May 14, 2014

2014 NFL Draft Review: Philadelphia Eagles

#91 Marcus Smith, OLB, Louisville

Philadelphia Eagles
Division: NFC East | Last Season Record: 10-6

What Needed to be addressed in the Draft: Most of their needs heading into the draft were on the defensive side of the ball. They signed Malcolm Jenkins in free agency, but they needed to draft his running mate rather early.

The Eagles don't really have a number one corner. If they could have come out of this draft with one, that would have been great, but just adding another corner to compete should have been fine as well.

They also needed to target an edge rushing linebacker early on, maybe as soon as the first round. Inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks is a stud in the making, but the Eagles may have wanted to consider upgrading over DeMeco Ryans.

After losing DeSean Jackson, the Eagles should have targeted a receiver in the early rounds. They were expected to draft one in the first round. They could also use some offensive line depth.

Individual Draft Picks:

Round 1

26. (26) Marcus Smith, OLB
Experience: Senior | School: Louisville
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 253 lbs.

Round 2

10. (42) Jordan Matthews, WR
Experience: Senior | School: Vanderbilt
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 211 lbs.

Round 3

22. (86) Josh Huff, WR
Experience: Senior | School: Oregon
Height: 5-11 | Weight: 204 lbs.

Round 4

1. (101) Jaylen Watkins, CB
Experience: Senior | School: Florida
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 192 lbs.

Round 5

1. (141) Taylor Hart, DE
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Oregon
Height: 6-6 | Weight: 284 lbs.

22. (162) Ed Reynolds*, FS
Experience: Junior (RS) | School: Stanford
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 206 lbs.

Round 7

9. (224) Beau Allen, DT
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Wisconsin
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 333 lbs.

Two Picks of Note:

Best Value Pick:

Ed Reynolds*, FS (Round 5, Pick 22)
Experience: Junior (RS) | School: Stanford
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 206 lbs.

Analysis: Reynolds was considered a potential day 2 pick earlier in the process. He isn't overly quick or athletic, but he will come up in run support, and be a play maker in the back end. I think he's a potential starter, and getting that on day 3 of the draft is always a plus.

Most Questionable Pick:

Marcus Smith, OLB (Round 1, Pick 26)
Experience: Senior | School: Louisville
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 253 lbs.

Analysis: I liked that the Eagles moved back four spots and picked up an extra draft pick. However, I still thought Marcus Smith was a reach at 26th overall. I love Smith's game, and had him as a solid day 2 prospect. I do think he'll be an immediate impact player, it's just that they didn't quite maximize the value of this pick.

Undrafted Free Agent Signings:

Most Notable

Trey Burton, WR
Experience: Senior | School: Florida
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 224 lbs.

Analysis: Burton can play wide receiver, tight end, and full back. He could excel in an H-back role. His versatility alone could help him make the roster.

Other Free Agent Signings

David Fluellen, RB, Toledo
Carey Spear, K, Vanderbilt
Henry Josey, RB, Missouri
Quron Pratt, WR, Rutgers
Kadron Boone, WR, Louisiana State
Donald Hawkins, OT, Texas
John Fulton, CB, Alabama
Kevin Graf, OT, Southern California
Blake Annen, TE, Cincinnati
Daytawion Lowe, S, Oklahoma State
Josh Andrews, OL, Oregon State
Wade Keliikipi, DL, Oregon
Frances Mayes, OT, Florida A&M
Karim Barton, OG, Morgan State
Taylor Martinez. QB. Nebraska

Draft Review:

Analysis: First round pick Marcus Smith will have a lot of pressure on him to perform. Yes, he was a full round reach in my opinion, but I still think that he'll be a very good football player, and fits what Chip Kelly likes to do on defense.

In the second round, the Eagles gave up a forth round pick to move up in the second and take Jordan Matthews. Matthews is one of the best all-around receivers in this draft, and could emerge as a favorite target for Nick Foles.

Josh Huff came off the board about a round and a half earlier than he probably should have, but you have to love the fit. He's not DeSean Jackson, but Huff is a fast receiver with good hands. He'll be very effective in the slot.

For most of the season, Jaylen Watkins was considered the third best corner on his own team, but he ended up being the only Florida corner drafted. I think he has the potential to be one of the better slot corners in the NFL, but is good enough to stay on the outside.

Taylor Hart is another Oregon player who Chip Kelly knows well. I love his fit as a rotational 3-4 defensive end, but he has a decent chance to start in the future.

In round 5, the Eagles may have gotten a starter to pair with Malcolm Jenkins in the secondary in Ed Reynolds, and they got another rotational defensive lineman who brings more size to the table in Beau Allen.

The Verdict: Overall, this was a solid draft for the Eagles. They did a pretty good job of addressing needs early, and got some great value on day 3 of the draft. They may not have gotten any real steals, but they did draft several impact players/starters.

Overall Grade: B-