ASIDE from QB Carson Wentz, 2016’s Draft was a disaster. We took eight players in last year’s Draft, and aside from Wentz, not one of them is good enough to be a Starter in 2017. That being said, we should go easy on that draft. We didn’t have an idea of who we were going to be as a team yet. There was no way of predicting what character would emerge from the new culture brought in by rookie Head Coach Doug Pederson.
Sixteen games later, we now have an idea of who we are, and of who we’re trying to be. So in the 2017 Draft, we need to add players who can enhance our strengths, and minimize (if not completely eliminate) our shortcomings.
PARABLE: A man needed milk for his cereal and a loaf of bread. Having only 6$ on him, he figured he could cover both, so he went to the market. At the market he got a loaf of bread costing him 3.69, but there was no milk to be had. No pints, quarts, half or whole gallons. There wasn’t even cream or half and half. When the man asked the merchant why there was no milk, the merchant said that no milk had been delivered that week. The merchant suggested the man buy liquid coffee creamer instead. The man pointed out that even a small coffee creamer (being 2.39), was nearly 1$ more than a quart of milk. The merchant agreed. The man thinking in that moment only of his cereal, put back the bread and bought the creamer.
The Eagles have several big needs, the biggest one being a CB. However, given our first Draft spot, the CB we really need, won’t be there this year. It doesn’t matter how high of a pick we spend on a substitute CB. Spending extra on what you don’t need (coffee creamer), won’t turn it into what you need it to be (milk). Especially when it will cost you something else you need in the process (bread).
Put in terms of Draft prospects: Picking [Tre’Davious White] at #14 won’t turn him into won’t turn him into [Marshon Lattimer], and will only cost us a shot a the WR we need. Let’s address our CB need by overspending on a one-year FA, and gamble on a CB on Day Two.
(Keep in mind this is coming out BEFORE the Combine. Nothing here is set in stone)
1) (14 or 15 overall) WR [Corey Davis] should still be on the board when we pick, and that’s perfect. He has the requisite size and speed to force opponents take him seriously on the boundary. He’s also a decent blocker in the run game, and is already accustomed to being an Alpha WR. He expects that role, wants that role, and has lived up to that role at the collegiate level.
Wentz needs a true #1 to help him develop and reach his potential. Watching Wentz with his WR’s this year was like the days of Donovan McNabb being stuck with Todd Pinkston and James Thrash. If we want better from Wentz, he has to be given better tools. Start with Davis.
2) (42 overall) We need a Starting RB. Not a committee. Not a Free Agent re-tread with injury issues. We need a real bell-cow, who will scare teams into loading the box. [D’Onta Foreman] seems like he could be that guy.
I have my doubts about him being on the board at #42. If he’s there, take him. If Foreman is already gone, reach on a CB and grab RB [James Connor] in the Third.
3) (75 overall) If he’s there I take CB [Channing Stribling] before 5 seconds are off the clock. We still have yet to see if he “makes any money” at the Combine, but right now he’s still kind of below the radar.
Former Eagle Mike Zordich was his Secondary Coach at Michigan and you can see some of that lunch-pail mentality come out of this skinny (6’2”, 175) CB. He’s one of the few CB’s in this Draft who commits vs the run. At #42 he’d be called a reach today, but at #75…given a few years, he’d likely be called a steal.
4A) (119 overall) Normally I don’t include highlight reels, but I felt I had to here.
Despite the fact that teams frequently doubled DE [Tanoh Kpassagnon] (Tan-No Passon-Yo) they still ran many plays away from his side during many of those doubles. (If you want to see how that looks during a game, I have game film for you here. Be patient, it’s not exciting.)
The idea of a guy you have to double on the outside, as well as having to double DT Fletcher Cox on the inside, could mean incredible things for our Defensive Line. So far nobody is talking much about this guy, and so he could be the absolute steal of the Draft. Grabbing him this early is just a bit of a reach, but I wouldn’t bank on this guy being around in the Fifth Round.
4B) (139 overall) FS [Obi Melifonwu] is a guy who I expect to hear a lot about in the next few weeks. His measurables are of course the first thing you notice about him (6’3” 217).
Upon looking at the tape, you notice that when he’s not lining up in the parking lot or near the line, you see a guy who has a knack for squeezing passing lanes, and can reliably finish his tackles one-on-one.
5) (154 overall) As I said before, we need RB help. While taking a bell-cow early would an extremely smart thing to do, it would also help to plan for the day when RB Darren Sproles isn’t here anymore. I like RB [De’Angelo Henderson].
He doesn’t have any recent video out there, but it’s hard not to see flashes of Brian Westbrook in his game.
6) (197 overall) RT [Sam Tevi]. He’s new to the position but shows potential not just athletically, but in how he attacks his assignments.
Doesn’t play to the whistle, but then no one on his college O-line seemed to. Makes you wonder if this is something that can be corrected with a change of atmosphere. Especially since Tevi is still so raw. If not, then he’s no better than a career back-up. In any case he’s already better than the OT we drafted last year.
7) (232 overall) This is the pick that I like to use on project players, or long-shot steal prospects. Some would say wait until after the draft for those picks, and they are entitled to their opinions. This however is MY Wish List, so here’s the guy I’d pick: C [Erik Austell]. At only 260 pounds, he probably won’t be able to add the 20-25 pounds needed to be a 16 game NFL starter. What he could be is an ace H-Back, and core Special Teamer. If he could be taught to long snap, he could be worth his weight in gold.
There were other players I liked such as CB’s Marshon Lattimore and [Teez Tabor]; WR’s [Noah Brown] and [Jalen Robinette]; RB’s [De’veon Smith] and [Shock Linwood]; OT [Will Holden]; and TE [Adam Shaheen]. I wouldn’t be sad to see any of them in midnight green. However, due to where we draft, what we need, and who would realistically still be on the board when we picked later, hard choices had to be made.
I scrambled for WEEKS (on a busted computer) to get this done before Combine news started to come out. Corey Davis, Tanoh Kpassangon, De’Veon Smith and D’Onta Foreman were the guys in my head when I started this. Compiling the rest of this list was like pulling my own teeth. The truth is, this is a very weak Draft and it was hard to find players that I liked. There were a couple of pleasant surprises, but MAN, I hope next year is deeper and has a top-tier CB for us.