Tuesday, April 22, 2008

2008 Draft Preview

for eagles fandom, i think the upcoming draft represents a greater unknown than almost any other draft during the andy reid era. by this time in the offseason, fan and radio speculation has typically converged on specific players or positions that they are sure the eagles need to draft. not so much this season. to be sure, the constant whining about the wideout position is there, but with the lack of true gamebreakers in the wideout draft pool this season, it's more of a low simmer than the violent boil it usually it around this time of year.

one big reason is probably the uncertainty around lito sheppard's status, which likely directly impacts where the birds will be drafting. just like everyone else in town, i think lito is going to be traded. for what i'm not so sure. the birds likely don't want any more draft picks -- already having 11 for this year's draft -- so trading him for another player or better picks is probably what they're trying to do. i don't think they're going to get the first round pick they seem to want for him because of his salary demands, but i'm sure they're going to try. one thing i'd like to consider is trading him for a first rounder in next year's draft. next year's pick is worth less than this year's pick so more teams may be open to it, and many of the teams that are likely to need lito will have a better pick than the eagles in next year's draft.

another reason is that while the birds can definitely improve their depth, they're solid or better at almost every position on the field. really.

QB - mcnabb
RB - westbrook
FB - klecko?
TE - smith
WR - brown, curtis
T - thomas, runyan
G - andrews, herremans
C - jackson

DE - cole, abiamiri
DT - patterson, bunkley
OLB - gaither, gocong
MLB - bradley
S - dawkins, mikell
CB - samuel, brown

it would definitely be nice if the eagles can upgrade their wideout corps, but i don't think the draft is the place to do it. with a few rare exceptions, it takes wideouts a long time to adjust to the pro game, and that isn't what this team needs. they need players who may be lower ceiling but who can make an impact quickly -- especially on special teams.

my sense is that the eagles are going "all-in". they're making a push this season and it probably will determine whether it's mcnabb's last with the team. i haven't heard anyone talking about it, but their attempts to sign randy moss and trade for larry fitzgerald indicate to me that they think this team is ready to contend for a championship. they view WR as one of the last pieces to the puzzle, not one of the first, and their flirtations at bringing in a big-time wideout indicate to me that they think they're just about there. it all depends on mcnabb's health really.

as far as draft needs, they need immediate help on special teams -- coverage and return -- so some of the draft hopefully addresses those areas. they also need some heir apparents to brian dawkins and john runyan/tra thomas (depending on where andrews ends up) and depth at DT, RB, and CB (if lito gets traded or holds out).

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good stuff TMG. Glad to have you back. I think they might go right out and get someone for the O-line. Any thoughts on the depth of RB in the draft? Or do you think that having Hunt is enough of a backup for the future? I agree, they're not going to pick up a WR in the draft. I'm actually surprised Moss is staying with NE as I don't think they're going to be close to their form of last year with all the people that have left. I agree, coverage and special teams is a TOP priority.
Eagles used to win games simply by playing field position.

- Joe

10:37 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know about the all in concept-if they were going to do that, jared Allen would be an Eagle instead of bolstering a suddenly emerging Vikes squad (they still have no QB and Peterson can't carry them himself). Now if the Birds somehow land Chad Johnson, clal me a believer. Skins offered a huge price and were shunned, so I am not sure the Birds have what it takes to get that deal done.

I want a lot of athletes this weekend. Give me all defense, an OT, and atheltic guys who can make plays on special teams. They cannot go into 2008 with Akers and reno, so hopefully they make adjustments there.

Bumble

1:14 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

maybe they just don't think that jared allen is worth what minnesota gave up to get him and/or what they're paying him.

when you are going all-in (which i think they are), you want to make sure you are doing it when the odds are in your favor. i don't think that overpaying means going all-in. overpaying is what got billy king and the sixers in trouble.

1:36 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ironic that the team Billy built is playing well and in the show. They had to deep six Korver to play Young, but these are all King guys.

I am not a believer that a first round pick at 19 is better than an established stud-Allen, Johnson, Boldin-because the top tier guys are gone by then, especially in a draft like this where there are stud OT, but all will be taken because everyone needs them. The Birds cannot just sit at 19. they either need to go up and grab a stud OT or package picks for an existing pro who makes plays. Standing pat with 11 picks makes no sense.

Bumble

4:02 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

I am not a believer that a first round pick at 19 is better than an established stud-Allen, Johnson, Boldin-because the top tier guys are gone by then

i'm not either, but minnesota gave up way more than the 19th pick to get allen. they gave up the 17th, two third round picks, and and a swap of 6th rounders. not sure he's worth all that, considering the next time he takes a drink he'll be suspended for an entire year.

it's interesting to note that a) the two wideouts who you picked as being worth more than the 19th pick in the draft were both drafted in the second round and b) that their teams agree with you since they've both reportedly turned down offers for more than the 19th pick for johnson and boldin.

The Birds cannot just sit at 19. they either need to go up and grab a stud OT or package picks for an existing pro who makes plays. Standing pat with 11 picks makes no sense.

i'm not sure why you're worried about that. the birds have been among the more aggressive teams in the league at moving up and down when it makes sense to them.

4:22 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cowboys signed another criminal...albeit a criminal who happens to be good in coverage and the return game. Still I wonder how much losing that year will hurt his game. I bet a lot.

I'd love the Birds to move up and grab he G/T from UVA. He's the type of tough flexible OL they love.

Bumble

7:55 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Welcome back, TMG.

Agree with WR comments. Biggest need, but PHI is completely unable to develop them via draft.

I bet they move up and grab the 2nd best RB (Jones?). Reid has a history of addressing positions before others view it as a need and 36 has at most, 1 more really good year left in him.

Pacman will never see an NFL field again. No worries there.

1:08 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good call Phil. I have had my eye on Felix Jones for a while, probably just because I've never heard the name Felix outside of Japanimation cats.

Bumble

5:47 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Of course, I don't think Reid's ever spent more than a 3rd rounder on a RB so who knows.

7:23 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Question: how good are Westbrook's WR skills? Would it make sense for PHI to shift his position to extend his career?

7:34 AM EDT  

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