Monday, April 26, 2010

Experts weigh in on Eagles 2010 draft

While grading an NFL Draft two days after it is over is a useless exercise, it's still nice to know that most experts feel the Eagles did a solid job in the 2010 draft. Sure, they didn't get a ton of top-end talent but they did come away with a bunch of nice players that fit their system. Although we won't be able to really gauge this draft for another three years, knowing that the Eagles got a lot of valuable players is always a positive. Here is just a sampling of what some experts are saying about the Eagles draft:

Mel Kiper, ESPN: B+
The 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.

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.

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. First, they aggressively traded up to land defensive end Brandon Graham with the 13th overall pick and added another try-hard pass rusher in Daniel Te'o-Nesheim in the third. The team landed one of the draft's better cover safeties in Nate Allen in between. While the 6-2, 270-pound Graham is a proven pass rusher who led the country in tackles for loss and won the Senior Bowl Defensive MVP honors, his selection was a surprise for the Eagles, considering the team had previously traded for another undersized pass rusher in former Seattle Seahawk Daryl Tapp. The Eagles had 10 picks on Saturday, most prominently addressing the need for depth at quarterback (Mike Kafka), linebacker (Ricky Sapp, Jamar Chaney). For a team that some believe is as deep as any in the league, however, wouldn't packaging some of those lower round picks for top-tier talent have been a better use of them?

John Czarnecki, Fox Sports: B-
The Eagles gave up a lot to move up in the first round to take Michigan pass rusher Brandon Graham, 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. Allen is also going to be remembered as the Donovan McNabb selection, too. A lot of pressure on this kid to produce. For all their ammunition prior to the draft, the Eagles kind of struck out. With the 122nd pick, the Eagles surprised many by taking Northwestern QB Mike Kafka over Tony Pike and Dan LeFevour. Obviously, Kafka is smart but his arm seemed limited. The Eagles did a lot better in the later rounds on value, getting Clemson OLB Ricky Sapp, who had second-round grades, Florida receiver Riley Cooper who should be a big target in the red zone and H-back Clay Harbor of Missouri State. Ohio State safety Kurt Coleman was a playmaker and has a shot to make the team from the seventh round.

Clifton Brown, 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.

For my full run-down of the Eagles draft, click here.
I give the Eagles a B+. They had a few steals and a few reaches but had a plan to upgrade the defense and they appear to have succeeded.

How do you grade the Eagles draft? Vote in the poll on the left!

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