Twitter Mailbag: On Draft Strategies

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For the purposes of this exercise, let’s assume the early portion of the draft goes exactly the way Don Banks of Sports Illustrated sees it.  Mike Evans, Ha-Ha Clinton Dix, Calvin Pryor, Darqueze Dennard, Bradley Roby, Anthony Barr and C.J. Mosley are all off the table. However, Brandin Cooks, Odell Beckham, Jr., Marqise Lee, Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier,Virginia Tech corner Kyle Fuller and Missouri pass rusher Kony Ealy are among the names still available.  What do you do?

Do you pounce on the opportunity to draft your receiver of choice? Do you slide back, knowing one of the three will still be on the board? Do you grab a corner or pass rusher before the really good ones run out?

The difficulty in predicting what the Eagles will do is that 1) we don’t know how the draft will unfold before they are on the clock and 2) we don’t have access to their value chart. Could be that one of these players is rated well above the rest. Maybe all the grades are similar and therefor it makes sense to move back.

What we do know — and what the above scenario helps illustrate — is that there are a lot of options at receiver in this draft but not as much at other positions, including outside linebacker. That’s why it makes sense to go defense early assuming the players’ grades are similar.

I’m no draftnik, but this would be my list if the draft fell as laid out above:

1) Odell Beckham, Jr.
2) Brandin Cooks
3) Marqise Lee
4) Kyle Fuller
5) Kony Ealy

Beckham looks like a polished, dynamic receiver that can line up all over the field. He appears to be a really good fit for this offense and is an quality return man as well. You can make a good case for any of the receivers, though.

I don’t know how probable it is that all three would actually be available at 22. Seems unlikely. However, we’ve heard Howie Roseman and others suggest that wideouts will drop in this draft because of the quality and depth, so there could be a couple real good ones sitting there.

I was surprised about that, too. The Sunday night game that week is Steelers at Panthers, which looks good but not great. Monday night is Bears at Jets. The Eagles are at the Niners the following week, so avoiding the Monday night slot is a probably a good thing for them (and perhaps factored into the schedule-makers’ thinking).

I checked with the league office on this. The networks have not made their protections as of yet, so that wasn’t an issue. It should be noted that the Saturday game between the Eagles and Redskins in Week 16 could wind up in prime time. There are two games scheduled for that day — the Chargers at San Francisco being the other. One will be played at 4:30, the other at 8.

 

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