Eagles Get Six Value Picks, Reach Three Times

Written By Bob Cunningham On Sunday, April 25, 2010

Coleman looks to immediately assume a backup role.



According to Tony Pauline's (of SI.com) player rankings, the Eagles had a fairly successful draft with six picks he would rank as value picks, and three guys he would call a reach. A reach, of course, being a player taken before his projected grade, and a value being a player taken after his projected round.

Four picks, according to Pauline, were right where they should be. Brandon Graham (DE - 1st round), Nate Allen (FS - 2nd round), Daneil Te'o-Nesheim (DE - 3rd round), and Keenan Clayton (4th round) were all spot on according to their grade.

Mike Mayock, however, had a sixth or seventh-round grade for Te'o-Nesheim. But, for our purposes, let's stick with what Pauline says -- mainly because it looks better.

The reaches, for some odd reason, all came in the fourth round. And some of them, specifically Clay Harbor, were very bad.

Trevor Lindley, the first pick of the Eagles' four fourth-round picks, got a sixth-round grade from Pauline. Mike Kafka, the quarterback out of Northwestern, had a fifth-round grade, and Harbor had an astounding seveth-round, or free agent, grade.

The Eagles must have seen something they like in Kafka, because there were a few quarterbacks still available that were universally ranked higher. John Skelton, a guy they really seemed to like, and Tony Pike were still on the board at the point Kafka was drafted, making it look even more like a reach.

Lindley is another perplexing pick. He seems to play a lot like Asante Samuel, a guy who, by all accounts, drives defensive coordinator Sean McDermott crazy with his freelance style of play and his refusal to play press. Lindley doesn't have the superstar syndrome that Samuel seems to have, but he has the same downfalls as Samuel.

Harbor is a guy I know very little about, but there doesn't seem to be many "experts" that have him as a good pick so early in the draft, so it's has to be a cause for concern. Reid and company used to get the benefit of the doubt, but ever since they got burned by Bryan Smith and Chris Gocong it's impossible not to second guess when they reach so badly.

However, credit must be given when credit is due.

Of their 13 picks, Pauline has six rated as value picks. Ricky Sapp (DE/LB - 5th round), Riley Cooper (WR - 5th round), Charles Scott (RB - 6th round), Jamar Chaney (LB - 7th round), Kurt Coleman (S - 7th round), and Jeff Owens (DT - 7th round).

Sapp had a second-round grade, while Cooper, Scott, Chaney, Coleman, and Owens all had third-round grades.

Sapp will probably compete at SAM linebacker because of his size (6'4, 250), but the rest of these guys will have a difficult time finding a role outside of special teams.

Cooper will probably make the team solely on his ability to play special teams. Scott will have to compete with Eldra Buckley for the third running back spot and have to show he can play special teams -- an area in which Buckley excels.

Chaney will probably have to compete with Gaither, but Gaither's versatility will make it very difficult for him to find a place on this team, much less with a role on the defense. Owens, a run-stuffing defensive tackle, will have a very hard time because the Eagles have an abundance of tackles like Owens.

Brodrick Bunkley, Mike Patterson, and Antonio Dixon are all run-stuffers, so unless Owens can generate some pressure up the middle in preseason he could find himself on the practice squad or simply cut altogether.

Coleman, a safety out of Ohio State, probably has the best chance of the late-round picks to make the team. With Nate Allen probably stepping into the role of free safety right away, Marlin Jackson and Macho Harris could be moved to cornerback. That would leave Quintin Demps as the only backup safety.

Coleman is currently listed as a strong safety, making it even more likely that he becomes the guy behind Quintin Mikell since the Eagles are currently lacking a true No. 2 strong safety.

No draft class can truly be evaluated for three seasons, so it's impossible to know how well the Eagles have done with these picks. But on the surface, it looks like a great haul for a young team looking to retool and compete immediately and for the next five or six seasons.


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