Saturday, April 30, 2011

Philadelphia Eagles 2011 Draft Round-up

The 2011 NFL Draft is now in the books and the Eagles came away with a bunch of intriguing prospects. It was a somewhat curious draft for the Birds, who didn't target some of their biggest needs in the first two rounds, leading many to speculate that they might be counting on free agency to shore up their defensive line and cornerback situations. Andy Reid is never one to make all of the expected moves in the draft and this year was no exception as he grabbed several players a round or two ahead of when most draft pundits had them projected. Clearly, the Eagles trust their judgement and don't take stock in what everyone else thinks about who they target in the draft. Here's a look at every player the Eagles selected in the 2011 draft:

Round 1, pick 23 (23): Danny Watkins, OL, Baylor
If you watched the Eagles at all last year, you know how much the offensive line struggled to block for Michael Vick. Drafting Watkins should help to shore up at least one spot along the line as he figures to step into the starting right guard spot. While much has been made about his age (26), Watkins doesn't have a lot of miles on his body and should be able to play well into his 30's. Nearly every expert raves about his toughness and his work ethic, so, with the help of Howard Mudd, he should make a smooth transition to the NFL.

Round 2, pick 22 (54): Jaiquawn Jarrett, S, Temple
The Eagles go local with their second pick, snapping up Jarrett from nearby Temple. Jarrett was a four year starter at Temple and is known as a big hitter. That the Eagles used a second round pick on a safety for the second year in a row tells you they either are planning to get rid of Quintin Mikell or they aren't sure if Nate Allen will be healthy at the start of the season. Andy Reid has made it pretty clear that Jarrett will be a safety in the NFL, a smart move given his questionable cover skills.

Round 3, pick 26 (90): Curtis Marsh, CB, Utah St.
The Eagles finally addressed possibly their biggest need in the third round, picking up Marsh after trading down and picking up an extra 6th round pick. There are some questions surrounding Marsh, who played running back at the start of his college career and only recently transitioned to corner. He probably isn't the answer as the starting CB opposite of Asante Samuel but he could slide into a nickel role with an impressive training camp. Given that they waited this long to take a corner, the Eagles must have someone targeted in free agency (Nnamdi Asomugha?).

Round 4, pick 19 (116): Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon
After moving down and picking up a 4th rounder next year, the Eagles addressed another need and picked up a linebacker. Matthews has a great pedigree, as his dad played 19 years at linebacker in the NFL and his brother is a star linebacker for the Super Bowl champion Packers. He has all of the characteristics of everyone in his family as he is hard-working, tough and plays the game the way it should be played. While he won't be as good as his brother Clay, Casey could have a solid NFL career as more of a role player and special teams contributor. If he plays with the same intensity and instincts of the rest of his bloodline, he will be a great pick.

Round 4, pick 23 (120): Alex Henery, K, Nebraska
Thanks for all the great years, David Akers. I'm not even going to pretend like I know how to evaluate kickers, but Henery's selection surely means that Akers, who refused to sign a transition tag, won't be coming back to the Eagles. You don't take the first kicker of the draft if you don't plan on having him be the guy. As much as we all like Akers for everything he has done, he is getting up there in years and he hasn't been very good on kickoffs. Henery was the best kicker in the draft and has a strong leg, so he should be a solid replacement.

Round 5, pick 18 (149): Dion Lewis, RB, Pittsburgh
If you had success with one running back from Pitt, why not take another? Lewis, who succeeded LeSean McCoy at Pitt, is a small (5 foot 7, 193 pounds) back with a lot of shiftiness. He's a little like McCoy in terms of his elusiveness but he doesn't have much in the way of power or hands and he doesn't figure to be someone who can carry a heavy load. With the Eagles set at running back with McCoy and (hopefully) Jerome Harrison, Lewis could slot into the 3rd running back role and finally push Eldra Buckley out of the picture.

Round 5, pick 30 (161): Julian Vandervelde, OL, Iowa
After moving down a few spots and turning a 7th round pick into a 6th round pick, the Eagles picked up their second offensive lineman of the draft in Vandervelde. At 6 foot 2, 301 pounds, he's a big dude and figures to compete for a backup spot along the offensive line. It's not clear exactly what position he will play in the NFL but count on him somewhere in the interior of the line. Physicality is his specialty so he could develop into a starter down the road.

Round 6, pick 26 (191): Jason Kelce, G/C, Cincinnati
The Eagles went with their second offensive lineman in a row, picking up another interior lineman in Kelce. He's listed as a center but could also compete at guard. Best case scenario for Kelce is probably earning a backup spot but he's probably a candidate to spend a year on the practice squad.

Round 6, pick 28 (193): Brian Rolle, LB, Ohio State
After swapping this pick with the Patriots for pick 194 for no reason, the Eagles selected their second linebacker of the draft in Rolle. Rolle was productive at Ohio State and was a first team All-Big Ten selection last year. At 5 foot 10, 229 pounds he's pretty small for a linebacker and there is even some speculation on his profile that he could move to safety in the NFL. He is the cousin of Giants defensive back Antrel Rolle.

Round 7, pick 34 (237): Greg Lloyd, LB, Connecticut
Grabbing another linebacker, the Eagles go with Lloyd, who is the son of former Steeler linebacker Greg Lloyd, though they've had a checkered relationship. Lloyd has some issues with injuries but he is physical and projects to be a middle linebacker in the NFL. Some experts thought he was a mid-round pick so the Eagles might have themselves a nice value pick here.

Round 7, pick 38 (240): Stanley Havili, FB, USC
The Eagles wrap things up with a fullback. With Leonard Weaver's future looking dicey, Havili could get a chance to compete for the starting fullback spot. He is a good pass-catching threat out of the backfield, something the Eagles obviously value. Isn't known as much of a blocker or a runner so he's going to have his work cut out for him if he wants to make the team.

That's all 11 players the Eagles took in the 2011 draft. Be sure to add your comments on the Eagles draft below and grade their draft in the poll to the left!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bad credit personal loans are not hurdles for you, this iis that, Eventually, we
need it most. Thee Personal Information, Home address, bank account such as music systems, power
window and power steering etc, borrower, income annd financial risks.

Visit my web blog: