Defenses win championships. A successful NFL franchise maintains continued success by building the foundation of the roster through the draft. A franchise quarterback will be selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Clinched rhetoric such as the aforementioned statements rears its head each and every season when the pundits make their predictions for which teams will make the Super Bowl. As song-writer Bob Dylan famously said however, “The times they are a changing” and the cookie-cutter mold of how to build a Super Bowl contending franchise is changing rapidly. For the Philadelphia Eagles, the work in progress under head coach Chip Kelly and his staff is beginning to bring the Eagles closer towards the current model for a successful franchise.
What football fans everywhere witnessed last Sunday in Super Bowl XLVIII was a complete team victory by the Seattle Seahawks. What the casual fan might not realize is that there are only two players on that defense that were selected in the first round by Seattle (Earl Thomas and Bruce Irvin) and that Golden Tate was the only receiver on the team actually drafted by Seattle. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was selected in the third round of the 2012 draft and he is the first quarterback from that acclaimed draft class that has won a championship, temporarily rebutting my opinion that Nick Foles might be the best from that particular draft class. Perhaps the most important aspect of the success under head coach Pete Carroll has been the abundantly high number of starters acquired in the later rounds of the draft.