WAY too much thought goes into forecasting the first round of the NFL Draft. It’s rare that even the first 8 picks go as anyone planned, and I’ve yet to hear of anyone forecasting the first 28 to 32 correctly. It’s why I don’t bother doing a mock draft. Where’s the sense in being wrong about the same thing every year?
Think about it. Is it really the mark of expertise to be able to determine the best 30 players in a field of 244? Even if no one forecasts the exact order, the best 30-32 players are usually all gone by the beginning of round three anyway. Claiming that you can identify a first round pick is like bragging that you know how to fall down. Now if you can show me a team that can still find players after the draft ends, then you’ve got my attention.
That having been said, the Eagles may have hit upon some of those guys. We signed 16 Undrafted Free Agents (UFA) but two of them have already caught my eye.
G – COLE MANHART: He’s been projected as a C at the NFL level due to underwhelming strength, but our Zone based scheme doesn’t require a G to be powerful, so long as they can run and hit targets in space. Manhart does those things, so while he may never be a Pro Bowler, he should be at least competent depth in this system.
WR – DEVANTE DAVIS: I’d put this guy in the slot. He can play outside, but he’s not a burner. He also doesn’t get much separation, as many of his catches come with tight coverage. On the other hand he’s a guy who comes down with contested balls. Sometimes with guys draped all over him. In fact at 3:15 of this video (watch it with the volume muted.) he makes a catch so sick that the ball nearly throws up.
At this point I think the Front Office should just walk Miles Austin to the door, shake his hand and wish him luck. Eat every dime of his 2.3M if we have to. It would be smarter to focus all the reps and coaching attention on the young guys like Jordan Matthews, Josh Huff, Nelson Agholor and Devante here. It would cost more down the road to miss a gem, than the money Austin is due this year.
Maybe these guys won’t pan out, or maybe the team will find more than just two diamonds among the coal this year. Who knows? In any case, here’s hoping that we don’t miss on all 16 signees.