The 2014 NFL Draft is in the books for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagle’s draft haul was seven offensive and defensive players Head Coach Chip Kelly and General Manager Howie Roseman saw fit to help this team win consistently. The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Louisville outside linebacker Marcus Smith with their first round selection after trading the organizations original pick (22nd overall) to the Cleveland Browns. Like most Philadelphia Eagles fans, I was shocked when I saw the selection. I hope Smith will develop into the bookend pass rusher the Eagles need to him to be and provide a pass rush that was sorely lacking during the 2013 campaign. However, current Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Trent Cole will be hard to beat out. Cole is one of the longest tenured Eagles, but he needs to provide more of a pass rush if he is going to hold off Smith.
The Philadelphia Eagles drafted wide receiver Jordan Matthews with their second round pick. I originally wanted the Eagles to draft New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks, but when the Eagles’ selection came around, Cooks was already off the board. Living so close to the University of Georgia, I have had the opportunity to watch Matthews play against the Georgia Bulldogs. Matthews is the real deal, and very well could be the answer to the Philadelphia Eagles questions at the wide receiver position after releasing Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson. I see Matthews as taking the role of Carolina Panthers wide receiver Jason Avant as the slot receiver. Matthews will not be able to replace Avant’s leadership, but he should give Philadelphia Eagle’s quarterback Nick Foles a more viable option at receiver.
The Eagles’ third round selection is who I am really excited about. The Eagles drafted wide receiver Josh Huff out of the University of Oregon. For fans who are new to the Eagles or do not know much about Chip Kelly, the former Oregon coach is quite familiar with Huff. Kelly has coached Huff dating back to their days at Oregon and will know how to use him to in open space when he gets the ball in his hands. Huff should help the Eagles by being the fourth receiver when the play calls for four wide outs on the field.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ fourth round section is the versatile cornerback Jaylen Watkins. Watkins seems to fit what Chip Kelly and defensive coordinator Billy Davis like to do on defense. Watkins can play either corner or safety. Watkins will have an uphill climb trying to beat out the likes of Philadelphia Eagles corners Bradley Fletcher, Cary Williams, or newly acquired corner Nolan Carroll. Watkins will see time on the playing field but it will likely be in dime situations. Philadelphia Eagles nickel corner Brandon Boykin has the slot tightly secured, as well. Watkins can also be a key player on special teams.
If those four players can make any kind of impact on the 2014 version of the Philadelphia Eagles, our team will be in great shape. Even though fans might still be confused as to why the the front office selected Smith, fans have not reason to start doubting Roseman and Kelly now. I have a good feeling about this draft class. For this draft class all that’s left to getting to work and start making strides for the betterment of the organization.