The Philadelphia Eagles flipped the script from 2012 to 2013 completing turning around a 4-12 season into a 10-6 season with a playoff berth resulting in a devastatingly close loss to the New Orleans Saints, by a two point margin, 26-24. Question is can they improve? There is no doubt, this resurrection from the ashes was the firing of Andy Reid and the hiring of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. A leap of faith by owner Jeffrey Lurie paid off despite the naysayers that Chip Kelly’s high octane offense couldn’t work in the traditional NFL. They were so wrong it was hysterical. Philly was looking to add a DE.WR and CB in the draft.
2014 NFL DRAFT PICK RECAP AND ANALYSIS
Marcus Smith DE, Louisville Round 1 Pick # 26
The Eagles traded out of their 22nd pick to the Cleveland Browns down to the 26th pick and ignored the need for a WR or a CB and chose a Defensive End. Kinda confusing as I had them taking Bradley Roby in my 2014 NFL Mock Draft and he was still on the board. Crazy. Just don’t see this as a priority and don’t see Marcus Smith as a first round draft pick. Grade C-.
Jordan Matthews WR, Vanderbilt Round 2 Pick # 10
Definite skills to start immediately in the pros and a good move by the Eagles to move up in the draft to get him. A crisp route runner with size, good hands and speed will make an impact for the Eagles. Needed this guy to help Nick Foles and the Philly fans to forget about DeSean Jackson. Huff should also contribute to a significant deficiency Philly had returning kicks and punts. Grade A.
Josh Huff WR, Oregon Round 3 Pick # 22
Back to Back receivers and this one comes from Chip Kelly’s old school. Chip knows what this kid can do and I’m sure when they released DeSean Jackson, Josh Huff was part of the solution. Huff should also contribute to a significant deficiency Philly had returning kicks and punts. Grade B+.
Jaylen Watkins CB, Florida Round 4 Pick # 1
Eagles needed a CB and they drafted one. Good size and has power has evidenced by his 22 reps at the NFL Combine. 4.4 40 speed that should play well in the cover 2 but will get beat in man to man until he learns how to transition out of press coverage without grabbing on or losing his man. Kelly always liked a strong cast of CBs so I am sure Jaylen Watkins will get the necessary coaching. Grade B-.
Taylor Hart DE, Oregon Round 5 Pick # 1
Another defensive end, I guess this guy is insurance as Trent Cole is 32 years old and will need to be replaced in the near future. Taylor Hart is the perfect size and could become a 5 technique DE in a 3-4. Hard worker that should find his roster spot. Grade B+.
Ed Reynolds FS, Stanford Round 5 Pick # 22
Father played 9 years in the NFC and AFC North as a linebacker. Borderline capable player in the NFL. Could contribute on special teams and could be the backup at safety or maybe play in the nickel. Can’t see many situations where he will get on the field. Grade C.
Beau Allen NT, Wisconsin Round 7 Pick # 9
Short and stout run blocker that I seriously doubt will ever make an NFL roster. Grade D-.
Analysis and overall draft grade
The first pick was a serious mistake by the Eagles and didn’t address the CB or WR issue. They didn’t need a DE and overpaid. Shows Chip Kelly’s inexperience dealing with an NFL draft. A couple of solid picks in the middle plus they got an excellent starting receiver in Jordan Matthews. The last two picks weren’t great making it easy for me to grade the draft.
Draft Grade: B-
Kinda boring draft for Philly and the fans. Only one player should make an impact rookie year, the others are projects and special team guys. Hopefully the Chip Kelly era will be over after this season.
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