The draft is finally over, and the Eagles filled a lot of their needs. They grabbed five defensive players and two WRs in total. The most surprising part was that they neglected to take an offensive lineman, which was something that GM Howie Roseman was disappointed in. Regardless, they got some good guys on paper, but I’m still not sure it was the best draft. They continued to let good players pass them by while they took other guys that didn’t make as much sense. As I said before, they didn’t make any stupid selections, but they didn’t make any amazing ones. I can’t give them more than a B- for this draft as of now, but we’ll see how the picks actually turn out.
Draft Recap: Eagles Welcome 7 New Players http://t.co/EnZbOHYjOj
— BleedingGreenNation (@BleedingGreen) May 10, 2014
The Eagles had the first pick of the fourth round, which was also the first pick of day three of the draft. They selected CB Jaylen Watkins of Florida, who also has the ability to play safety. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at either position since they have some unknowns in both places, but he’ll be a good fill-in player for next season to provide some depth. As for his immediate impact, I don’t see it happening because there are too many guys that are already better than him. He’ll be good next year when the Eagles will probably lose Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher, but for now he’s not going to do much. He’s the second player that the Eagles have drafted who’s related to a good WR (Jaylen is half-brothers with Sammy Watkins, and Jordan Matthews, who they selected on day two, is cousins with Jerry Rice).
Eagles finish draft with 5 defensive players and 2 receivers.
— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherCSN) May 10, 2014
Their next pick was in the 5th round where they selected Oregon DE Taylor Hart, the second Duck that the Eagles took in this draft. Chip Kelly clearly knows what Hart can do and his talents, and he’ll also already know some of the defensive schemes and packages that Kelly runs. That will certainly help his transition into their defense. But, I can’t help feeling that the only reason they took him was because he was from Oregon. Kelly attempted to justify the pick and say that he didn’t solely make it because he was from Oregon, but I don’t believe him. Sure, the Eagles needed a DE as a backup, but the first pick of the 5th round is not the time for that. The scary part is that Kelly wanted to take him in the 4th round, but GM Howie Roseman assured him he’d be available in the 5th. Thank god for that. This, once again, seemed like a reach and a case of the Eagles not drafting in the order of their needs.
— Philly.com Sports (@phillysport) May 11, 2014
The Eagles used their second 5th round pick on Stanford S Ed Reynolds. It took them long enough to grab a safety. I like that they finally drafted one, and I like Reynolds, but I wish they had tried to get one earlier…like way earlier. Reynolds will likely battle with Nate Allen and Earl Wolff for the final starting safety spot. But because of his fifth round status, he’s likely not already good enough to beat out either of those guys, meaning he’ll fall back into a backup role. Allen has tons of experience with Philadelphia and Wolff played a fair amount last season, so it makes more sense to start them (at this point). Reynolds may have the opportunity to play if someone gets injured though, so I like that they took him. Good selection.
Philly didn’t have a 6th round pick, so they had to wait till the 7th round to pick again. They selected NT Beau Allen of Wisconsin with their final pick of the draft. This was yet another situation in which the Eagles filled in a backup position, in which there was no one on their roster at the moment. I don’t know much about Allen, but ESPN gave a pretty bland description so I don’t know how much of an impact he’ll make next year. Either way, I guess it was good that they took a NT. There wasn’t anyone else that I would’ve cared to take other than an offensive lineman, but it was likely too late at that point for someone that would actually make the roster.
So overall, the Eagles made some good selections, but most of them will be backups next year. All the guys they took on day three will likely not be starting, and the only overall starter they probably got out of this was Jordan Matthews, who’d start only if they started three WRs. Many of the guys they got are guys I think will make the roster and do well, but it just seems underwhelming. They didn’t draft anyone who’s going to make an immediate and noticeable impact, which is something they never seem to do. Maybe an injury will allow one of those guys to get some experience, but I’m not going to hope for an injury to a starter.
Other than their selections, they also traded RB Bryce Brown to the Bills for a conditional 2015 4th round draft pick. It was the same pick that the Bills got for Stevie Johnson, meaning that if Johnson does well next year, the pick will become a 3rd rounder. But it also has the potential to become a 5th rounder based on other conditions. The Eagles also filled up their 90-man roster with 15 free agent rookies, as can be looked at here:
Eagles Sign 15 Rookie Free Agents: In the busy hours following the conclusion to the 2014 NFL Draft, the Eagle… http://t.co/zAdmFW1YdO
— Philadelphia Eagles (@EaglesNFLFans) May 11, 2014
All in all, I can’t say I’m upset about the draft, but I can’t say I’m ecstatic. Hopefully it meant that they didn’t really need any immediate impact players, but it’ll be a while before we see that.