Wrapping the 2010 Draft


Whew! What a hellish three days the 2010 NFL draft turned out to be. I mean that in a good way. Hey, I love the draft, despite the fact I have no idea what the hell I’m talking about half the time. I watch a ton of college football, read copious amounts of scouting reports and review a glut of highlight/lowlight packages, but I’m no draft expert, obviously.

At the end of the day, I just enjoy taking in the whole process. As much as we fans would like to think we know more than the talent evaluators, we don’t. These guys spend months scrutinizing every prospect in the country. Whether they hit or miss on draft weekend doesn’t change the fact they know a helluva lot more than us. Accept it and move on.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t express our opinions, which is what I’m going to do with this post. Did our beloved Eagles fill all their most pressing needs? Did they stay true to their board and bring in players who fit the offensive and defensive schemes? Did they reach too far for any of their whopping 13 picks?

I’ll attempt to answer those questions and more. I don’t hand out grades or any such nonsense. I’ll leave that to the Mel Kipers and Mike Mayocks. What I care about is if Reid/Roseman stuck to their 2010 offseason plan and landed players who can make an immediate impact as well as in the future. With that said, here I go. Gulp.

Did they hit all the positions of need? Yes and no. The consensus after the 2009 season ended was LDE was the top priority. With the trade for Darryl Tapp and the drafting of Brandon Graham and Te’o-Nesheim they filled the void. Graham has an excellent chance to be a future stud. Tapp and Te’o have a lot to prove, but if one of them hits, I’ll be pleased. Ricky Sapp is intriguing. He could be a find, or he could be cut in August.

Free safety was the next biggest need and they landed one of the best ones in the draft in South Florida’s Nate Allen. He is a playmaker who can run and hit. Of all the safeties crowding the roster, he’s the one with the best chance to make an instant impact in 2010.

No offense to Travard Lindley, but cornerback was ignored. Maybe Lindley is another Asante Samuel as some have insinuated, but a top flight cover corner who can start now was needed. I’m not sure Lindley is that guy. We shall see. The prospect of Ellis Hobbs being the permanent answer at right cornerback scares the shit out of me.

The offensive line was surprisingly neglected. No center. No backup left tackle. No additional depth at guard. Reid does an excellent job locating undrafted free agents, so I’m not too terribly worried. However, Nick Cole and Stacy Andrews better be ready to go come September. I could see a veteran being added at some point in the next few months for insurance purposes.

They needed a developmental quarterback and got one in Northwestern’s Mike “Don’t call me Franz” Kakfa. He’s a big kid with a big arm who isn’t shy about tossing the pigskin around. Try 78 attempts in last year’s Bowl game. That’s a Andy Reid-type signal caller.

You wanted a big wide receiver and a big running back, right? Well, they got one of each in Florida’s Riley Cooper and LSU’s Charles Scott. Both represented great value late in the draft and each has a chance to find a specialized role on the team.

What about some new linebackers? Oklahoma’s Keenan Clayton and Mississippi State’s Jamar Chaney are both fast, attacking linebackers who excel at playing downhill. Neither is big, but the theme of this entire offseason has been adding speed. Both guys fit the bill. As does Ernie Sims.

My favorite pick was Missouri State tight end Clay Harbor. He’s big, fast and nasty. Can smash you in the face as a blocker, then beat you downfield for six. The trio of Celek, Ingram and Harbor has a chance to be something special.

Only one defensive tackle, Georgia’s Jeff Owens, bothers me. Bunk and Patterson are okay, but they still don’t have a true pocket pusher. I like Antonio Dixon‘s upside, but Trevor Laws is on thin ice. After that the cupboard is bare. Maybe a vet or free agent can be brought aboard to help.

Bottom line: they stuck to the plan of adding physical playmakers with speed. That’s all that matters. The defense needed an overhaul, and it’s gotten one in the last three months. Are all the pieces in place? No way. Cornerback is still an enigma and the linebacker picture is a mess.

It will be very interesting to see how all this shakes out in the coming months. Plenty of jobs are open for competition, which is a good thing. It’s been a long three days. I need a nap. Bye for now.

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