eagles had not drafted an offensive lineman since taking Lane Johnson with the No. 4 pick in the 2013 draft. After 14 years of Andy Reid drafts that were heavy on the offensive and defensive lines, Chip Kelly’s tenure was marked by a dearth of big bodies. It didn’t help that Kelly also released veteran guards Todd Herremans and Evan Mathis last year.

The Philadelphia Eagles hope Oregon State offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo is worth the investment to strengthen the offensive line. AP Photo/Young Kwak

After investing so much in quarterbacks this offseason, it made sense for the Eagles to go for an offensive lineman here. Seumalo will have a chance to compete for the Eagles’ starting left guard job. Allen Barbre, last year’s starter, is still in the mix.

Scouting notes: Pro Football Focus gave Seumalo its second-highest grade for pass protection among guards in this year’s draft. Seumalo is solid in both facets of the game. He is not considered a dominant, "road grader” type of blocker, but he is disciplined and gets the job done.

Given the Eagles' spotty guard play last season, Seumalo should provide an immediate upgrade.

Seumalo started at tackle, center and guard in college.

"We love his versatility," coach Doug Pederson said, adding that the Eagles will start Seumalo out as a guard.

Round 5, pick No. 153:Wendell Smallwood, RB, West Virginia | Highlights

My take: The Eagles got caught up in a small run on running backs in the fifth round. The New York Giants selected UCLA’s Paul Perkins with the 149th pick of the draft. Chicago took Indiana’s Jordan Howard one pick later.

So the Eagles grabbed the 5-foot-10, 208-pound Smallwood, who led the Big 12 with 1,519 rushing yards in 2015. Smallwood also caught 31 passes for 326 yards, an aspect of his game that will be important in Doug Pederson’s West Coast-style offense.

Smallwood was investigated for witness tampering in a murder case. No charges were filed in the case. Smallwood is a native of nearby Wilmington, Delaware.

Round 5, pick No 164: Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT, TCU | Highlights

My take: The Eagles want to create a pipeline of young offensive linemen that can keep the team stocked at that most important of positions. Third-round pick Isaac Seumalo, a guard from Oregon State, has a chance to start right away.

At tackle, the Eagles have their starters. Lane Johnson is locked in on the right side and Jason Peters is a Pro Bowler at left tackle. But Peters is 34 years old and closer to the end of his career than the beginning. Johnson could move to left tackle when Peters is finished.

Round 6, pick No. 196:Blake Countess, CB, Auburn | Highlights

My take: A year ago, Chip Kelly was looking to trade away Brandon Boykin, the Eagles' very effective nickel cornerback, because of his height. Boykin wound up in Pittsburgh.

The height bias is gone with Kelly. On Saturday, the Eagles took the 5-foot-9-3/4-inch Countess with the 196th overall pick in the draft. Howie Roseman, the Eagles' executive vice president of football operations, said the team got a valuable recommendation on Countess from Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.

"Coach Muschamp, when you check in with him, he thinks he was not only one of the best players on the defense, he was one of the best players on the team," Roseman said.

Round 7, pick No. 233:Jalen Mills,S, Louisiana State | Highlights



My take: Mills had an eventful couple of years at LSU. Two years ago, he was arrested for battery for allegedly punching a woman. The charge was reduced to a misdemeanor and later dropped.

Last year, Mills broke his left fibula, an injury that also affected his ankle. The injury caused Mills to miss five games. He returned in time to play in seven games.

In 46 games at LSU, Mills intercepted six passes and broke up 16 more. He played cornerback, nickelback and safety during his career.

Round 7, pick No. 240:Alex McCalister, DE, Florida | Highlights

My take: The 6-foot-6, 239-pound McCalister is a good athlete who still needs to develop as a football player. He could also use a little more weight on his frame.

In defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s scheme, pressuring the quarterback is of paramount importance. With few premium draft picks, the Eagles weren’t able to take advantage of the array of defensive linemen available, so the team took a bit of a seventh-round flyer on McCalister. With coaching and conditioning work, McCalister could realize his considerable potential.

Round 7, pick No. 251:Joe Walker, ILB, Oregon | Highlights

My take: The Eagles’ roster was a little light at linebacker going into the draft. It took 250 picks for the Eagles to add a linebacker over the three-day draft.

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Walker appears to be joining the Eagles a year too late. He was recruited by former Eagles and Oregon coach Chip Kelly, but didn’t play for him.

But Walker’s timing could be just right. New defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has said he likes to get all his players out on the field, evaluate what they can do and assemble his defense around them. Anyone who can earn a spot will have one.

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2017 draft highlights include receiving that number 1 and number 4 from the Vikings for Sam Bradford.  🤣🤣🤣 - beating them in the NFCCG and having Barnett pull of a critical strip sack made it that much sweeter.  Here's what BGN reported from among the various websites:



The 2017 NFL Draft is over. Now it’s time for everyone's favorite activity ... 2017 NFL Draft Grades! You may say that draft grades are completely meaningless and arbitrary at this point, but hey, if you’re reading this, you clicked on this article to check them out anyway. As reminder, here are your 2017 Eagles draft picks. Click on the link for more detailed write-ups.

1st - No. 14 - Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

2nd - No. 43 - Sidney Jones, CB, Washington

3rd - No. 99 - Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia

4th - No. 118 - Mack Hollins, WR, North Carolina

4th - No. 132 - Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State

5th - No. 166 - Shelton Gibson, WR, West Virginia

5th - No. 184 - Nathan Gerry, LB, Nebraska

6th - No. 214 - Elijah Qualls, DT, Washington

Let's start off with my own grade.

My initial reaction is that I’m kind of indifferent about this draft class. I don’t think the Eagles had a bad draft by any means. In a vaccum, I think they actually had an above average draft. But when you add context, I can’t help but feel like a number of teams had better draft, including some of the other NFC East teams.

The good news is the Eagles did a nice job of addressing most of their needs in this class. The bad news is that makes me question if they truly always went best player available.

Another bad aspect of this draft to me was it felt like the Eagles kept missing out on runs that went ahead of them. For example, they missed on a number of solid Day 3 cornerback options in Round 5 before trading down twice for Gibson. It’s rare that we say Howie Roseman isn’t aggressive enough, but I really felt that way in this draft.

The main thing that really annoys me about this draft is that the Eagles didn’t get a real three-down running back. That’s all I’ve been wanting for a long time now and you would know that if you read my work often. Again, Carson Wentz threw the second most pass attempts of ANY rookie quarterback last year. His workload was way too big. Having a legitimate running game would have taken pressure off of him. The Eagles seemingly wanted to fix that problem this year; they were reportedly interested in Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook. But Philadelphia missed out on both of those players and despite drafting Pumphrey there’s still no reliable lead running back on the team. And I don’t want to hear about how the 2018 draft is loaded. That’s great and everything, but the Eagles still have a 2017 season to play before we get there.

But let me get back to some of the positives. I think Barnett is a pretty good player at a premium position. I’m all for the idea of never having too many pass rushers. The Jones pick is very risky but the Eagles might just have a pretty good corner if he can get healthy. Double-dipping at the corner position and getting Douglas, a potential immediate starter, was a good decision. I also like the move to add speed and size at receiver. As for the final two picks, the Eagles added some defensive depth, which is nothing to complain about.

All told, I’ll give this draft a B+ rating. I feel like it’s only fair to include the Timmy Jernigan trade when grading this class considering how the Eagles swapped their original third-round selection to get him. Not including Jernigan, I’d have to give it a B or B- grade.

See below for more hot takes and grades from around the web.

SB Nation: (B-)

One of the most obvious needs for any team in this year’s draft was the Eagles need for a cornerback. The Eagles waited to target the position, taking defensive end Derek Barnett in the first round. It was something of a surprise to see him available with the 14th pick. He’ll help the team’s rush up front.

The Eagles waited until the second day to get corners, Sidney Jones in the second round and Rasul Douglas in the third round. Had Jones been healthy, he would’ve been a first-round pick. Douglas is a good physical cornerback with measurables.

Mack Hollins in the fourth round was a sound choice. The third day of the draft can be about finding special teams help, and Hollins is an ace specialist. Running back Donnel Pumphrey could move to wide receiver where he can take advantage of his agility in space.

NFL.com: (A-)

Even though the Eagles gave up their 2017 first-rounder for quarterback Carson Wentz, they were a beneficiary of Minnesota's need for a quarterback, as they got back into the first round by trading Sam Bradford last eyar. The way Wentz played this year showed they didn't really miss Bradford. They got the second-best pure edge rusher in the draft in Barnett at No. 14. In the second round, Philly got a first-round value in Sidney Jones, who might have to half-redshirt the year as he recovers from injury but will be a good corner down the road. Rasul Douglas is another long corner who will be on the field right away.

Mack Hollins is very good downfield receiver, and a very good special-teamer as well. That's the prototypical fourth-round pick. He and Shelton Gibson (fifth round) add receiver depth. Pumphrey's electric with the ball, not unlike veteran Darren Sproles (though not as thick and powerful). Elijah Qualls was a fine selection in the seventh round.

Bleacher Report: (B-)

Barnett is a great first-round pick, though it could be argued there were greater needs elsewhere. Jones is a risk, though a second-round pick is a major steal if he comes back healthy.

USA Today: (C+)

If pass defense was their primary concern entering the weekend, they made strides. DE Derek Barnett (Round 1) is relentless, if not twitchy. CB Sidney Jones might represent highway robbery at No. 43 if his pro day Achilles injury heals quickly. CB Rasul Douglas (3) picked off passes left and right for West Virginia. Fourth-round RB Donnel Pumphrey, the all-time leading rusher in FBS history, may be another nice weapon for QB Carson Wentz on passing downs but must confirm his slender frame (5-8, 176) can withstand the NFL's rigors.

FOX Sports: (B+)

The Derek Barnett pick was solid, if not spectacular — he'll help right away. Sidney Jones won't, but he has first-round talent. Rasul Douglas is a boom-or-bust player, but I like him in that system, and Mack Hollins has a chance to be special. Donnel Pumphrey projects as Darren Sproles' replacement, and Shelton Gibson and Elijah Qualls are great third-day values.

CBS Sports: (B+)

I really like the choice of pass rusher Derek Barnett in the first round. He might be the best pass rusher in this class. They took a risk with Washington corner Sidney Jones in the second, but it could be a big-time payoff if he comes off a torn Achilles tendon healthy. They added some young weapons for Carson Wentz in the later rounds. Fifth-round receiver Shelton Gibson can fly.

Sports Illustrated: (B+)

On the "needs” list for Philly headed into Thursday were a pass rusher and cornerback. Check and check. The Eagles nabbed DE Derek Barnett in Round 1, a safe and steady option off the edge, then doubled down on Day 2 with CB Sidney Jones (who’s rehabbing an Achilles tear) and Rasul Douglas. If Jones gets back to 100% at any point, he has Pro Bowl potential. The offensive run in Rounds 4 and 5 was intriguing. WRs Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson both can stretch the field, which QB Carson Wentz would like to do more; RB Donnell Pumphrey essentially could be Darren Sproles 2.0.

Sporting News: (A)

There should be few boobirds in Philadelphia after the draft when it comes to the home team. Every need was checked off with no reaches, and both Barnett and Jones are ideal defensive scheme fits. They padded the re-made wideout corps for Carson Wentz, too, and found their new change-up speed back in Humphrey.

ESPN (Mel Kiper): (B-)

Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox led the Eagles in sacks last season with 6.5, and there was a clear directive to get an edge rusher for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz in the first two days of the draft. Derek Barnett fits that bill as the first-rounder Philly got in the Sam Bradford trade with Minnesota. Barnett, who had 33.0 career sacks at Tennessee, will join the rotation with Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry and free-agent signing Chris Long.

Philadelphia had issues in the secondary last season, too, and one of the best things for a porous pass defense is a stellar pass rush. The Eagles took a step toward that on Day 1, then boosted the back end on Day 2. Sidney Jones could be a steal if he recovers fully from the torn Achilles he suffered at his pro day in March. Though he's optimistic about returning in 2017, he might be better served by a redshirt year. If healthy, he's a top-15 talent with good ball skills and the ability to handle big wideouts. Rasul Douglas was a ballhawk in 2016 with eight interceptions, but he doesn't have high-end speed (4.59 40).

Mack Hollins is a special-teams demon and former walk-on with some big-play ability. Donnel Pumphrey set the FBS career rushing record with 6,405 yards and is probably a part-time back. Elijah Qualls has a load of talent and ability but inconsistent tape.

Philly needed to shore up its defense and it did that pretty well. It's not a home run class, but the Eagles got better.


A = 1
A- = 1
B+ = 4
B- = 3
C+ = 1

Here's what SI had to say:



Philadelphia Eagles NFL draft picks: 2017 round-by-round results, grades

How will the Eagles use their picks in the 2017 NFL draft? We’re breaking down every selection below.
APR 28, 2017

Coming off a 7–9 campaign, the Eagles are continuing to retool going into the 2017 season. How will they use their picks in the NFL draft? We’re breaking down every selection below.

Here's the full list of picks the Eagles hold in the 2017 draft, which will be updated as each selection is made.

Round 1, Pick 14 (No. 14 overall)

Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee: This is a good pick. It’s a relatively safe pick. It does not address the Eagles’ biggest need, which is at cornerback, and it also ignores a couple players who slipped down the board. The real positive is in pairing Barnett’s skill off the edge with Jim Schwartz’s scheme. Barnett can line up wide and worry about little else beyond penetrating into the backfield, which is exactly the type of role that should play to his strengths as a pass rusher. Brandon Graham, Chris Long and Barnett make for a talented DE trio from which Schwartz should be able to find a lot of sacks. GRADE: B

Round 2, Pick 11 (No. 43)

Sidney Jones, CB, Washington: Sidney Jones’s Achilles injury would have made him a significant gamble in the first round. In Round 2, though, he’s a value. Remember, he was thought of as a potential top-10 pick before that setback at his pro day. He’s a tall, physical cornerback who can lock down on the outside. When he gets healthy again, the Eagles could have a star. GRADE: A

Round 3, Pick 35 (No. 99)

Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia: Definitely do not mind the Eagles doubling down on cornerback Friday night—it was a trouble spot on their depth chart, and Sidney Jones (their Round 2 pick) likely won’t be available until at least October. Douglas doesn’t have a ton of speed, but he has size, length and a knack for getting in front of receivers. GRADE: A–

Round 4, Pick 12 (No. 118) Mack Hollins, WR, UNC

Round 4, Pick 26 (No. 132) (From Vikings) Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State

Round 5, Pick 22 (No. 166) Shelton Gibson, WR, West Virginia

Round 5, Pick 41 (No. 184) (Compensatory pick, from Dolphins) Nate Gerry, S, Nebraska

Round 6, Pick 31 (No. 214) Elijah Qualls, DT, Washington


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(As a side note - just got warned for trying to bypass one of the filters.  Starting to feel more and more like the old EMB)

Here's 2018 - we'll start with Kempski at Philly Voice:



APRIL 29, 2018

Philadelphia Eagles 2018 draft grades

PhillyVoice Staff

The 2018 NFL Draft is complete, and the Philadelphia Eagles' draft haul is much smaller than usual. They entered the draft with six picks, and exited it with just five players, even after trading out of the first round.

Of course, the reason the Eagles had so few picks was because they were included in deals to acquire players like Ronald Darby, Jay Ajayi, and uh, you know... Carson Wentz. Here we'll grade each move they made during draft weekend.

Eagles trade out of the first round

When they were on the clock at pick No. 32, the Eagles traded out of the first round, dropping to the 52nd pick of the second round. The details of the trade:

Eagles got  Ravens got 
 Ravens 2nd round pick (52nd overall) Eagles 1st round pick (32nd overall), used to select QB Lamar Jackson 
 Ravens 2nd round pick in 2019  Eagles 4th round pick (132nd overall)
 Ravens 4th round pick (125th overall)  

Adding an extra second round pick next year gave the Eagles a projected eleven picks in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Many fans were upset that the Eagles received a second round pick in 2019 instead of, say, a third round pick in 2018. That is 100 percent the wrong take. Had the Eagles instead accepted a third round pick to move back in the second round, the pick in the third round would have been pick No. 83.

The second round pick next year, at worst, will be pick no. 64. Obviously, it can be as high as pick No. 33 (or if the Patriots get caught cheating and lose their first round pick again, maybe pick No. 32). That all depends on how good you think the Ravens will be in 2018. In 2017, the Ravens' wins came against teams with a combined record of 43-101 (.299), and they were 0-5 against teams that went to the playoffs. In 2018, Baltimore will play eight games against teams that went to the playoffs in 2017.

In making this kind of trade, Howie Roseman was able to exploit a market inefficiency. The idea that future picks should be worth significantly less than picks in the current year is crazy to me. General managers in the NFL tend to have short shelf lives. It's win now, or hit the road. As such, logic would dictate that many of them do not want to trade current picks for future ones because they need immediate results. Coming off a Super Bowl win after just a two-year rebuild, Roseman has no such job security concerns.

Meanwhile, Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome has already announced that he is retiring after the 2018 season. What does he care if the Ravens don't have a second round pick in 2019? He was able to land perhaps the team's franchise quarterback in Lamar Jackson with the 32nd pick on his way out, off into the sunset, while keeping all of his team's other picks in his final draft. If he weren't retiring, I wonder if Newsome would have still made this trade. I'm betting he wouldn't.

While it may not seem so because there is no instant gratification, this trade was an absolute steal, in my view.


Grade: A+

Eagles draft South Dakota State TE Dallas Goedert with the 49th overall pick

With the Eagles sitting at pick No. 52, and a pair of teams in the Cowboys at pick No. 50 and the Patriots at pick No. 51 both in need of a tight end, the Eagles got aggressive and moved up to pick No. 49 to draft South Dakota State TE Dallas Goedert. The cost to move up was the Eagles' fifth round pick (169th overall). 

This offseason, at the tight end position, the Eagles lost Trey Burton in free agency and released Brent Celek to save $4 million in cap space. Obviously, Burton and Celek are survived by one of the best receiving tight ends in the NFL in Zach Ertz. 

At a lower level of college football, Goedert dominated, which is what you would expect of a legitimate NFL prospect. In 2016, Geodert caught 92 passes for 1293 yards and 11 TDs. In 2017, he had 72 catches for 1111 yards and 7 TDs. You'll see in his highlight reel that Goedert has the ability to make outstanding catches: 

In a video the Eagles put out after they made the pick, Doug Pederson tells Goedert at the 0:52 mark, "Our red zone just got a lot better."

The most successful teams in the NFL get it done in the red zone. In fact, the top three teams in red zone efficiency last season were the Eagles, Patriots, and Jaguars. I think we can agree all three of those teams had good seasons in 2017. Goedert could be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses, who already have to contend with covering bigger targets like Alshon Jeffery and Ertz.


If there's one thing that Doug Pederson has proven he is great at, it's forming his offensive schemes around the personnel he has in place. Goedert will give the Eagles' offense the flexibility to continue to use two-tight end sets, and more likely than not, use more of them.

Grade: B+

Eagles draft Pittsburgh CB Avonte Maddox with the 125th overall pick

Even after the release of Daryl Worley, the Eagles are loaded with outside corners, in Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones, and Rasul Douglas. None of the Eagles' corners have extensive experience playing the slot in the NFL, though the team thinks that Mills can handle those responsibilities if need be.

At 5'9, 184, Maddox projects to slot corner in the NFL. Despite his smaller size, Maddox is feisty and confident, which no doubt appeals to Jim Schwartz. 

In the NFC East, there are a number of small, shifty, talented slot receivers in the Giants' Sterling Shepard, the Redskins' Jamison Crowder, and the Cowboys' Cole Beasley (if you think he's still good, that is). As such, grabbing a slot corner in the fourth round to match up with shifty slot receivers makes sense.

At the 2018 NFL Combine, Maddox ran a 4.39 40, and landed in the 99th percentile in the 60-yard shuttle. He has the athleticism to cover fast slot receivers, and could be a good matchup piece against certain offenses.

Grade: B

Eagles draft Florida State DE Josh Sweat with the 132nd overall pick

Sweat was projected by many as a Day 2 pick. He is a 6-foot-5, size-speed freak with 4.52 speed, and other extremely impressive measurables:

I believe that this was the best value of all the Eagles' picks, though it may be a while until Sweat sees the field, as he is more potential than production. 

In 2016, he had 41 tackles, 7 sacks, and 1 FF. In 2017, he had 56 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and 0 FF. Those aren't eye-popping numbers, but certainly, with an already loaded defensive line, the Eagles can exercise patience with Sweat, and try to develop him into a professional quarterback hunter. 

With so few holes on the roster, drafting an intriguing defensive end with an eye toward the future was a good idea.

Grade: A

Eagles draft TCU OT Matt Pryor with the 206th overall pick

I had never heard of Pryor when the Eagles made this pick, and haven't had the chance to watch him extensively yet, so take whether I have to say about him here with a grain of salt. As a crutch, for now, here's what NFL.com's scouting report was on Pryor


Pryor is great big, long-armed blocker who falls in the category of prospect rather than project. His size and length traits along with his ability to play guard or tackle will offer immediate appeal as a potential third-day selection. He's better suited as a drive blocker who is allowed to work inside a smaller radius, but he's not a bad athlete in general. Pryor has dropped about twenty pounds since the end of the year which could help his case for staying at right tackle, but he's more than capable of playing guard if needed.


Pryor offers some versatility, which Doug Pederson prioritizes. He can be a developmental prospect, both at tackle and guard. It's perhaps worth noting that Halapoulivaati Vaitai, a successful Eagles fifth round pick, also came from TCU. That could indicate that the Eagles' scouting department has a comfort level in getting valuable information and opinions from TCU's coaching staff.

As for positional need, it's never a bad idea to continue to fill the offensive line pipeline.

Grade: B

Eagles draft rugby dude Jordan Mailata with the 233rd overall pick

Once again, the Eagles made another trade to get their guy. The Eagles moved up from pick No. 250 to No. 233, giving up a 2019 seventh round pick in the process to grab this athletic freak of nature.

After playing professional rugby, Mailata is preparing to play offensive tackle in the NFL, and he had an impressive pro day, via NFL.com.


Mailata measured just shy of 6-foot-8 and weighed 346 pounds. His arms measured a massive 35.5 inches. He was timed at 5.12 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which would have been good for seventh among tackle participants at the NFL Combine in February. He also excelled in the short shuttle with a time (4.67 seconds) that would have been among the top 10 at his position. Mailata put up 22 reps on the bench press.


Here he is in action, playing rugby:

He basically looks like Christian Okoye in Tecmo Bowl. At a minimum, this guy will be fun to watch in training camp.

And again, why not take a shot in filling that OL pipeline?

Grade: B

And here's BGN's take and summaries:



NFL Draft Grades 2018: Grading Philadelphia Eagles Draft Picks

What’s your grade for this year’s group?

By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Apr 29, 2018, 12:26pm EDT
Db566sGX4AAzVk5.0.jpgPicture via @goedert33

The 2018 NFL Draft is over, so now it’s time for everyone’s favorite activity: NFL Draft Grades!

You may believe that draft grades are completely meaningless and arbitrary at this point, but you’re wrong. This is about grading the process, not just the results. (Shout out to Sam Hinkie.)

As a reminder, here are your 2018 Eagles draft picks.

2nd - No. 49 - Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State

4th - No. 125 - Avonte Maddox, CB, Pittsburgh

4th - No. 130 - Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State

6th - No. 206 - Matt Pryor, OT, TCU

7th - No. 233 - Jordan Mailata, OT, South Sydney Rabbitohs

Let's start off with my own grade.

I’m gonna be honest: it’s hard to get to super fired up about only making five picks. Especially when there was no first round pick and only one total selection during the first two days.

But we have to remember why the Eagles were so limited on picks. Howie Roseman used them to acquire the following players: Carson Wentz (2018 second), Ronald Darby (2018 third), Jay Ajayi (2018 fourth), and Michael Bennett (2018 fifth). Those are some real important pieces.

We also have to remember the Eagles acquired Baltimore’s 2019 second round pick. Considering the Ravens aren’t some juggernaut, that could be a pretty decent pick. At the very least, Philadelphia will have three picks in the top 64 next year. The Eagles project to have 10 total picks in the 2019 NFL Draft after trading away one of next year’s sevenths on Saturday. Having those picks is important because the Eagles have a number of players who will be free agents after the 2018 season. Howie Roseman will need to replenish the roster while being tight up against the cap.

Let’s get back to this year’s actual picks.

Dallas Goedert

The popular comparison for Goedert is Zach Ertz but I’m more reminded of Travis Kelce when I watch him. Goedert even compared himself to the Chiefs tight end. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles run some tricky plays to get the ball in his hands, just like Kansas City does with Jason Kelce’s little brother.

Goedert also figures to be an important weapon in the red zone. The Eagles have the ability to go really big down there with the presence of Goedert (6-5), Ertz (6-5), Mack Hollins (6-4), and Alshon Jeffery (6-3).

As I explained on Saturday, my only quibble with the Goedert pick relates to his potetial playing time. I don’t need him to make some huge impact as a rookie. I just wonder how much he’ll get on the field in the future with Ertz being 27 years old and signed through 2021. Then again, he doesn’t necessarily need to play a ton if he provides the team with a significant impact when he does get snaps.

Avonte Maddox

It would’ve been pretty surprising if the Eagles made it through this year’s draft without adding a nickel corner type. They showed a ton of interest in those prospects leading up to the draft. What Maddox lacks in size he makes up for in pure athleticism. He also has some returning experience, although his college numbers indicate he’s just OK in that regard. Maddox should challenge for playing time in the slot. He’ll ideally be able to match up with smaller, shiftier receivers while Malcolm Jenkins can go up against bigger slot guys.

Josh Sweat

The Eagles didn’t need instant impact at defensive end, an area where they’re already loaded, as much as they needed long-term depth. Chris Long is 33, Michael Bennett is 32, and Brandon Graham is 30. Long and Graham are scheduled to be free agents after 2018. (Please re-sign BLG, Howie.) Bennett has no guaranteed money in his deal after this year so he can easily be cut.

We’ll see what happens with those veterans after this season, but for now they figure to be big contributors in 2018. That buys time for Sweat, who Mike Mayock said would be a first-round if not for his knee concern, to develop into valuable pass rusher for this team. Sweat said he looks forward to playing in Jim Schwartz’s attacking scheme. Florida State didn’t allow him to fire off the edge like that.

Matt Pryor

Let’s be honest: no one really even knew who this guy was before yesterday. BGN draft writer Benjamin Solak even admitted as much.

What we do know about Pryor is that he’s a massive man who can play either guard or tackle. He did not test very well at all athletically. Despite that, Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland clearly sees something in him that he likes.

Offensive tackle isn’t an immediate need with Jason Peters and Lane Johnson in place. But with Peters nearing the end of his career, it’ll be an important position to fill at some point down the line. If Pryor turns into a swing guard/tackle, this will be a fine pick. Maybe he can prove to be the next Allen Barbre.

Jordan Mailata

The Eagles traded one of their two 2019 sevenths to get this monster of a man. At 6-8, 346 pounds, Mailata is intriguing as hell. He’s super long and athletic.

Mailata doesn’t have ANY American football experience, so he’s far from guaranteed to pan out. But I like the Eagles’ thinking here. Why not swing for the fences in the seventh round.

The reality is a lot of these long shot picks don’t end up amounting to anything. Maybe I’m just a sucker, but I think Mailata might stand a better chance than others. He’s just SO much of a freak athlete. And he’s only 20 years old! It’ll be Stoutland’s magnum opus if he can make Mailata into anything worthwhile at the NFL level.


I think the Eagles did a nice job of addressing needs while also accounting for value. Tight end and slot corner were two of the most important areas that needed to be addressed.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Eagles spent three picks on linemen. Building through the trenches earned them a Vince Lombardi Trophy. Who can blame them for continuing to invest in those units?

The only real gripe I see people having with this draft is that the Eagles didn’t add a running back. But that shouldn’t be a major issue now that we know Darren Sproles is coming back. And, unlike last year at this time, Philly has a legitimate lead back in place due the presence of Ajayi. Sproles, Ajayi, and Corey Clement figure to be locks to make the team in 2018. Josh Adams, Donnel Pumphrey, and Wendell Smallwood will battle it out for the fourth spot.

Overall, I think the Eagles deserve an A- grade. You could talk me into a straight A grade but we’re just splitting arbitrary hairs at that point anyway.

See below for more hot takes and grades from around the web.

SB Nation (B+)

After sitting out the first day of the draft, the Eagles hit on the second and third days of the draft. South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert should easily replace Trey Burton and Brent Celek from a pass catching standpoint.

At the 130th pick, the Eagles got a pass rusher in Josh Sweat that some thought would sneak into the first round. Where he plays in Philadelphia is a little unknown. It could be standing up since the Eagles have so many defensive linemen. If he’s healthy, he could be a steal of the draft.

The Super Bowl champions got better during the draft. The knock is that they didn’t get an offensive lineman earlier than Matt Pryor in the sixth round. He’s a solid right tackle. The Eagles also picked up one of my sleepers in Australian rugby player Jordan Mailata in the seventh round.

ESPN Insider Mel Kiper (A-)

It’s good to be the Eagles. Coming off a Super Bowl title, they have no major needs and get to develop starters -- not try to draft plug-and-play guys. They’re looking for impact depth. That’s why we saw GM Howie Roseman trade out of the last pick in the first round to move down 20 spots and add an extra 2019 second-round pick (plus pick 125 in this draft). That 2019 pick is an extremely valuable one to stash away.

Now, you have to laugh at the Eagles trading up three spots to take tight end Dallas Goedert ahead of Dallas (49) with the draft in the Dallas area. And my best comp for Goedert all along was Zach Ertz, so now the Eagles have both players. Goedert is the best pass-catching and most athletic tight end in this class. Remember: Trey Burton and Brent Celek are both gone from 2018, so Goedert is going to play. Philadelphia led the league with 110 receptions by tight ends last season. If Goedert had gone late in Round 1 -- maybe to Philly! -- it wouldn’t have surprised me.

The Eagles didn’t have a third-round pick due to the Jordan Matthews-Ronald Darby swap with Buffalo last year, so Philly had only one pick on the first two days. Fourth-rounders Avonte Maddox (125) and Josh Sweat (130) are talented and athletic. Maddox was a four-year starter who ran a 4.39 at the combine. Sweat had 29 tackles for loss in college and had a 39.5-inch vertical jump at the combine. I moved up Matt Pryor (206) over the past few weeks after people in the league told me he was going to move to guard. And how about the Australian former rugby league player Jordan Mailata going late in the seventh round? Philly is going to try to make him an offensive tackle.

The reason this class isn’t a straight "A”? Not a single running back (though they did announce the re-signing of Darren Sproles when the day ended). If that’s the only bad thing I can say, the Eagles must have had a good day.

NFL.com (A)

General Manager Howie Roseman took advantage of other teams ignoring Lamar Jackson by trading out of the first round so Baltimore could select him. He grabbed the Ravens’ 2019 second-round pick and moved up in the second round on Friday night to select a tight end they could have taken in the first round: Dallas Goedert. He’ll be an outstanding player in the Jimmy Graham mold. The Eagles had given up their second-round pick to the Browns to get Carson Wentz two years ago and traded away their third-rounder to Buffalo, giving them just two picks in the first three rounds. The feisty and small Maddox can help replace Daryl Worley. Roseman reeled in Sweat, a first-round talent, in the fourth round, only because of medical concerns. Mailata’s potential as a 6-foot-8, 350-pound offensive tackle without football experience (he’s a former rugby player) was worth a flyer in the seventh round. They could have used a little more linebacker depth, but they might find it on the undrafted free agent market.

Rotoworld (B+)

In one sentence: Philly got the "1A” tight end int his class, acquired a Round 2 pick next year, and got a huge steal in Sweat (assuming his knee holds up).

Rotoworld (B)

The Eagles didn’t have many picks after trading No. 96 to the Bills for Ronald Darby and No. 131 to the Dolphins for Jay Ajayi, but those players remain under contract with the team and are considered part of this draft class. As is Michael Bennett, although he is currently in legal hot water. The Eagles also acquired the Ravens’ 2019 second-round pick in Thursday’s Lamar Jackson trade. Philly began its draft by leapfrogging the division-rival Cowboys for Goedert, the best two-way tight end in this class and a surefire Dallas target with Jason Witten retiring. Maddox is a feisty slot corner with lightning-quick short-area agility, helpful when covering quicker-than-fast interior receivers like Jamison Crowder, Cole Beasley, and Sterling Shepard. Sweat has first-round athleticism and pass-rush potential. He fell due to knee problems that have plagued him since high school. Pryor’s probable ceiling is a long-term swing guard-tackle backup. Massively athletic rugby freak Mailata was a seventh-round shot in the dark.

Sports Illustrated (B+)

With their first pick, the defending Super Bowl champions leapfrogged their division rival Cowboys to draft a tight end (Dallas Goedert) who can play alongside Zach Ertz. Head coach Doug Pederson understands that defenses hate an offense that can throw the ball out of two tight end sets, and that’s especially true when that offense has a running game as expansive and effective as Philly’s. With Ertz and Goedert on the field together, No. 3 linebackers will now be forced into coverage. Carson Wentz is licking his chops.

After that, it was just about building depth and taking the best players available—a perfect scenario for any team, and an unthinkably perfect one for a defending champion. The Eagles didn’t address their inside linebacker situation after their predraft behavior suggested they would. But even if the injury-prone Jordan Hicks doesn’t bounce back from last year’s torn Achilles, riding one more year with Mychal Kendricks alongside the recently re-signed Nigel Bradham isn’t the worst thing.

USA Today (B-)

Champs often draft for depth, and GM Howie Roseman traded down to get more. Stealing TE "Dallas” Goedert in Jerry Jones’ backyard was a nice touch. But getting Florida State pass rusher Josh Sweat in Round 4 might wind up being Roseman’s best pick.

CBS Sports (B+)

Dallas Goedert: He is a nice pass-catching tight end who will replace Trey Burton. I like this pick for the Eagles. (B+)

Avonte Maddox: Feisty, ultra-aggressive slot CB with the agility to match with quickest WRs in the league. Gets his hands on loads of passes. (A)

Josh Sweat: Clowney-like linear freak athlete. Powerful jolt with long arms. Embarrassment of riches up front on Eagles defense. (A)

Matt Pryor: Tremendous size and length. Could shed some weight. Won’t lose in power situations. Has trouble with quickness. Quality depth for Philly up front. (B+)

Jordan Mailata: Rugby player with ridiculous size, power athleticism. Has yet to play a down of football. His measureables make him worthy of a flier this late. (C-)

PhillyVoice (B+)

In making this kind of trade, Howie Roseman was able to exploit a market inefficiency. The idea that future picks should be worth significantly less than picks in the current year is crazy to me. General managers in the NFL tend to have short shelf lives. It’s win now, or hit the road. As such, logic would dictate that many of them do not want to trade current picks for future ones because they need immediate results. Coming off a Super Bowl win after just a two-year rebuild, Roseman has no such job security concerns.

Meanwhile, Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome has already announced that he is retiring after the 2018 season. What does he care if the Ravens don’t have a second round pick in 2019? He was able to land perhaps the team’s franchise quarterback in Lamar Jackson with the 32nd pick on his way out, off into the sunset, while keeping all of his team’s other picks in his final draft. If he weren’t retiring, I wonder if Newsome would have still made this trade. I’m betting he wouldn’t.

Pro Football Focus (“Good”)

Day 2: With one pick in the first two days of the draft, it’s just as well the Eagles roster is in good shape, and they showed that by making something of a luxury pick with the selection of TE Dallas Goedert out of South Dakota State. Goedert has reminded many in the pre-draft process of Zach Ertz, so it’s interesting to see the two players on the same roster. Against admittedly questionable competition, Goedert was on another level of dominance, averaging 8.1 yards per catch after the reception and breaking a dozen tackles along the way. Goedert’s run-blocking grade was solid, but this was against FCS competition and it will be unlikely to be a major strength at the next level.

Day 3: Josh Sweat is an edge rusher a lot of people had higher on their boards but had some injury concerns. He had 34 total pressures in 2017 and 32 defensive stops. Avonte Maddox would be a much higher pick if he wasn’t just 5-foot-9 as he had 30 pass breakups over the past four seasons. They also grabbed an Australian NRL rugby player in OT Jordan Mailata in the seventh round as a flier.



A = 1
A- = 2
B+ = 5
B = 1
B- = 1

Overall average grade: B+


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For 2019, we'll start with USA Today.  From the looks of last year, they were way off base:



Grading the Eagles' 2019 NFL Draft picks

April 25, 2019 10:50 pm

The 2019 NFL Draft is underway in Nashville, and FTW’s lead NFL writer Steven Ruiz is grading picks and offering analysis on how each player will fit with his new team.

No. 22 (from BAL): Andre Dillard, LT Washington State

Analysis: Howie Roseman does it again! The Eagles needed a franchise left tackle to replace Jason Peters, and they got one … at pick 22. That never happens. Dillard is the best pass protector in the class. He’s not overly powerful, but he doesn’t let people get by him. Washington State threw the ball a ton — and QB Gardner Minshew held the ball for an eternity — and Dillard gave up only one sack in all of 2018.


Round 2

No. 53: Miles Sanders, RB Penn State

Analysis: He’s not Saquon Barkley, but Miles Sanders is a strong runner with good testing numbers. I’m not sure he’s the best compliment to Jordan Howard — I would have preferred more of a receiving threat — but Sanders can play on third downs because of his pass blocking skills.


No. 57: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR Stanford

Analysis: This is a better pick than the Eagles’ last one. Before the draft, I compared J.J. Arcega-Whiteside to Alshon Jeffery, so this is obviously a good fit and one that will help the Eagles’ cap situation down the road. Philadelphia is officially the most difficult team to defend in the red zone with Arcega-Whiteside., Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert and Jeffrey on the roster.


Here is the CSN Analysts grade summary:



2019 NFL Draft: Analysts' grades for Eagles


Assigning grades the day after the draft is kind of like assigning grade-point averages to babies the day after they're born.

It's too early. Way too early. Nobody knows. Nobody has a clue.

But they're fun to look at, and at a minimum they give us an idea of what people around the country think of what the Eagles are doing.

The Eagles only had five picks in this year's draft, but the 10 draft analysts we checked all had positive reviews of what Howie Roseman, Joe Douglas and Co. accomplished from Thursday through Saturday.

The Eagles got five A's, four B's and one "above average" from the 10 random draft analysts we checked.

Here's a rundown of those 10 grades with my comments on each one:

A  Chad Reuter, NFL.com

What they said: “(Andre) Dillard and Lane Johnson will form a great tandem whenever (Jason) Peters moves on. (Miles) Sanders will be an impact back who could see his role grow quickly with Jordan Howard due to become a free agent after the 2019 season. (JJ) Arcega-Whiteside will be a red-zone stud and general safety valve for Carson Wentz. (Shareef) Miller will offer a strong pass rush for the Eagles despite falling to the end of the fourth round. The (Clayton) Thorson pick made plenty of sense with Wentz coming off injury and Nick Foles gone."

Roob’s take: This guy loves the Eagles’ draft! The odds that all five guys will actually contribute are slim, but none of them seems like a ridiculous pick off the bat. He makes a great point about Arcega-Whiteside. I don’t know if he’ll ever be a star, but he certainly does have a knack for the end zone. 

B-: Dan Kadar, SBNation

What they said: "It’s curious that they didn’t address cornerback.”

Roob’s take: No, it’s not curious that they didn’t address cornerback. Nobody thought they were drafting a cornerback. Nobody. They have tons of promising young corners. Sidney Jones is 22, Rasul Douglas and Avonte Maddox are 23, Cre’Von LeBlanc is 24, Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills are 25. Come on now, Dan.

"Above Average”: PFF Analysis Team

What they said: "Philly hit a home run with (Dillard) at No. 22. JJ Arcega-Whiteside, a PFF favorite and first-round talent on the final board, is a steal for Philly at pick No. 57. (Miller) still has a long way to go before he’s a finished product in the NFL.”

Roob’s take: I think this last point an important one. Even defensive ends drafted in the highest rounds need a couple years to figure out the NFL game. It's a very tough position for a young guy to come in and master. Miller, as a fourth-round pick, is definitely a pick for the future, and I wouldn’t have very high expectations of him right off the bat.

A-: Andy Benoit, SI.com

What they said: "Every pick made sense for the Eagles, especially when you look a few years down the road. "

Roob’s take: That’s what the draft’s all about, drafting for 2021, 2022 and 2023, not necessarily trying to fill in spots on the 2019 depth chart. Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas were true to their board, avoided the temptation to reach for a safety early and wound up with who they believe are the best players they could get at each spot.

B: Evan Silva, Rotoworld

What they said: "This class isn’t blowing anyone away with only five draftees, but its grade improves when you include pick-swap acquisitions WR DeSean Jackson and DT Hassan Ridgeway.”

Roob’s take: This is important to remember. If you’re going to complain that the Eagles only had five picks, you have to remember that Roseman turned 6th- and 7th-round picks in this year’s draft into Jackson and Ridgeway. We all know what Jackson can do, and the Eagles have had their eye on Ridgeway for a while and believe he’s a better fit here than he was in Indianapolis. I’m guessing Jackson and Ridgeway will help more than anybody the Eagles could have taken with the 208thand 246th picks.

B: Mel Kiper, ESPN

What they said: "I like what Roseman & Co. did this weekend, but it's tough to say it's stellar with just five picks. I do expect Philly to be a playoff team again in 2019.”

Roob’s take: I expect that, too. This is a team that won 10 regular-season games and a playoff game in 2018, and I think they’ve gotten better. 

A+: Steve Serby, New York Post

What they said: "Howie Roseman leapfrogged the Texans for Dillard, the best pass blocker in the draft and the likely replacement next season for 37-year-old Jason Peters. Sanders isn’t Saquon Barkley, but he averaged 6.0 yards per carry at Penn State. WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside (80-inch wingspan) will be another big red-zone target for Carson Wentz. QB Clayton Thorson has a chance to be the new Nick Foles.”

Roob’s take: Very positive evaluation from Giants country.

A: Steve Silverman, Bleacher Report

What they said: "The Eagles clearly know what they are doing on draft day.”

Roob’s take: They do seem to have a plan and they stick to it. You can never totally prevent busts, but it does seem like the Eagles’ scouting structure is in a place right now to minimize those disastrous mistakes a la Jon Harris, Danny Watkins and Marcus Smith.

A-: Vinny Iyer, Sporting News

What they said: "It's a compact class, but a solid one.”

Roob’s take: A pretty healthy undrafted free agent group should help the Eagles make up for the fact that for the second straight year they only had five picks. Check out the NBC Sports Philadelphia's undrafted rookie free agent tracker here.

B: Nate Davis USA Today  

What they said: "Miles Sanders could be a rookie of the year dark horse for a team that struggled to fill the position in 2018. First-round LT Andre Dillard and the other second rounder, WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside, look like shrewd investments who may not have to start for another year.”

Roob’s take: Two shrewd investments and a rookie of the year darkhorse and they get a B? This dude’s a tough grader.


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16 hours ago, hputenis said:

These are tough to look at.  I had to stop.  Some of these grades are even worse.  Some arsewipe graded Danny Watkins as a better value pick than Jason Kelce.  😂

I think that is the point.  Most of the people making these draft grade pieces really don’t know jack ish - besides the overall idea of preparing draft grades immediately after it occurs is a really silly and completely meaningless exercise.

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1 minute ago, time2rock said:

I think that is the point.  Most of the people making these draft grade pieces really don’t know jack ish - the overall idea of preparing draft grades immediately after it occurs is a really silly and completely meaningless exercise.

Even though I think he's a total arsehat as an analyst, it makes me respect Mel Kiper's career and what he created 30+ years ago with his draft nonsense.  He made the draft popular, and now, whoever is a tv or network analyst just has to provide shallow analysis on each player, and there is absolutely ZERO accountability for it years later (when the results should matter).    

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1st (2) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State - [READ MORE]
3rd (79) - Isaac Seumalo, OL, Oregon State - [READ MORE]
5th (153) - Wendell Smallwood, RB, West Virginia - [READ MORE]
5th (164) - Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OL, TCU - [READ MORE]
6th (196) - Blake Countess, DB, Auburn - [READ MORE]
7th (233) - Jalen Mills, S, LSU - [READ MORE]
7th (240) - Alex McCalister, DE, Florida - [READ MORE]
7th  (251) - Joe Walker, LB, Oregon - [READ MORE]

To add  positivity to a most recent weekend of mixed feelings about the draft, the Eagles crushed this draft above.  Add in the trades to get where they did, the fact they came out with this haul is mind boggling.  Seumalo was a hit at 79 and only continues to improve, Smallwood was fine for 153, Vaitai was a freakin steal at 164, and Jalen Mills has completely outplayed any 7th round draft pick that comes to mind.  They don't win a SB without 3 of these guys drafted 1 year earlier (Carson, Vaitai, Mills).  

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