Re-Ranking Philadelphia Eagles 2014 Draft


Sep 21, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles kicker Cody Parkey (1) follows through on a field goal against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Redskins, 37-34. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Well that was quick. The Philadelphia Eagles went from a Sanchized team that destroyed the Carolina Panthers and were on top of the world to absolute pretenders after their week 11 loss to the Green Bay Packers. They were decimated in all facets of the game, even special teams and offense which were supposed to be out strong suits. With week eleven passed it is time to take a look at the Eagles 2014 draft to see how it turned out for them.

Round 1: Marcus Smith DE/OLB, Louisville

This is an excellent example of why you listen to ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper. Thousands of mock NFL drafts done across the internet, many of which I studied, and nowhere to be found in the first round was Marcus Smith. It was for this reason that when Eagles fans heard his name called with their 26th pick they felt as thought they were going to vomit. Head coach Chip Kelly and general manager Howie Roseman assured us that this was a smart pick, but how is that working out now?

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Marcus Smith has had almost no snaps as an Eagle during the regular season. In fact our first round pick was not even active, not injury related, until week three and then after week six was benched again until week ten. He has made an awful transition to the NFL which leave me wondering. Why couldn’t the Eagles just have went with the projections and taken Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard who was available at the Eagles original draft spot, or safety Deone Bucannon who was available for the Eagles who was available at the pick even after trading down. Both of these men have been very solid and Bucannon has even shown flashes of excellence.

Smith is supposedly coming along, which is supposed to reassure fans that the pick was legitimate. What frustrates me, is that the Eagles do not have a good enough defense that we can afford to make risky picks on project defensive players. We need an impact player and that is what the first round is for. The Seattle Seahawks with their legion of boom defense can take whoever they want and develop them, but with a weak defense this pick made no sense.

Grade: F

Nov 10, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews (18) celebrates after catching an 18-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Round 2: Jordan Matthews WR, Vanderbilt

I was very high on Matthews going into the draft. He was the all time leading receiver in yards and reception in SEC history. When the Eagles drafted him I was very enthusiastic and thought that it was an excellent pick. Now, I’m not so sure. While as of late Matthews seems to be improving, and I definitely would not say it was a bad pick, I can’t help but wonder what could have been if we had taken another defensive player here and a wide receiver like Martavis Bryant of Clemson, or Davante Adams of Fresno State later. Both players are producing just as much as Matthews and would actually be a better fit for the slot which is where the Eagles are playing Matthews.

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Grade: B-

Round 3: Josh Huff WR, Oregon

I didn’t like this pick at all, then there was a brief period where I did, but now I don’t again. Josh Huff is fast, and with a couple years of experience could turn into an elite kick/punt return specialist, but we had just traded for running back Darren Sproles. We drafted Huff to be a wide receiver and his hands are simply not good enough for him to be elite, or even solid in this league.

Grade: C

Oct 12, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jaylen Watkins (37) tackles New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) on a punt return during the first half at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Round 4: Jaylen Watkins CB/S, Florida

For a team with such a bad secondary, the fourth round was too late to take our first player from here. I doubt Josh Huff would have been taken in the third round and we could have waited an extra round on him. Watkins has looked both good and bad when I have seen him. He has a lot of talent but needs more time to get his mind in the right place. The most frustrating part about this pick is that I had Watkins equal to another cornerback who went one pick later. Cornerback Bashaud Breeland of Clemson was drafted by the Washington Redskins and has looked incredible in the absence of starting cornerback DeAngelo Hall.

He would certainly be an upgrade over cornerback Cary Williams.

Grade: C+

Sep 28, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Beau Allen (94) wraps up San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) during the first quarter at Levi

Rounds 5-7: Taylor Hart DE, Oregon; Ed Reynolds S, Stanford; Beau Allen DT, Wisconsin

These last three picks were nice thoughts but really have not worked out. Hart has looked decent at some points, but struggles pass rushing. Reynolds did not make the team and is currently on the Eagles practice squad. He was mediocre in the preseason but could turn into good depth over time. Allen has been the best of the three and is the backup defensive tackle to Bennie Logan. Overall these were solid back end picks as not much was ever expected from them.

Grade: C-

UDFA: Cody Parkey K, Auburn

Our saving grace! Parkey, in my opinion has been the Eagles rookie of the year. He has been a very reliable kicker for us since the trade with Indianapolis and the Eagles no longer have to be scared of field goals or kickoffs. Parkey has been asked a lot from in his rookie season and has risen to the challenge, already performing like one of the better kickers in the NFL.

Grade: A+