The 2008 NFL Draft is in the books, and as usual the performance of the Philadelphia Eagles brain trust is being hotly contested. The prevailing opinion going into this draft was that the Eagles needed to trade up and make a splash in order to obtain a bona fide difference maker who could help this team right away. As it turned out, the Eagles traded out of their first round spot (#19 overall) and obtained additional draft picks, including the Carolina Panthers 1st round pick in next year’s draft. Overall, this is how the Eagles drafted per position:
Offensive Line – 3 (OG Mike McGlynn, OT Mike Gibson, and OT King Dunlap)
Defensive Line – 2 (DT Trevor Laws and DE Bryan Smith)
Linebacker – 2 (Joe Mays and Andy Studebaker)
Defensive Back -2 (S Quintin Demps and CB Jack Ikegwuonu)
Wide Receiver – 1 (DeSean Jackson)
Running Back – 1 (Lorenzo Booker – acquired via trade from Miami Dolphins)
I can only hope that defensive line coach Juan Castillo can wave his magic wand and coach up OT King Dunlap. Have you seen this kid’s size yet? He is 6’9″, 310 lbs. SIX FOOT NINE!! Holy crap, that is a big dude. Dunlap had an elbow injury his senior season at Auburn and lost his starting job because of it. Here’s an interesting twist. Apparently, it is projected that his frame can support about 25 more pounds of muscle, but he has had trouble in the past keeping pounds…ON! Yeah, I know EXACTLY how that feels…
WR DeSean Jackson has a Manayunk-sized chip on his shoulder after falling to the second round. He feels like he is a first round talent and plans to come into the NFL and prove everyone wrong. Hopefully, he reports with the right attitude (a concern from his college days) and gets his nose into the playbook. I am not looking for too much out of him as a wideout in 2008-09, but the jobs of primary punt returner and kick returner are already his to lose, and that is where he can make an immediate impact.
CB Jack Ikegwuonu was projected as an early second rounder, but he tore up his knee in January while preparing for the NFL Scouting Combine. A physical corner, he is not overly quick and projects as a safety in the NFL. With 11 picks in the draft, I can certainly understand the Eagles taking a risk on a guy that may project to be a valuable player but has fallen for whatever reason. However, that being said, don’t you think the time to do that is a little later – maybe the 5th or 6th round? They used a 4th round pick (#131 overall) on a guy who will not contribute at all this year and oh, by the way, has some legal issues hovering over his head. Really? Really?
Before we start giving this year’s draft class a final grade, consider this. I do not think that the Eagles are done with the assets that they acquired. Let’s wait until the June/July timeframe, when Chad Johnson and his agent (Drew Rosenhaus – have you hear of him?) make life so miserable for the Cincinnati Bengals that they get to the point where they HAVE to trade him. With the Eagles sitting there with TWO first round draft picks next year, as well as whatever picks they might get from a Lito Sheppard trade, they will be sitting in a GREAT position to strike a deal. I’m just saying…