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Philadelphia Eagles Draft Report Card for The 2011 NFL Draft

The Philadelphia Eagles have completed their draft for the 2011 season, and there seems to be a mixed opinion on how they did. I will let you know my opinion on every pick, as well as a letter grade, and at the bottom, I will even give you the Eagles Draft grade average. Here’s how they did!

Round One, Danny Watkins, Guard, Baylor: C+

The Eagles selected Danny Watkins with their first pick, and as soon as they did, my jaw hit the floor. I was stunned that the Eagles passed over the potential star in Jimmy Smith, and then elected to not draft Gabe Carimi. I thought that the Eagles may have made a good choice in passing over a troubled Smith, but then not selecting one of the top offensive lineman in the draft, simply bewildered me. It’s too early to gauge Watkins, but considering he was projected as a late second round pick, not sure what Philadelphia was thinking.

Round Two, Jaiquwan Jarrett, Safety, Temple: B-

Philadelphia elected to boost their defensive backfield by taking Jaiquwan Jarrett in the second round. This pick tells me two things: 1. The Eagles don’t have faith in Kurt Coleman as a starter. 2. Nate Allen’s torn ACL is not healing as fast as the Eagles need it to be. This pick isn’t bad, as Jarrett is a hard hitting player who can rattle a ball carrier if they break past the first line of defense. It’s a bit disappointing to see the Eagles not give Coleman another chance, but Jarrett is the better choice as a starter overall.

Round Three, Curtis Marsh, Cornerback, Utah State: C-

Most people did not even know who Curtis Marsh was when he was drafted to the Eagles. This pick to me shows that the Eagles blew drafting a corner in the first two rounds and this is a desperation pick. The thing with Marsh is that he did not even play corner for his first three seasons at Utah State. He is relatively inexperienced, and may have some trouble adjusting to the NFL as a corner. But just about anything is better than the Eagles secondary corners right now.

Round Four, Casey Matthews, Line Backer, Oregon: A

One of the biggest needs for the Eagles coming into this draft was getting an interior linebacker. They scored big with taking Casey Matthews in the fourth round.  Philadelphia picked up an excellent and intelligent inside linebacker, and it should improve the Eagles defense substantially. This may be the Eagles best pick in the draft.

Round Four, Alex Henery, Kicker, Nebraska: A+

The Eagles had trouble getting David Akers to sign a transition tag before the lockout, and this pick shows that he is now replaced. Some are saying that this pick was a reach for a kicker in the fourth round, I do not. Alex Henery is the best  kicker to come out of college football in a long-time, showing great range and even better accuracy on every single kick. If there was one kicker I would want to replace Akers- It would be Henery.

Round Five, Dion Lewis, Running Back, Pittsburgh: B+

There were quite a few rumors going around that the Eagles were looking into getting some more help for LeSean McCoy in the draft, and they picked up a steal in Dion Lewis. Not only are Lewis and McCoy old teammates, but they form a nasty two-punch combo of speed and then power. Lewis should fill in immediately as the second running back coming off of the bench, and McCoy could not be happier. This means that some of the other backs on the Eagles’ roster will end up being cut, more than likely Jerome Harrison will be the first to go.

Round Five, Julian Vandervelde, Guard, Iowa: B

Once again the Eagles look offensive line, and this pick shows that the Eagles may be looking for a huge overhaul on offense. Several of the Eagles lineman have had some trouble with the law during the off-season and Philadelphia may be looking to start Julian Vandervelde. This isn’t a bad pick as Vandervelde is a big guy who can move the defense around. He is great at creating holes, which is something the Eagles struggled with last season.

Round Six, Jason Kelce, Center, Cincinnati: B-

This is another Eagles pick that is meant too add depth to the offensive line. There has really been no consistent play at center on the Eagles for the past three seasons, and Jason Kelce could be the long-term answer. He is kind of raw coming into the NFL, but with the proper training could easily come in as the Eagles starter. Kelce is great at holding off the pass-rush and could be one of the Eagles late-round steals.

Round Six, Brian Rolle, Linebacker, Ohio State: A-

The Eagles had several workouts and meeting with Brian Rolle before the draft and it is really no surprise that they drafted him. Rolle is a quick and fast reacting linebacker off of the snap and could be a great bench option on long defensive drives. There is no question that he will start on special teams, which isn’t that bad to begin with, but he will quickly find his way into a more active roll. Philadelphia scored big here.

Round Seven, Greg Loyd, Defensive End, UConn: D-

This is the beginning of the Eagles compensation picks, and I don’t see the logic in this one. Greg Loyd was nothing more than average at UConn and the Eagles don’t really have any room for him on the defense. Think this may be a practice squad pick.

Round Seven, Stanley Havili, Fullback, USC: F

I know that Stanley Havili has amazing hands and he is an actual receiving threat as a fullback. I get that. But this pick is about as questionable as the last, as the Eagles have no room on offense. Philadelphia currently has Leonard Weaver coming back from injury and the more than capable Owen Schmitt both as fullbacks and I don’t understand why Havili is needed. This is probably another practice squad pick.

The Philadelphia Eagles 2011 NFL Draft GPA: C+


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2 Responses to “Philadelphia Eagles Draft Report Card for The 2011 NFL Draft”

  1. Russ Loede says:

    Curtis Marsh is highly regarded according to the National Football Post’s Draft Wiz Wes Bunting. I think the selection of Marsh was the Eagles best pick. You will look back on this draft and love this third-round choice. I was a fan of Marsh leading up to the draft, and wanted my Bears to take him in the 3rd.

    http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Curtis-Marsh-A-potential-topfive-CB-prospect.html

    http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/college_player_scouting_report.html&player=69791

  2. Adam Schefter says:

    Overall, interesting analysis different from what many others have written, so thanks for offering a fresh perspective. I will disagree with your analysis on Danny Watkins. The two most knowledgeable draft experts from the NFL network, Michael Lombardi and Mike Mayock projected Danny Watkins as going 21 overall, so I’m not sure where you are getting that he was “projected as a late second round pick.” http://www.nfl.com/draft/2011/mock-drafts
    Watkins was rated by most as the top guard in the draft, and the Eagles need someone to step in day 1 to start at RG. I was surprised you bought into the Gabe Carimi to the Eagles hype. He is projected as a right tackle (albeit a good one someday)but is he really better than a healthy Winston Justice? King Dunlap was respectable last year and will provide competition with Justice for the starting RT position. They also have a young tackle to develop in Austin Howard who had a great preseason last year and could be a starter down the road. Which one of those do you want to cut to sign Gabe Carimi? There is also questions about how Gabe Carimi (who has shown poor footwork and relies more on over powering defenders) will fit in with Howard Mudd’s zone blocking scheme. On the contrary do you remember how bad the terrible tandem of Nick Cole/Max Jean-Gilles was at RG? Teams were constantly getting pressure up the middle. They needed an immediate upgrade at guard and found the best one in the draft near the end of the 1st round…..I don’t know if Havili will end up anywhere other than on the practice squad, but as Andy Reid said he was rated as their #1 FB in the draft and will provide competition for Owen Schmitt. Or a backup plan should Schmitt get injured, a likely scenario given his physical style of play. I don’t know what more we could expect from the end of the 7th round in a draft that is not deep. Hardly deserving of an F rating. Overall, interesting post thanks for sharing.

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