The draft is every NFL nerd’s favorite time of the offseason. Trades are made, free agents are signed, and contracts are extended to prepare for the future of the team. That future is staked in the NFL draft. A good draft can help your team excel, and a bad draft can absolutely destroy your franchise. I thought this draft was one of the best drafts the Philadelphia Eagles have had in the Andy Reid era, and definitely the best in the past 5 years. Here is my breakdown of each pick.
Round 1- Fletcher Cox DT Mississippi State: Fletcher Cox was regarded by most to be the most dominant defensive linemen in the NFL draft. He is a DT from Mississippi State. He is 6-4 and ranges around the 300 LB range. He is an inside pass rusher who has ability to stop the run. He has a quick first step and is often disruptive in the backfield. With his size and speed, he will be an instant fit in the Jim Washburn scheme.
Round 2- Mychal Kendricks LB University of California: A few people were puzzled with this pick because of his size. He is 5-11 and 240 lbs, which makes Eagles fans wonder if he will be any different then the undersized LBs we currently have on our roster. When you turn on the tape you see a distinct difference. He plays bigger than he really is, using his speed and tenacity to disrupt the offense. I think he instantly takes Brian Rolle’s spot as a starter and can hopefully become the star LBer on the outside that we need.
Round 2- Vinny Curry DE Michigan State: This was one of my personal favorites. This kid has a lot of heart. He got a first round grade from many NFL scouts, but slipped to the second round. I personally think hes better than Quinton Coples, the New York Jets first round pick. During his press conference, he explained that he grew up in New Jersey and was an eagles fan all of his life. He then told us the depressing story of losing his mother, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the press conference. If he brings that heart and passion to his favorite team, he will be a disruptor. In a league where you need to rush the passer on every play, he will be loved.
Round 3- Nick Foles QB University of Arizona: This was the pick that made people scratch their heads. Scouting reports are all over about this kid, some say hes a great pressure QB, some say otherwise. But the definitive things I have heard about this kid is that he has a big arm. He wasn’t used in an NFL style offense which means he is a project. He also needs to work on his footwork. But Nick Foles is a big kid. He is 6-4 and around 250 lbs. Many people like his size because it will hopefully mean less batted balls and more durability. But in order to be a starting QB he has to get used to an NFL system, and work on his shaky footwork. Overall, he is a project, and Andy loves projects. I like the kid, just don’t know if he fits at this pick.
Round 4- Brandon Boykin CB University of Georgia: Brandon is said to be another steal, a player who had 2nd or 3rd round talent but dropped due to injury concerns. Last year the Eagles had 3 big names at CB, but neither of them had slot experience. Brandon Boykin played both outside and slot, so he brings a lot of versatility to the position. He is also heralded as having great skills as a kick and punt returner. Having that kinda skill set expands your roster capabilities. You no longer have to keep a player like Chad Hall, who is a good kick returner but can’t play WR very well.
Round 5- Dennis Kelly OT Purdue: to be completely honest, I don’t know much about Dennis Kelly. What Eagles scouts have said is that he has King Dunlap type size, lets just hope he doesn’t share his lack of ability.
Round 6- Marvin McNutt WR Iowa: Its hard to get excited about a 6th round pick, but I really like this kid. hes a tall WR with great hands. The Eagles currently have Jackson, Maclin, Avant, Cooper, and Hall as WRs on their roster. I see Marvin beating out Hall as the number 5 receiver. Hopefully McNutt can be a great red zone threat.
Round 6- Brandon Washington OG Miami: Again, I don’t know a lot about this kid except that he plays offensive guard, a position that could always use a little depth. With the Eagles already having health problems along the offensive line, any depth could help.
Round 7-Bryce Brown RB Kansas State: Bryce Brown is a head scratcher, not because of being drafted, but just because in HS he had a lot of potential but never lived up to it in college. When he declared eligible, he was the second top prospect going into college aside from Trent Richardson. Injuries, transfers, and bad decisions led to him only getting a handful of carries last year. He is a 7th round pick, but I don’t see him competing for the third backup spot, I see that spot going to a UFA or a veteran free agent.