Since Hank posted his recap of mock drafters the other day, I decided that it’s time to revisit the draft grades for the Eagles after the 2010 draft. It’s always fun to grade draft classes, and given that 2010 has had enough time to develop, it’s a fine time to see how they stacked up.
The grades (via Bleeding Green Nation):
Pete Prisco: A+
NFL Draft Insider: A-
Paul Domowich: A-
Mel Kiper: B+
Sporting News: B+
Rob Rang: B
Fox Sports: B
USA Today: B-
Rick Gosselin: C
Overall, the grades for the class come out as an A-/B+. Also, if you can recall, this was a bit of a wild class from Andy and Co. that included the curveball picks of Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, Ricky Sapp, and Clay Harbor. Hell, even Brandon Graham was a surprise. The Eagles were expected to draft Earl Thomas when they traded up. As a sum, 2010 had an intriguing level of upside at the time with 13 players selected. How has it panned out so far? Let’s take a look:
Here’s what we’re talking about:
- The Eagles’ 2013 Draft class, Chip Kelly’s philosophy, and other draft stuff that doesn’t have to do with the Eagles (00:00)
- Which pro playoffs are more exciting, hockey or basketball? Also, Hank shockingly reveals that he can neither jump, nor go to his left (25:00)
- Other NHL playoff thoughts, wherein we hate-respect the Penguins and feel bad for the Islanders, among other things (32:00)
Play on your Mobile Device or Right Click to Download: Around the Cooler 05-03-13
What are you talking about around the water cooler this week? Leave us a comment!
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Mock drafts are stupid.
There, I said it. You and I know that as much as we all love them, they’re not consequential. They’re not inherently insightful. They’re often nothing more than speculative conversation pieces. At best, they’re educated guesswork.
Now I’m likely to be dragged to the town square and stoned for saying that, but so be it, it needed to be said. I’ll die a martyr for the cause of reasonable, retrospective sports analysis. A worthy ideal, certainly.
Sarcasm aside, I really was convinced that if there ever were a year when I could successfully prove that the draftniks really are all just soothsaying con-men, this was the year. There were no sure-fire top-5 quarterbacks, no stud wide outs or corners. No truly obvious picks. The consensus seemed to be that the real talent in this draft was along the lines, some of the hardest positions in the sport to scout. If there really is such a thing as a “draft guru,” this is the kind of draft that would expose him as either a true expert or a useless hack.
With this hypothesis in mind, I collected an assortment of 14 “final” 1st-round mock drafts published before the draft started last Thursday. As a control, I asked my buddy Frank to submit his own 1st-round mock. Frank watches far more college and pro football than anybody can reasonably consider healthy, but he’s not a paid analyst, nor does he have a support team, league sources, game film, nor any other resources that pro analysts or sports columnists can access.
Here’s what I found out.
There has been a ton of speculation regarding the changes that would inevitably take place once Big Balls Chip Kelly was hired as the head coach of the Eagles. So far, most of the analysis has been fairly shallow.
He’s not a bore at his press conferences, he plays music at practices, he talks a mean game about having a mean team. That’s fantastic, however, still only a few crumbs of food from a king’s feast. The draft finally provided an opportunity to develop a sincere understanding of Chip’s philosophy and the general direction of the franchise.
The key word at the center of this draft is the word versatility. Every player that the Eagles drafted this year (Barkley excluded) has the ability to be used in multiple looks. Lane Johnson can play left and right tackle, Zach Ertz could feasibly be four different positions on the field on any given play, and guys like Jordan Poyer played safety and corner in college. All of this plays to Chip Kelly’s favor and supports his notion of putting players in the position to succeed.
Many times that sentiment is lip service from coaches. Andy Reid had a square peg (Michael Vick) and bludgeoned it to smithereens with a hammer (passed 45 times a game). This attitude of fitting players into a scheme rather than catering to their talents is a disservice to the team, the organization, and the fans.
In the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the draft, the Eagles selected TE Zach Ertz and DT Bennie Logan.
Who is Zach Ertz?
The Eagles continued to focus on the offensive side of the ball with their 2nd round pick, selecting Stanford tight end Zach Ertz with the 35th overall pick. Unlike 1st rounder Lane Johnson, who was perhaps the most athletic offensive tackle in the whole draft, Ertz is far from the most athletic player at his position. Hell, at the combine he ran slower and jumped lower than Johnson despite weighing 50 fewer pounds.
Some very “meh” draft combine numbers for you:
40 Yard Dash: 4.78 seconds, 9th
Bench Press: 24 reps, 2nd
Vertical Leap: 30.5″, t-13th
Broad Jump: 9’3″, 13th
3-Cone Drill: 7.08 seconds, t-3rd
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.47 seconds, 8th
60-Yard Shuttle: 11.92 seconds, 7th
Not impressive. So what does Ertz have going for him?
Number one, he certainly qualifies as a “long” player. At 6’5″ with 32″ long arms, Ertz fits the profile with ideal size for a Chip Kelly team. Despite getting some knocks from draftnicks for unpolished blocking technique, he’s certainly got the tools to develop into a good blocker at the pro level.
Number two, and more importantly, Ertz flat out produced in college. After Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener left Stanford to enter the draft last season, Ertz stepped up to the plate. His 898 receiving yards was 5th most in the Pac-12 conference, best among tight ends.
But can be play football?
Sure looks like it.
For his size Ertz is a very shifty route runner, and this is the primary way he’ll create separation. He should be a mismatch in the passing game for most linebackers. You shouldn’t expect him to burn anybody at the pro level, though he might juke a guy out of his socks every once in a while. Ertz has good hands and figures to be a solid possession target. If the Eagles didn’t already have Brent Celek, Philly might not have been the best fit, but with Big Brent drawing attention from the opposition’s safeties or best cover linebacker, Ertz should be able to take advantage of weaker match-ups. Look for red zone packages with Ertz, Celek, and free agent acquisition James Casey all on the field together.
With the 4th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles selected OT Lane Johnson from Oklahoma.
Let’s all take a minute to breathe a collective sigh of belief that it wasn’t Geno Smith.
Ok, now here’s what you want to know.
Who is Lane Johnson?
In short, he’s a ridiculous, freakish, otherworldly athlete.
Here are some unbelievable numbers from the draft combine:
4.72 second 40-yard dash
34.0 inch vertical leap
9’10″ standing broad jump
4.52 second 20-yard shuttle
You might expect results like that from an athletic tight end, or a big linebacker. You’d never expect that from a guy who is 6’6″ and weighs 303 lb.
But can he play football?
You tell me. He’s the one wearing #69.
Is Johnson a mauler? No. And he likely never will be. But Chip Kelly doesn’t require that of his players. What he does require is quickness and size. Johnson has both of those attributes, and then some. Johnson also played a fair bit of no-huddle at Oklahoma, so you know he’s capable of keeping up with Chip Kelly’s game speed.
The Eagles will not draft Geno Smith.
There. I said it.
Despite all of the hoopla and rumors and the need for a quality signal caller, Geno Smith will not be the guy selected at #4. The reason is simple: he will not be the best player available.
A number of quarterbacks go in the first round every year, but that doesn’t mean it’s because they deserve to. Oftentimes these guys are selected early because of what we’ll call the “quarterback premium.” This means that the importance of the position alone makes an above average QB more valuable then any other guy on the field. As a result, teams will reach on guys like Mark Sanchez, Blaine Gabbert, or Jake Locker because they desire to have a franchise quarterback (whatever that means). Read the rest of this entry
During this offseason Victor Cruz has been a restricted free agent. However, not a single team in the NFL attempted to acquire his services. Not one.
ARE YOU F%&*@$# SERIOUS!
This is Victor Cruz we’re talking here! The 26 year-old Pro Bowl wide receiver that causes nightmares in the slot was available…and no one was interested.
Given his stats, it’s impossible to imagine why. Let’s take a look.
From the numbers, it’s obvious that Cruz is a playmaker (check some highlights here)—and a consistent one at that. In two seasons of play (he was developing his first year and recorded no stats) Cruz has managed 168 catches, 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns while earning a Super Bowl ring. That’s a pretty damn good resume. In addition, his average of 18.7 yards per catch in 2011 was the best in the entire league for anyone with more than 45 catches and he had nearly double that number.
Simply put, Cruz is an explosive weapon and has already proven that he can be a vital cog on a championship caliber team.
As we discussed Around the Cooler this week, the Eagles could feasibly take a number of prospects in this year’s draft. However, I don’t feel like waiting for the draft to take place. So, I’m going to sift through the sands of confusion to find the
Ark of the Covenant Eagles’ draft choice at number four.
Let’s begin by examining the list of candidates that the Eagles have worked out:
Geno Smith, QB West Virginia
E.J. Manuel, QB Florida State
Luke Joeckel, OT Texas A&M
Eric Fisher, OT Central Michigan
Sharrif Floyd, DL Florida
Star Lotulelei, DL Utah
Dee Milliner, CB Alabama
Ziggy Ansah, DL Brigham Young
Dion Jordan, LB Oregon
From this list, you can immediately cross out Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel. I recently explained why the Eagles will not take Smith. Manuel is universally considered a second-round graded prospect so there’s no chance that he goes at the top of the draft. He could be the Eagles’ choice at the top of the second round or perhaps a player that they jump into the late first round to grab, but don’t expect a quarterback at four. NEXT!