Releasing the 2014 Eagles Draft Grades: How did Howie Roseman and Chip Kelly did in the draft.
1.26 – Marcus Smith, OLB
No matter how you look at it, Marcus Smith is not a guy that you spent a first round pick on him. He can be a Pro Bowler two or three years down the stretch, but the grade of a draft pick is not based on that. When the Philadelphia Eagles were called to select a player with the 26th overall pick, there were players with greater potential than Smith on the board. Some of them were not a cheme fit, but I find it hard to believe that Smith was the best player available the Eagles could use.
2.42 – Jordan Matthews, WR
The Eagles jumped 12 spots in the second round to grab Jordan Matthews, a wide receiver out of Vanderbilt University. Matthews was one of the most pro-ready receivers in this draft and a really versatile one. Chip Kelly and Pat Shurmur (Philly’s offensive coordinator) can use Matthews outside or in the slot and send him on any route. Matthews is also tough and not afraid to play in traffic. He needs to improve his pass catching and he is limited in a way by his top-end speed.
3.86 – Josh Huff, WR
I can think more reasons not to draft Josh Huff than to. The Eagles were not in a big need to add another wide receiver after selecting Matthews. Josh Huff is fast, can play outside the numbers or in the slot (just like Matthews) and is familiar with Kelly’s principles from his college days. Huff can also return kicks and play in the coverage units of special teams. However, at the point the Eagles selected him, he was neither the best player available and will probably be the fouth wide receiver on the depth chart.
4.101 – Jaylen Watkins, CB
Jaylen Watkins was steadily climbing up the draft boards and went from being the lowest ranked cornerback out of University of Florida to the first being selected in the 2014 NFL Draft. He is a very fast, he has experience in man coverage and played against the top wideouts as a player of a SEC football program. As most Eagles players, he is too considered a very versatile guy. On the other hand, he lacks ideal length and might need a year or two of sitting out and learn from the veterans.
5.141 – Taylor Hart, DE
Taylor Hart is the second Oregon Duck that the Eagles picked in this draft. He is a six feet, six inches tall defensive end with a lot of experience in 3-4 schemes. Like Huff, he is familiar with the football Chip Kelly likes his teams to play, as well as the culture and principles of the Eagles’ head coach. However, he appears to be limited in terms of athleticism andneeds to work a lot to build a stronger frame and improve his pass rushing technique in order to become a starter at the next level. One more thing to consider: this pick could be used provide depth at a different spot, since Hart is now the eighth defensive end on the roster.
5.162 – Ed Reynolds, S
The safety position has been a weak spot of every Eagles team since the departure of Brian Dawkins. Last year, it looked like the Birds found stability with Nate Allen and Earl Wolff and they took a shot at upgrading with thi signings of Malcolm Jenkins and special teams ace Chris Maragos. Keelan Johnson is too on the roster, so there was no pressing need to add another safety. Picking Ed Reynolds was not a bad move, but it is very doubtful that Reynolds will provide any upgrade. He has good size and speed and he does a good job overall, but there is nothing that stands out when you watch his game film.
7.224 – Beau Allen, NT
I loved that pick from the first moment. If you run a 3-4 defensive scheme you need a big guy to man up the middle of your defensive line. Even for a team like the Eagles, who prefer more agile and athletically gifted players, it is required to have a big nost tackle to control two gaps and occupy the space between the opposing offensive guards. Allen does exactly that. He might not penetrate and make plays in the backfield, but he will draw double teams and take on blocks to free up his linebackers. I projected Allen as a seventh-round pick of the Eagles back in April and I believe he will be a decent backup of Bennie Logan.