Drafting Best Player Available
Both draft strategies can work. When the Eagles spent a third round pick on Jordan Hicks in 2015, it raised a few eyebrows considering the already packed LB depth chart.
Alonso joined former second round pick Mychal Kendricks and veteran leader DeMeco Ryans, so drafting Hicks didn’t make sense to many. Looking back now, it can be said that Kelly drafting the “best player available” was a great move.
Alonso could not stay healthy, Ryans aged quickly, and Mychal Kendricks had serious liabilities in coverage. Quickly, Jordan Hicks emerged as the backbone of the defense and became one of the most efficient middle linebackers in the NFL.
PFF ranked Hicks as the 5th best inside linebacker in 2017 after tallying an impressive five interceptions.