Saturday, April 24, 2010

Philadelphia Eagles 2010 Draft Round-up

The Eagles came to the draft table this year with a clear focus: get as many defensive players as possible. While last year was all about offensive weapons for the Eagles, this year is all about loading up with a ton of defensive guys at every position for a loaded competition in training camp. In all, the Eagles made 13 picks, 9 of them defensive players. By the end, they had addressed every position on the field with the exception of the offensive line, a shocking revelation given Andy Reid's penchant for drafting them early and often. Here's a look at every player the Eagles selected at the 2010 draft:

Round 1, pick 13 (13): Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
The Eagles first move in the draft was to trade up and get a top pass-rusher in Graham. While many thought the Eagles would be making a grab at a safety, clearly the Eagles felt they weren't getting enough pressure on the quarterback last season. Graham is a high motor player who specializes in making tackles behind the line of scrimmage so he should fit right in opposite of Trent Cole. The biggest knock on Graham is that he's a bit undersized but the Eagles think that's a plus because they can move him to linebacker on certain plays. While this pick wasn't what we all expected, it could turn out to be a perfect fit for the Eagles.

Round 2, pick 5 (37): Nate Allen, S, South Florida
With the "Donovan McNabb pick", the Eagles got their secondary help. Many experts have been commenting that the drop-off from Earl Thomas, the safety the Eagles could have had in the first round, down to Allen, is minimal. While Allen isn't a big hitter in the Brian Dawkins mold, he will still be a great fit for the Eagles at free safety given his playmaking skills and his strength in coverage. Sick of tight ends burning the Eagles every game? Allen could be the answer to that ongoing problem. In fact, Allen is so good at coverage that the Eagles could play him at cornerback as well.

Round 3, pick 22 (86): Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, DE, Washington
This is a name we're all going to need some time to learn how to say. After trading down three separate times, the Eagles finally took Te'o-Nesheim late in the 3rd round. Te'o-Nesheim is another one of those tweener guys in the NFL; he's not quite big enough to be along the defensive line and he's not quite athletic enough to be a linebacker. The Eagles love his motor and will use him along the d-line as they hope to have added another lineman to the rotation.

Round 4, pick 7 (105): Trevard Lindley, CB, Kentucky
On Day 3 of the draft, the Eagles finally get a cornerback. Lindley is one of those classic draft picks that has a ton of talent but fell due to injuries. In fact, Lindley was one of the best corners in college before his relatively unproductive senior year dropped his draft stock. If this guy plays up to his talent, he could be quite a steal for the Eagles.

Round 4, pick 23 (121): Keenan Clayton, LB, Oklahoma
The Eagles kicked off their flurry of late 4th/early 5th round picks with a bit of a reach in Clayton. Many experts thought Clayton, an undersized linebacker, could be had a few rounds later but clearly there is something in him the Eagles liked. While Clayton will be in the mix for a linebacker spot, I would expect him to contribute mostly on special teams for a few years. Given his speed and athleticism, there could be some thought of moving him to strong safety.

Round 4, pick 24 (122): Mike Kafka, QB, Northwestern
Finally, 6 picks into their draft, the Eagles take an offensive player in Kafka. A developmental quarterback, Kafka will be the third stringer for the next few years as he learns the Eagles system. Given that he is coming from a spread offense that threw the ball all over the field, Kafka figures to be a great fit for the Eagles West Coast Offense. Of course, as with any spread quarterback, Kafka is going to need some time learning how to take the ball from center and reading defenses. As the video shows below, though, Kafka was the MVP of the East-West Shrine Game and has some real potential.

Round 4, pick 27 (125): Clay Harbor, TE/FB, Missouri State
In Harbor, the Eagles grabbed their first offensive weapon of the draft. It's difficult to get a read on what the Eagles plan to do with Harbor, who was formerly a wide receiver but shifted to tight end in college, as most scouts think of him as an H-back. The Eagles likely will line him up all over the field, utilizing him out of the backfield as well as a secondary pass catching threat to Brent Celek at tight end. I haven't seen much talk about how well he blocks, though; if he wants serious playing time, he's going to have to protect Kevin Kolb.

Round 5, pick 3 (134): Ricky Sapp, DE, Clemson
It's like a broken record for the Eagles: another under-sized defenesive end. Sapp was another projected early round talent that fell due to injury concerns after he rebounded slowly from an ACL injury back in 2008. While this guy was really productive at DE in college, he could very likely be moving to linebacker as there is no way the Eagles are drafting all of these linemen for the rotation. Sapp has some big-time potential, though, so he could turn out to be quite a steal.

Round 5, pick 28 (159): Riley Cooper, WR, Florida
Cooper will bring something rare to the Eagles receiving corps: size. Playing with Tim Tebow at Florida, Cooper was a solid possession receiver who made the tough catches. He could stick with the Eagles and be a threat in the redzone, something the team is always looking for. Strangely enough, Cooper was also a star baseball player and was once drafted by the Phillies. He has since quit baseball to focus on football.

Round 6, pick 31 (200): Charles Scott, RB, LSU
Could this be the big back Eagles fans have been clamoring for? Scott, a powerful, straight-ahead runner, appears to be the perfect compliment to LeSean McCoy. While Scott isn't quick, he makes up for it with his size and ability to break tackles. He is coming off a broken collarbone, which likely dropped his draft stock. Look for Scott to compete with Mike Bell for the backup position and push Eldra Buckley off the roster. Suddenly, with Leonard Weaver, Bell and Scott, the Eagles backfield has quite a few backs that can get the tough 3rd and 4th down yards.

Round 7, pick 13 (220): Jamar Chaney, LB, Miss. St.
It always makes me a little wary when every single pundit calls a pick a steal but the drafting of Chaney in the 7th round appears to be just that. Ranked as the third best inside linebacker in the draft, the Eagles traded a 6th round pick next year to scoop him up. Why he fell so far in the draft when many thought he would go in the third or fourth round is a mystery. Chaney does have some injury history but he appears to be an athletic linebacker who is solid against the run. With the Eagles not exactly settled at the linebacker position next year, Chaney has a legitimate shot of not only making the team but also making an impact.

Round 7, pick 36 (243): Jeff Owens, DT, Georgia
The Eagles pick their first defensive tackle very late in the draft. Owens is big and strong but has to be considered a longshot to make the roster. He's another guy coming off some serious injury issues that kept him out most of 2008.

Round 7, pick 37 (244): Kurt Coleman, S, Ohio State
Why not wrap up the draft with another defensive player? I suppose Coleman could work his way into a spot in the secondary but he isn't exactly fast and he can't really cover that well, two things that are kind of important in the NFL. If he makes the team, Coleman, a solid tackler, would likely be a special teams guy.

Whew, talk about a haul of players, that's everyone the Eagles took in the 2010 Draft. Be sure to add your comments on the Eagles draft below and grade their draft in the poll to the left!

1 comment:

Steve Kammerman said...

The more defensive players, the better. With McCoy, Jackson, and Kolb on offense, that side of the ball is set for years to come. They really need to replace older players on D.