With the 2013 NFL Draft completed and knowing what players went where, what could the Philadelphia Eagles have done differently? In looking at what players were still on the board each time the Eagles were on the clock, is there a different player you would have taken?
It’s usually more fun to look back at a draft from years ago to see what star players your team could have taken instead of who they did. The infamous selection of Mike Mamula over Warren Sapp in the 1995 draft would be an example of that.
However, I’ve heard an array of immediate reactions to the Eagles’ 2013 draft.
After listening to some sports radio over the past few days, the Eagles’ draft has elicited some strong opinions. From happy and satisfied to disappointed and frustrated, fans seem to be all over the place on this one.
The median feeling is that the draft was “okay”, just nothing that really “wows” you. Words like “surprised” and “confused” were often heard as well. In general, some people don’t really know what to think about the Eagles’ draft.
As for me, I liked it, though I was surprised and confused by a few picks myself.
I think Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman did a nice job of getting value with each and every pick. However, it did take me a little bit to warm up to the selections of Ertz, Logan and Barkley.
What I was frustrated about had to do more with who we couldn’t get, rather than who we did get. In my perfect draft, we would have been able to get Dion Jordan in Round 1, Jonathan Cyprien in Round 2 and then the best offensive tackle on the board in Round 3.
After that, the rest would have been gravy.
But, Jordan and Cyprien were snatched up just before our pick in each round. So, oh well, defecation happens. I think the Eagles made wise decisions for the most part with each pick, based on the best player available approach.
With that said, it’s always interesting to see after the draft what players were actually available at a given slot. Just for entertainment purposes, I decided to put together alternate drafts by the Eagles and addressing the same positions that they drafted for.
In other words, I picked the same positions that the Eagles did, just with different players in different rounds. The Eagles selected 1 OT, 1 TE, 1 DT, 1 CB, 1 QB, 1 Safety, and 2 DE’s.
Again, I am not saying this is how they should have done it, nor am I saying this is how I would have done it. I’m just saying this is how they could have done it!
First, here is our actual draft class…
- OT Lane Johnson
- TE Zach Ertz
- DT Bennie Logan
- QB Matt Barkley
- S Earl Wolff
- DE Joe Kruger
- CB Jordan Poyer
- DE David King
Alternate draft #1:
1. DT Star Lotulelei – Better player than Logan at a need position
2. CB Jamar Taylor – Poyer was great value, but Taylor a better prospect
3. TE Jordan Reed – Not as good as Ertz, but we still have Casey and Celek
4. DE William Gholston – Instead of David King, better talent at 5-tech DE
5. OT David Quessenberry – Not as good as Johnson, but versatile and good value here
7. DE Michael Buchanon - Lighter than Kruger, but faster and possibly more upside
7. S Zeke Motta – Bigger version of Wolff
7. QB Matt Scott - Raw, but seen as more of a fit over Barkley prior to draft
Alternate draft #2:
1. CB Dee Milliner
2. DE Margus Hunt
3. OT Terron Armstead
4. S Phillip Thomas
5. DT Jesse Williams
7. DE Joe Kruger (no need to change this one)
7. TE D.C. Jefferson
7. QB Matt Scott
Obviously, there are numerous alternate drafts we could devise, particularly if we decided to address different positions altogether.
However, I tried keeping it in line with the Eagles’ mindset of what positions to address and tried to keep the players as similar as possible in terms of size, ability and/or potential. Some people were pretty upset that they didn’t take Milliner or Lotulelei in the first round, but I completely disagree with that notion.
Would you have preferred one of the alternate drafts or do you think the actual draft was the best one? Or would you have a different alternate draft?
Neither of my above alternates strike me as much better, if any better at all, than the actual draft. However, if we were to do it without having to stick to the same positions the Eagles did, our draft could have looked something like this (i.e., this is how I might have drafted):
1. OT Lane Johnson – With Jordan off the board, LJ is easily the best pick here.
2. S D.J. Swearinger – Initially I would have thought I could get him in the 3rd round, but I can’t let a physical safety like him get away. Philly would love him.
3. DE/OLB Damontre Moore – Value pick here, experience in a 3-4 and 4-3 scheme. Another edge rusher in case Cole, Graham and/or Barwin don’t pan-out in the new defense.
4. DE William Gholston – Promising 5-tech DE prospect.
5. DT Jesse Williams – At this point I’d definitely take a chance on him, regardless of possible knee issue. Good and versatile talent, great value here.
7. CB Jordan Poyer – Excellent value here.
7. S Zeke Motta – Big and physical, would be a good compliment to Swearinger
7. WR Da’Rick Rogers – If not for his off-field issues and subsequent suspension from Tennessee, he likely would have been a first or second-round prospect. Low risk here with a very high reward.
As you can see, my focus was to address the lines and secondary. After our free agent additions, I feel better about the CB position than I do the safety position. Plus, if given a choice, I’d take a good safety over a corner because I place a higher value on that position.
Again, this isn’t sour grapes. I’m completely fine with what the Eagles actually did and I expect it to produce multiple solid starters and/or key rotation players for years to come.
Looking at what players were on the board at each selection, would you have done anything differently than what Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman did?