The Giants’ most bitter rivals had possibly the most interesting draft of them all. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but I know that a lot of football fans were confused with some of the picks the Eagles made.
To start off, they took Danny Watkins with their first pick when cornerback Jimmy Smith was still available. Watkins is a great story, a 26 year old former Canadian firefighter who went back to school and made himself into a first round draft pick.
It's an inspirational story, but all pessimists will see is that Watkins will turn 27 this season, so he better be ready to enter his prime pretty soon. He is also guard, and most people believe that the first round is too early to take a guard unless he is a top talent. Watkins was not seen as a surefire first round prospect, and there were other highly rated players available at positions of need.
I love Danny Watkins the person, and he should be able to contribute immediately, but I think there were some better choices available. Still I wish him luck, but only from an individual standpoint. And not when he's facing the Giants. Or any other team. The only time I root for the Eagles is never (alright, moving on...let's try and stay unbiased).
Another interesting pick was Casey Matthews in the fourth. I had predicted that some team would reach for the linebacker in the third due to his bloodlines, but the Eagles sat back and let him fall to them in the fourth, making him a solid pick.
But the pick that really turned heads was Alex Henery, the Nebraska kicker. The Eagles grabbed him in the fourth round, just four picks after taking Matthews. Is the fourth round too early to take a kicker? Judging by the reactions, some people certainly think so. I go back and forth. Henery was clearly the top kicker in the draft, and he had a fourth to fifth round grade. David Akers is still a solid kicker, but if the Eagles believe they have a pro bowl kicker for the next ten years, that’s certainly worth a late fourth round pick.
The draft, as a whole, was solid, but despite all of the interesting picks, nothing really jumps out at me as a great pick. Safety Jaiquawn Jarrett and cornerback Curtis Marsh are good players that fill positions of need, but were probably slight overdrafts.
Their final six picks, highlighted by running back Dion Lewis in the fifth and linebacker Brian Rolle in the sixth, were all pretty good, but I still believe this draft was just slightly above average.
With all that said, Andy Reid and co. are among the best when it comes to player personnel, so they are given the benefit of the doubt, for now. But don't come crying to me in three years when your first round pick is 30.
Grade (it takes 3-5 years to properly grade a draft class, but we're taking 3-5 days to improperly grade this one): B-