SCOTT THOMSON'S 2007 Draft Recap
NFL Draft is over. How did the Eagles fare?
Scott Thomson April 30th
Houston, we have a problem...
The NFL Draft was held this past Saturday and Sunday and with their first pick in the draft the Eagles took quarterback, Kevin Kolb, from Houston.
Huh, a quarterback? What were they thinking? Oh, no!
Relax. It was probably just a big misunderstanding, right?
I mean, there was some miscommunication somewhere along the line. As I see it, it probably went down something like this:
Eagles staffer #1 (Abbott): Andy and Jeff said we're going to take the cornerback, (Chris) Houston.
Eagles staffer #2 (Costello): The quarterback from Houston?
Eagles staffer #1 (Abbott): That's right, the cornerback, Houston.
Eagles staffer #2 (Costello): OK…the quarterback from Houston, got it. I'll take the slip to the commissioner.
At least, that's what I think probably happened…or, maybe not.
Look, the Eagles were in a bit of an odd situation early in the draft and this is what really happened.
First, the trade. Sitting at 26 the Eagles watched cornerback, Aaron Ross, get picked at 20 by the Giants. Then the Patriots took safety, Brandon Meriweather, at 24. And, all of a sudden, the two players the Eagles wanted were off the board. There were no more immediate impact players left. The only thing to do was trade down. Sure, they could have traded up, but look at what it costs to trade up. Would anyone be happy if the Eagles had given away next year's number one for Ross or Meriweather? Maybe they would have been on Saturday, but not next year or in the years to come.
Trading down does a lot for a team. It gives you the luxury of not having to be perfect. Drafting is not an exact science. In his first six years Andy Reid drafted a total of 47 players. Nine are still with the Eagles. That is about par for the course. The simple fact is that the more picks you have the more “mistakes” you can afford to make. Former Dallas coach, Jimmy Johnson, was the master at trading down and, if I remember correctly, his Cowboys fared pretty well.
Speaking of the Cowboys, a lot has been made of the fact that we traded down with the Cowboys, a division rival. So what? Worrying about what other teams are doing in their draft just means that you are not paying attention to your own. The Eagles did not want to draft Anthony Spencer. He does not fit the system. If Dallas wants him, let them have him. If we took someone else there Dallas could have traded with New Orleans, New England or Baltimore, maybe for less.
It is not the first time the Eagles traded with Dallas on draft day. Back in 2005 the Eagles gave the Cowboys a fourth round pick in exchange for a fifth and a future four. Dallas selected DE, Chris Canty, with the pick. The Eagles got Trent Cole with the five. They then traded the four in 2006 along with their second to move up and take Winston Justice. On the strength of Cole alone the Eagles got the better of that deal. So, stop worrying about Dallas. There will be plenty of time for that on November 6 when they come to town.
On to the pick. Kevin Kolb is a quarterback of the future, nothing more. Without a player available in the draft who could make an immediate impact the Eagles took the best player on their board. ESPN analysts immediately jumped to the conclusion that McNabb was in trouble. Have the Eagles lost faith in McNabb? Is he not coming back from injury? No. What is a rookie, second-round quarterback going to do in his first year? Hold a clipboard, that's what. I liken the pick to the Falcon's 1991 pick. With QB, Chris Miller, on the roster the Falcons took Brett Favre in the second. Now, I'm not saying that Kolb is the next coming of Favre, but Favre was subsequently traded for first round pick. The same thing happened in Atlanta in 2004. They took Matt Schaub with their third round pick. He was traded this year. The Falcons got two second round picks and moved up in the first. It is not that I believe that Kolb was drafted to be traded, but you never know what the future holds.
There are things not to like about the pick.
1) Kolb may have been available later. But, if he's the guy you want, take him.
2) He may not be as good as his gaudy stats would indicate. But, we won't know that for some time. You have to have some faith in an organization that goes to the playoffs just about every year. Remember, three years from now most of this year's picks will probably not be on the team.
3) And, finally, his name. It is spelled Kolb, but is pronounced “Cobb”. Who named this guy, Wilson Goode? (No disrespect intended to former Mayor, Goode, but there were a lot of "fings" he couldn't "permounce".)
If those are the only things to complain about it wasn't such a bad pick.
The rest of the picks and how they fit are as follows:
DE Victor Abiamiri – Jevon Kearse is one injury away from being done. He also counts as $9 million towards the cap in 2008. The Eagles may decide they want to spend some of that money elsewhere. Darren Howard was not stellar last year. His is due big money, also. Jerome McDougle has camp and maybe this season to prove he belongs in the NFL. That leaves just Trent Cole and Juqua Thomas as certainties at DE. Drafting an end early was the key.
LB Stewart Bradley – He's a big linebacker, best suited to play the strong side. He offers some insurance in case last year's third round linebacker, Chris Gocong, is not effective. The addition of Bradley will likely bump Dhani Jones from the roster.
RB Tony Hunt – He is the big back Philly has been craving. Correll Buckhalter has a good yards-per-carry average, but he just can't seem to get one yard when you need it. The Eagles are banking that Hunt can. He is also a very good receiver.
CB/S C.J. Gaddis – Gaddis is a tough, physical defensive back with a great deal of potential. He will probably see some time at CB in nickel and dime packages. However, in the long term he may wind up as the next free safety. To do that, he will have to improve his tackling. He is a very willing tackler who likes to throw his body at the opponents, but he does not wrap-up very well. He went to the same college, Clemson, as Brian Dawkins.
TE Brent Celek – He's an excellent blocker who can also catch the ball. You may remember his 83 yard catch against Rutgers. He's one of the good guys now. Celek will challenge Matt Schobel for the back up TE spot. He may be placed on the practice squad and held in case L.J. Smith leaves after 2007.
CB/S Rashad Barksdale – He is a small school (Albany) defensive back who played only one year of college football. He also showed some promise as a return man. He is a long-shot to make the roster, but may make the practice squad where he will be a developmental project.
RB Nate Ilaoa – Ilaoa looks like a bowling ball with legs. He reminds one of Maurice Jones-Drew. He is a good receiver and difficult to bring down. If he makes the team he will be fun to watch. At the very least, he will provide some competition in camp at the running back position.
© Copyright 2006. Jules Pilla
Not affiliated with the Philadelphiqa
Eagles or the NFL.