Friday, April 25, 2008

The 2008 NFL Draft and Your Eagles

It's funny, but this time of year, there is alot of back and forth about the NFL draft such that some folks like it (like me) and some folks don't (like Michael Wilbon).

The NFL draft is when your team shows their hand as to their eventual strategic direction as a franchise, so I question your NFL fanhood if you're not into the NFL draft on some level.

That said, I'm not Ron Jaworski or even his lesser known cousin, Wasyl Jaworski. I don't have some draft board with names of players and teams. I don't watch miles of tape and hunker down in the warroom with Ray Didinger furiously scribbling notes (although it sounds like a good gig if you can get it).

No, I pretty much rely on the hours and hours I sit on my fat ass, drink beer, and watch college football during the season and a fairly obsessive amount of thinking about NFL football. Cliche alert: the NFL is now a year round sport. When is the first Iggle OTA (if you don't know the acronym, you ain't a fan)?

My shot at prognistication will proceed as follows: First, what I would do if I were the Eagles' GM and then, what the Eagles will probably end up doing.

What I would do:

1.) Trade Lito Sheppard and a draft pick for a front line receiver. I know I'm not alone here. There are several either disgruntled receivers (Ocho Cinco or Anquan Boldin) or receivers for whom it may be best to just move on because of a new kid in town (Detroit's Roy Williams). Take Lito and get one of these three receivers and we're pretty much back in the NFC East picture. Somehow, you need to counteract the Dallas acquisition of Pacman Jones. Throw in a pick as well if you have to. To be told by Eagles management that this group of receivers is championship calibre is insulting.

Furthermore, if we're seeing this year as Donovan McNabb's last year as an Eagle (highly probable), they MUST get an elite receiver to play with or I believe they're setting him up for failure. Unless that's the goal or something.

2.) With the 19th pick......I'd take either Miami's Kenny Phillips or find a way to get Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Both would fill a big need for the Eagles, defensively. Phillips would become your eventual Brian Dawkins replacement (although no one can truly replace Dawk....a HOFer in my book) and Rodgers-Cromartie would be the young, up-and-coming future shutdown CB, in addition to solving your problems in the shortterm in the return game. Either of these moves fit short to near term needs the Eagles will need to address to ensure success.

What the Eagles will probably do:

1.) Trade Lito Sheppard for a draft pick and a box of hammers. At least that's what Jay Glazer is already reporting.

2.) Take some of the surplus draft picks they get from the Lito Sheppard deal and move up and get one of the top offensive linemen. My guess? Ryan Clady from Boise State. Face it; this draft has a ton of linemen and if we know anything about Big Red, he loves him some offensive linemen (Max Jean-Gilles, Winston Justice, Todd Herremans, Scott Young, Shawn Andrews, and I could go on and on).

3.) The Eagles, throwing a bone to the fans, will draft this year's Jason Avant or Hank Baskett, whoever that happens to be.

Other predictions, both for some PSU guys and prominent college players:

- Dan Connor will slip to the late 2nd, early 3rd round. He's not as good as Poszluzny was, and Poz was an early 2nd rounder.

- Justin King will go much earlier than expected, making people like me who think he should come back to PSU for his senior season look stupid....I'd even say 2nd round. For the record, I can see King being a pretty good pro, despite never fulfilling some of the promise at PSU.

- Matt Ryan will end up in Atlanta and my head will explode when the Cowboys find a way to end up with Darren McFadden.

Useful Link: Eagles draft history

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