2008 Draft Recap 5-1-08


Christmas in April ...Scott Thomson 5-1-08

For those of us who are draft fanatics the NFL Draft is like a two day Christmas. We wait with anticipation all year. We also pray the night before.

“…and God, please don't let the Eagles take an offensive lineman in the first round.”

When your team selects an offensive tackle in the first round it is like opening up your biggest present only to find out it is clothes.

Fortunately for us, the Eagles didn't take an offensive lineman in the first round.

Unfortunately, they traded out of the first round for the second year in a row.

It was like waking up on December 25th and finding out that Christmas has been postponed until February.

In the Eagles defense, they fleeced the Carolina Panthers in the trade, getting a 2 nd round pick, a 4 th round pick and a 1 st rounder next year. The Panthers used the pick for behemoth offensive tackle, Jeff Otah from Pittsburgh .

However, you have to wonder if adding another 1 st round pick in 2009 just means the Eagles will trade out of the first round twice next year.

The Eagles used both of their second-rounders wisely.

First they took Trevor Laws , the defensive tackle from Notre Dame.

At 6' 1” Laws is a bit on the short side for a DT. He is built a lot like current defensive tackle, Mike Patterson. Laws, however, should be able to put a little more pressure on the quarterback than Patterson. It was a good pick because it added solid depth at a thin position. It was the third time in the last four years that the Eagles spent their first pick on a defensive tackle. Hopefully, that position is secure for the next few years.

With their second pick the Eagles took Cal wide receiver, DeSean Jackson .

Jackson had an amazing 2006 season, racking up 59 receptions for 1,060 yards and 9 TD's. He also returned four punts for touchdowns. His statistics cooled a bit in 2007 as other teams adjusted to him.

Jackson 's is lightning quick and can turn on a dime at full speed. He will get plenty of reps at wide receiver, however, his 5' 11” 178 lb. frame may cause him some trouble getting off the line. Don't be surprised if he sees less time as a receiver as the season wears on and he wears out. His greatest value appears to be that of a punt returner and the Eagles need him to perform that task.

In the 3 rd round the Eagles caused a collective “Who?” when they took Byran Smith , a defensive end from McNeese State . Smith only weighs 230 pounds and should never play a down at DE. He will most likely be transitioned to linebacker and given a chance on the weak side. Smith dominated lower level competition with his speed. If he can make the move to LB he could be a good pick. Only time will tell.

The Eagles took the other Pittsburgh tackle, Mike McGlynn , in the 4 th .

McGlynn is another player who might have to switch positions. He looked better at guard in the Senor Bowl than he ever did at tackle. The transition should be easy and McGlynn will likely challenge for a roster spot at guard.

Also in the 4 th round the Eagles got safety, Quintin Demps , from UTEP.

After failed experiments with Damon Moore, Norman LeJeune, Michael Lewis, Sean Considine and C.J. Gaddis the Eagles hope they got a safety who will earn some playing time and stick on the squad.

Demps is not only a good tackler he can also play the pass. He had 17 career interceptions in college. Even if he does not help the Eagles lead the league in interceptions, he and fellow safety, Quintin Mikell, will help them lead the league in Quintins.

The Eagles made another trade sending a 4 th round pick to Miami for running back, Lorenzo Booker . Booker will be expected to spell Brian Westbrook from time to time. He better known as receiving back than a pure runner.

Jack Ikegwuonu was also selected in the 4 th round. He is a cornerback from Wisconsin . Ikegwuonu tore his ACL and was lucky to be drafted this high. However, if he recovers fully he will be an absolute steal. Ikegwuonu was a 2 nd round talent. He will not see the field in 2008. He will be put on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list and essentially “redshirted” for the season.

The next pick, taken in the 6 th round, was Cal tackle, Mike Gibson .

Gibson is a versatile lineman who can play several positions along the line. He will offer the Eagles depth and flexibility if he makes the team. His strength is, just that, his strength.

The Eagles traded one of their many 4 th round picks for a 5 th rounder next year.

The Eagles took Joe Mays , a linebacker from North Dakota State , next.

Mays is 5' 11” 245 lbs. He is short, but stout. He is a tremendous hitter who shoots the gaps well. He will have a hard time supplanting the much taller linebackers the Eagles have in the starting lineup. But, if he performs well on special teams he could make the roster as a reserve.

Next up was Andy Studebaker .

He is a 6' 3” 250 lb defensive end from Wheaton . He is a classic ‘tweener', somewhere between linebacker and defensive end. His body looks like it is chiseled out of stone, but he is a bit slender and may not be able to add and carry that much more weight. If he can he could add depth to the defensive line. If not, he will have to learn to play linebacker in a hurry. He is a long shot to make the team.

Finally, King Dunlap was selected by the Eagles with their final pick in the 7 th round.

Dunlap is the classic “boom or bust” prospect. He looked like a solid left tackle prospect in 2006. 2007, however, was another story. Dunlap looked horrible and lost his starting job to a freshman. If he can recover his previous form, he can contribute. If not, he can watch the games on TV.

Some additional notes on the draft:

Best draft: (tie) Pittsburgh Steelers. Kansas City Chiefs.

Every player the Steelers took was at or above value where they got them. I see five of their seven picks as future starters and the first four should contribute heavily this year.

Even when you deduct the value of Jared Allen, who was traded for picks, the Chiefs made out like bandits. I particularly like the selection of wide receiver, Will Franklin. He would have looked good in green.

Despite getting my highest grades, both Pittsburgh and KC could both have done a little more to address their respective offensive lines.

Worst draft: Tennessee Titans

I don't get it. They reached in round one. They took a blocking tight end in round three. They did not even take a receiver until the 4 th round. Vince Young is going to have to rush for 1,000 yards next year if the Titans are going to do anything in 2008.

Best moment of the draft: Detroit Lions select Caleb Campbell

The only time everyone agreed on the pick was when the Lions took Army DB, Caleb Campbell. The entire Madison Square Garden cheered and chanted “U-S-A” and Ca-leb Camp-bell”. His selection will allow him to do his military service as a recruiter or in the reserves. And, although the Lions secondary looks a lot like Iraq , it is much safer.

Worst moment of the draft: Looking at Keyshawn Johnson's attire

What was he thinking? He wore a tan, striped suit with a pink tie and a bold checkered shirt. He looked like a malfunctioning, psychedelic screensaver. I think it made my eyes bleed. At the very least, it did not match… a mile.

-Scott Thomson





© Copyright 2006. Jules Pilla

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