The Philadelphia Eagles are on organization that likes to stockpile drafts picks. It seems this year is no different. The Eagles possess 9 picks for the 2012 draft, two more than there are actual rounds (7). The lingering draft question is two-fold: will the Eagles pinpoint talent based on need and an immediate impact, or will they utilize their 9 picks to maximize overall depth to the team?
Here is a breakdown of the Eagles draft selections by round and an idea of what NFL teams typically look for.
The Eagles will select the 15th overall draft pick in the first round. With the 15th pick, most NFL teams select a projected starter. The Eagles have a history of moving up or down in the first round, depending on who they are targeting on their “Big Board”. Hopefully, the Eagles will focus on the defensive side of the ball.
In the second round, the Eagles own two picks: the 14th and the 19th. This is where the Eagles can make a splash, either by trading one of the two to move up or by selecting a player that fulfills a need and wins a starting job. The Eagles struck gold three years ago when they drafted University of Pittsburgh running back LeSean McCoy with a similar second round pick. Some NFL teams would target a player that may fall in the late first round and move up, trading one of the two picks.
The Eagles third round pick is slotted at number 13. Typically, this is where good teams find great value in terms of starters that produce in their first year. The Eagles have done a good job in the past in the third round (ie, Brian Westbrook).
In the fourth round, the Eagles have the number four and 19th pick. I hope the Eagles are smart and do not just take a ‘fly-er’ on someone here. Organizations with solid scouting departments often find gems in this round. Last year, the Eagles took University of Oregon linebacker, Casey Matthews. Bottom line: not a gem.
The fifth round pick is the 18th selection. From here on, many times, it can be a crap shoot. In the past, the Eagles have had an affinity for linebackers/tight ends here.
The Eagles round out the draft with two sixth round picks, the 25th and 31st. For the Eagles, it is their round for a fullback or offensive lineman.
From a strategic standpoint, the Eagles are in good shape. The nine picks allows them some flexibility other teams do not have. It would be even better if they had the Pittsburgh Steelers or New York Giants grading the prospective talent. That way, the 2012 draft class will actually contribute now and in the future.