Some Thoughts On the Smith Pick

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After hearing from the head coach and general manager, you’re left with the feeling that the Eagles had a plan for the first round of the draft and that plan went awry on multiple levels.

Chip Kelly mentioned late Thursday night that they targeted six players in the first round and none of those players remained by the time the Eagles got on the clock. They were very interested in trading up to land one of their guys, Howie Roseman added, but the asking price discussed prior to draft night went up significantly after the Bills dealt their ninth overall pick and a first and fourth rounder in ’15 to the Browns for the No. 4 selection. The cost became too steep — especially for a team armed with only six picks — so they were forced to wait as the likes of Odell Beckham, Anthony Barr, Kyle Fuller and Brandin Cooks fell off the board, one by one. 

With none of their top-rated players left, the Eagles took advantage of the seller’s market and traded out of the 22nd spot, netting Cleveland’s No. 26 and No. 83 selections in return. The Browns took Johnny Manziel, as expected, and then Andy Reid and the Chiefs selected Auburn’s Dee Ford, who Roseman suggested was the Eagles’ top remaining pass rusher on their board. [Update: Roseman clarified Friday afternoon that he did not have Ford ranked higher than Smith, but thought Ford's selection would start a run on pass rushers.] Another bump in the road. The outside linebacker position was about to fall off a cliff — at least in this organization’s mind –so they pulled the trigger.




Was he the best player available?

Kelly said he was, but noted: "We thought adding a pass-rusher was a big thing for us." Roseman chose to answer this way:

“We’re looking at tiers,” he told SI.com. “If you feel like one of the positions is harder to address as a whole, you address that. If you look at the wide receiver group, it’s a strong group going forward. We’ve got a bunch of guys in that tier.”

In other words, a player like Marqise Lee or Cody Latimer may have been rated a little higher but good receivers will be easier to come by later on, so they went with the position that had a more scarce supply of talent. And in some ways, that makes sense.

It also can be dangerous, depending on how much you are bending your board in order to justify taking a player at a need position. Last year there was little talk of tiers. When they selected Lane Johnson, they stated firmly that he was the best player on their board. Same for Zach Ertz (the definition of a BPA pick) and Bennie Logan and Matt Barkley, and on down the line. The explanation with Smith was a little more complex: Well, we wanted these guys but they weren't there and then this guy got plucked when we traded back and the outside linebackers were about to run out so we made the selection.

That doesn't exactly inspire the same level of confidence.

That's not to say Smith won't work out. He could be the jewel of the first round, for all we know. Just because a fan has never heard of him or an analyst doesn't have a first round grade on him doesn't mean that he will be a bust. But it is fair to question whether it was a reach, especially when some of the thoughts coming from the front office appear to support that theory.  And with the reach comes an element of vulnerability.

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  • Nick C

    It is not so much the reach, but the fact that we could have gotten Smith in the Falcons or Vikings trade scenarios which could have been a greater gain in draft assets. Obviously I am speculating but even Smith himself was surprised he didn’t go in the 2nd or even the 3rd. Most players usually have a higher expectation than reality in this process.

    • Javi Echie

      Howie stated that they tried trading down from 26 but found no suitors so hypothetically saying they could of got him in another trade down doesn’t make sense since that is what they tried to do.

      • Nick C

        I had heard that the falcons and Vikings wanted to trade up to 22. So maybe we could’ve gotten a first next year along with their 2nd this year? I dunno just thinking we could’ve gotten more but howie said they were afraid to move back 10 spots

  • Michael

    If we can somehow get lee or Latimer I will over look this pick.

  • Cameron

    Definitely not BPA how long did that theory last 1 yr? I’m not totally against this pick however it is mind boggling to see this organization’s approach to safeties. It’s like when B-Dawkins left town the entire position of safety went with it

    • Philly0312

      Ha ha is the only safety in this Draft that had a good shot to start day 1 for the eagles

  • Matt

    Similar stuff was said about Bruce Irvin in 2012. Worked out alright for the Seahawks

    • Mugzy Payton

      What about Danny Watkins? John Harris?

      • Matt

        Well the good news is Smith is actually athletic and not a 26 year old Canadian Fireman. Im not saying the pick is great but people said the same stuff about Irvin and said that was a reach

        • Joe from Easton

          Hey! Watch how you talk about Canadian Firemen. Adam might not like that.

          • Adam

            He went to Baylor so I no longer consider him Canadian. I’m removing his citizenship based on a technicality.

        • Ark87

          Can someone explain the athleticism thing, I’m not really seeing it. I see bad agility, good length and middle of the pack speed. http://mockdraftable.com/player/4610/
          This isn’t an immediate impact pick, could still be a good pick as T-Mac said though.

          • Alistair Middlemiss

            His combine 3 cone is a dud, he ran 7.08 at his pro day which is plenty fast enough for an OLB.

    • Javi Echie

      Exactly!..Everybody and there mother bashed the seahawks for the Irvin pick and it def worked out for them.

    • Liam Mullen

      Bruce Irvin has never done anything.

      • Ark87

        no listen, reaching for pass rushers is the move of champions, 2015 baby!

  • GumboGumbo

    Smith will spell Cole during ’14 and take his spot by ’15

    • Mugzy Payton

      Considering Cole is below average at the position (being kind) that’s not high praise

      • JofreyRice

        I seriously doubt it. He’s not what he was, but he’s still the best passrusher the Eagles have at linebacker. I don’t think they did anything to change that.

      • Philly0312

        And he is essentially the best run stopping olb in the nfl…or in consideration.

      • Doctor Jay

        smith is essentially a bigger, more athletic cole, with OLB college experience, and ability to drop in coverage…

  • JofreyRice

    “and then Andy Reid and the Chiefs selected Auburn’s Dee Ford, who Roseman admitted was the Eagles’ top remaining pass rusher on their board.”

    Wow, that is surprising. If they had Ford rated as the best passrusher there, and were willing to reach a bit 4 picks later with Smith, I’m thinking they might have tried to get a little too cute, and it cost them. Personally, I would have taken Ford over Smith, but I didn’t think the org saw it that way. So they got the 4th or 5th best OLB on their board, and admit they passed up some guys they rated higher, in order to do it. Did Howie go to AA or something, why is he being so forthright this entire offseason?

    Ultimately, it all comes down to how Smith plays, but I cannot fathom why people feel the need to bend over backwards defending the move. It was a reach.

    • Adam

      To me, a player you take in one round that won’t be available with 8-10 picks, let alone the next time you pick is not a reach.

      • whiskeybill

        You don’t know that he wouldn’t be there in 8-10 picks. No one will ever know.

        • Adam

          I’d bet good money he wouldn’t have made it past SF to be honest. Jimmie Ward isn’t a good fit there but of course it’s a genius pick because SF made it, but if you consider his measurables are similar to Aldon Smith and with his contract/off the field drama M. Smith would have been great insurance. And the draft world would be praising Baalke for making it too.

          • Joe from Easton

            This is exactly what I was thinking. If SF made this pick at 30 you would hear how focused they are on BPA and this guy will be the real deal and blah blah blah blah, but the Eagles made it when most people thought they’d replace DJax so it’s a reach. I just don’t get how taking a player when you know he’s not making it around the merry-go-round again is a reach. By that definition there are at least 100 reaches in every draft.

      • JofreyRice

        If you’re picking a guy 8-10 picks higher than where you think he’ll go, I’m not sure what else to call it. He could still be a fine player, but it’s a reach. Howie is even basically saying as much.

        • Adam

          A reach to me is several rounds higher, not several picks.

          • Richard Colton

            Lets call him a minor reach then. Either way – he’s a reach. The fact that they got a day 2 pick in the exchange takes away the sting. Having a better career than Anthony Barr will make us forget completely.

          • Andy124

            Barr’s too raw and has no instincts. Smith is clearly better in every aspect. Only silly fools wanted Barr more than Smith.

          • Richard Colton

            welcome to my sour grapes club. Merlot or Cabernet?

          • Andy124

            Yes please.
            But my grapes aren’t sour. Merely self-depricating.

          • Richard Colton

            ill tempered?

            mine are in full-on pissed mode after losing HaHa to the Packers at #21. I was watching the draft with 5 Eagles fans and one Green Bay fan, which made it worse.

            I think that’s a Syrah. Or a peppery Zinfandel.

          • Andy124

            Didn’t know you were interested in Dix.
            My edge rusher fixation has been on full display, thus my sunny disposition.

          • myeaglescantwin

            i wouldn’t go that far.

            Chip’s proved he love athletes despite their experience.
            Barr is heads and shoulders better than any other OLB,, speaking purely physically.

          • Andy124

            I’m making fun of myself. I’ve been a big Barr cheerleader for the last couple months.

          • Adam

            By your personal definition of a reach, maybe, but that’s not what I consider a reach. So no, it’s not.

          • myeaglescantwin

            Jaquawn Jarret.

            Macho Harris

            Daniel Teo’nishim.

            i’m with ya.

        • Andy124

          Semantics argument at this point. I think “reach” has a negative connotation and since I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this situation, “reach” doesn’t seem to apply.

          Also, 8-10 picks higher than where he may of been projected doesn’t mean you’re taking him before 8-10 players you have a significantly higher grade on. Now that would be a “reach”.

    • Javi Echie

      Ford also offers no versatility in terms of coverage and movement along the front, Smith has experience as a de, experience as a olb, has been asked to play in space and coverage. I like the pick especially with picking up that extra 3rd rounder. People seem to think its a reach but like my man Adam said below if he wasn’t gonna be there several picks later then why not take him.

    • bill

      It’s so surprising that I’m doubting its veracity. Perhaps Howie is just spreading some manure in an attempt to disguise the Eagles’ decision making process. Probably won’t be effective, but Ford to the Eagles makes 0 sense to me, and if Howie was surprised that Big Red took the fastball, well, then, Howie’s MUCH dumber than I gave him credit for.

    • peteike

      was way more of a need pick than a reach. A reach is assuming they can get him at end of 2nd which by some accounts, was not a definite. I thought theyd draft BPA, wheres Tom, he was all about that for weeks. This guy was top of their board though so it wasnt all need/reach to them. I was very glad they went D, got an extra pick and passed on Lee (Maclin V2). Time to wait for rest of draft to shake out to really measure it, even then, need a few more years.

    • Philly0312

      I take howie’s comment literally: Ford was the best pass rusher…He didn’t say Ford was the best olb left on their board. I don’t see it…Smith seemed to be more complete as an olb than Ford (my layman’s opinion). I wanted Smith bad, just figured we’d steal him in the second and be called geniuses in the future. Now our post score card will drop…which might be good. We seem to get an A every year!

      • Eagles1018

        I agree that Smith is a more complete OLB than Ford who is the definition of a pass rusher. I’d rather have Smith honestly because I’d rather have a more complete player at that position. Just like how ck preaches versatility. I do however believe firmly that there was a second round grade on him. Just like Tim said, they knew OLB would fall off a cliff so they snagged Smith. He prolly would be gone in the top of round 2. Still hope we take one of our 3rds and package it with something (later pick or a player) to move up in the 2nd. Or take our second and a player to move up. Just something to get in the top half of the second round

        • Philly0312

          Can’t disagree. I think there are a lot of good offensive players left who could help (OL, WR), but defense seems weak in round 2. Guessing we get a good wr in round 2 (I really want ARob), and a couple defense pieces on round 3. Who knows though. 5 hours til the Draft starts!

    • Dominik

      When you read Jimmy K. version of the soundbite, it sounds different, though:

      “Between 23 and 26, the dynamic changed for us a little bit,” said Roseman, “because we knew there was a team looking to trade up for a pass rusher, and then when Andy took a pass rusher at 23 and where our board was for that, that was the next pass rusher for us.”

      There it sounds like Howie anticipated a pass rusher run and got the pass rusher who was next on their board, not that Ford was a target for them. Because it seems unlikely to me that he was.

  • Chip K.

    Dude dominated in the FIU game.

    • JofreyRice

      @mikemagargal Had 10.5 sacks and 10.5 TFL in his 5 games on draftbreakdown. He had 4 sacks and 8 TFL in his other 7 games last year— please respond (@respond_please) May 9, 2014

      • Alistair Middlemiss

        All pass rushers have games they take over and games they are less effective. Teams used a lot of LT+RB tandems to block him in the passing game and he is not a player who will overcome multiple blockers. However 1 on 1 (which is what you want your OLB to do) he is very effective.

  • ztom6

    The comment about “tiers” would seem to suggest Smith was in the same tier as their other options at that pick, but happened to be at a very shallow position (vs. say, WR). So they picked him. That’s pretty much how they said their draft would work all along. It sounds to me like you are taking something from Howie’s comments that he isn’t actually saying.

  • Cameron

    All I can do is hope that all of this becomes a big picture net gain. Living in Eugene I have more than enough trust in chip but some of these moves as of late are puzzling. I just keep thinking back 3 or 4 years ago watching the draft with a friend of mine who is a sea chickens fan and him screaming at the t.v. “Wtf are you doing?!!?” Seems to have worked out all right just got to keep reminding myself that Chip’s mind is a vault and it is filled with info of ALOT of the kids that are in college ball right now

  • Jim Blizzard

    To me the question really boils down to, ” Would you rather have Marcus Smith + a 3rd or Dee Ford? The answer is pretty obvious to me…

    • Mugzy Payton

      Would you rather have DJax and whatever pick(s) they use for a WR, or a rookie WR? That’s still bugging me. The fact the made a hole in a team that didn’t need to be made.

      • Jim Blizzard

        At some point you are going to have to let it go. DJax is gone and he is not coming back… I have no problem with the team moving into another direction and finding a WR who can block, go across the middle and be a red zone target.

        • Mugzy Payton

          I’ll let it go when Howie/Chip turn the team into a contender or are fired. Until then it’s relevant. I believe as current constituted, the team is due for a worse record than last year.

          • Adam

            We went from 4-12 to 10-6 and in the playoffs. At 4-12 we didn’t make the playoffs and playoffs put you in contention, so that’s pretty much the definition of turning a team into a contender.

          • Mugzy Payton

            A contender is a team who can win a championship, not a team who makes the playoffs. Philly is significantly behind Seattle, San Fran, Denver, New England and probably some others.

          • Adam

            You’re a contender when you have a chance to win a championship. aka playoff teams. Philadelphia is in year two of a major regime and culture change and they produced great results. It takes more than 1 season to fix a team. Everyone of those teams had similar archs to Philly after they hired their new coaches. First season was a major improvement on the past regime, and they built from there.

          • Alistair Middlemiss

            And DeGone who struggles with press coverage and getting open early in a route tree was the player who would take us over the top against the Seattle at $10mil a year?

            Because they want to be a championship team not just a playoff team they cut DeGone.

          • Jim Blizzard

            You could always just start rooting for the Redskins….

      • dnabrice

        He took too many plays off. Football reason right there. We don’t really see what’s going on because the camera is focused on the ball, so you would have no idea that he wasn’t really playing when the ball wasn’t headed in his direction.

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    called it. Dee Ford

    • Ian Farley

      props to you. i would have never considered him a target. typical andy reid type guy. shocked to hear he was gonna be in consideration.

      • Joe from Easton

        They weren’t going to take Ford at all. Howie was just having some inside joke fun with Andy.

  • http://hibernate.org/ Steve Ebersole

    Some “fans” make me laugh. Its ok for you to not like a pick, but to say he was not the BPA is ludicrous. He wasn’t the BPA according to whom? You sitting there on your couch NOT paid to evaluate talent for the Eagles?

    • Ian Farley

      no according to all the blogs they read, kiper, mcshit face, anyone else who can have an opinion because they get coaches tape.

      Eagles obviously have a board with players that fit their team and they would likely draft. they had targets, werent going to overspend for them. took a player they felt could better the Defense and got an extra 3rd (which is just as likely to yield a starter in this deep class)

      3 rounds last year, 3 starters. 3 rounds this year who is to say we cant get 4? at least regular contributors come seasons end/playoffs.

      i really think smith was on the board for Denver if roby wasnt there. and i promise he was gone by 40-45 because of the same reasons they took him. pass rushers in this class at OLB are scarce. when talent is thin, the better players go higher than “projected” because teams dont want to miss out. case in point a clear project in Barr went to a team who doesnt even employ a 3-4.

      • http://hibernate.org/ Steve Ebersole

        But that’s the point. BPA is not the same for every team. I heard Ross Tucker on radio make a great illustration of this comparing the Pats and Colts. And while players like Freeney and Mathias where awesome for the Colts they really would not have fit with what the Pats were doing at the time. BPA is a relative term.

        For me, I don’t love or hate the pick. I think its a good player and time will tell.

        • http://hibernate.org/ Steve Ebersole

          I will say however that I very much like them adding a OLB that is not a one-trick pony, and it pains me to say that as I love Cole as a player. We hear it all the time from this new coaching staff that they want to be multiple. There is a great reason for that, so they can keep offenses guessing. Having 2 OLB who can rush or drop certainly helps with that

      • NickS1

        Yup, there’s 5 teams between 34-41 that could have very well taken him.

  • Joe Thomas

    So they abandoned the BPA approach basically. I like the pick though.

  • peteike

    So OLB are not a dime a dozen coming out of college. That being said they almost all need some kind of training up to do it well, look at Barr. Mack before that from small school (if were judging conference opponents). This position seems to require time regardless of the player they get, am I wrong about that at all? So they go with more character/athleticism is my guess and hope they can fill the need there.

    • Ian Farley

      you are totally acccurate. Barr would not have played any more the Smith will this season. Barr is less refined as a OLB. No one knows if he can hold up against the run ever. Least we know Smith has done all things they want from an OLB and has the athletic ability to excel at each phase.

  • Tom W

    I liked the pick a lot bc we got the third. Trading back was all I cared about. And came away w a very good olb versatile freak who ceiling is sky high I had high second rd grade on. For me it came down smith, attaboy and latimer there so I am completely fine they may have over drafted the kid by 10 picks. There was rumors last week that the niners liked him in the late first so I doubt he woulda made it to 54. Edge rusher was huge get and we knocked hat position outta the work. Couldn’t get cute and trade down again. Don’t believe dee ford stuff at all. Our board was empty at 22 so they dropped down and got a great pick. People on this site and lawlors have spoken highly about smith all offseason so the pkayer is fine…. In 2 yrs you won’t care if he had a second rd grade

    • Eagles1018

      Agree

    • Javi Echie

      Agree 100%

    • peteike

      There you are, was curious what you thought. Im happy as well, much better than taking Lee imo. Also, per the potential second trade down with Vikings we an only speculate about that. They may have already been talking to Sea. As well, not many teams looking at Bridgewater towards end of round 1 so why trade up higher if you know you can get your guy at 32 and give up less.

    • Javi Echie

      Now I am hoping for either Latimer or Lee in the 2nd. Two third round picks in this really deep draft is such a plus, we can get CB/Safety or RB or O-lineman

      • GW.Fisher

        Lee falls to us in round 2. If our haul was Lee/McNeil instead of McNeil/Lee no one is complaining. All this worry because people listen to Mel Kiper instead of trusting Gamble, Donahoe, & co…

        • Javi Echie

          Agreed

    • Richard Colton

      I get the impression you would have preferred Atta-boy. Mostly because I’m reading your chart. So let me ask you a hypothetical. Say Atta-boy is there at #54, and he’s the highest guy left on their board. Do the Eagles have room for both?

      • Tom W

        I had them very close but had attaboy higher bc he had two yrs of great production vs smith and one year. Smith is way more versatile and better in coverage but attaboy may have the edge rushing the qb. I wouldn’t take attaboy at 54 after the smith pick but who knows what happens

        • Richard Colton

          See normally I’d say no way to OLB/OLB. Smith’s versatility here intrigues me. I think he could eventually give you everything Barwin does at LOLB plus pass rush. Be nice to have two edge terrors, wouldn’t it?

          • http://hibernate.org/ Steve Ebersole

            Drooling for that!

            And I wouldn’t sell Barwin short on rushing the passer. He’s done it in the past in Houston. But considering the situation here last year, you really don’t want Cole dropping while Barwin rushes anywhere close to 50/50. With a full-fledged versatile OLB across from him, I think we’ll see Barwin get back to being able to do that. The key is the versatility and unbalance. He just needs to be competent as a rusher…

            In that regard the pick of Smith is very interesting if he works out being a player.

          • Javi Echie

            and that is the exact versatility chip and billy want. well said brotha

          • Alistair Middlemiss

            Think smith could move to LOLB in 2-3 years if they find a special pass rusher somehow, funny people call him a high risk project when i think he is a pretty safe pick to be able to contribute.

          • dnabrice

            We saw what the Huston/Hali combo did to us in the KC game. They even went out and got Ford in addition to those two.

          • peteike

            Dude, bad news on the Hali front. Hes been getting ripped for being 20 lbs over. Fans tweeting him the Ford pick relentlessly. He actually started retweeting and responding to everyone, hes not liking all the negative attention. I think more that hes going to go out and prove he can lose that 20, its friggin May.

      • Andy124

        We’ve already talked about it, but I’ll say it again, if he’s clearly the best guy on the board, to use the Eagles terminology of the day, there’s no other players in his tier at any position, yes, I absolutely think you can develop them both and have them ready to be ready to take over when Barwin is out of dead money if everything unfolds just so.

        • Andy124

          Holy run on sentence batman!

        • dnabrice

          It’s funny…I remember reading a quote somewhere that said they didn’t even do tiers, every player has a specific grade. But maybe it was Chip being Chip. Proof’s there that it is tier-based.

          • Andy124

            Full disclosure, I do not expect honestly from my FO.

    • Ray

      Tom you’re nuts. This was a clear reach when you could have had darqueeze Dennard at 22 who is day 1 starting caliber player. Most national media scouting reports had this dude mid to late 2nd round at best. You say that everyone talked highly about him yet no one projected him as a first round pick they were talking about how he’d be great value for day 2. No way he was best player available, roseman even admitted as much, and that has been their mantra throughout the draft process. The third round pick is a crap shoot so don’t tell me how they really fleeced the browns

      • Doctor Jay

        how is he a day 1 starter? cause he played for michigan state in the vaunted big 10?? we really had no need to draft a 5’11” DB. Don’t know if you’ve noticed but the new prototype corner is 6’2″

        • Ray

          Of all the all pro cornerbacks last year how many were your prototype 6’2″ exactly? Are you going to tell me guys like revis and joe Hayden are too short for your defense. I’m not saying Dennard is going to be a stud in the league but don’t rip him and then try to sell me marcus smith 3 picks later. C’mon man

          • Doctor Jay

            Time will tell, but I think the 5’11” cb is becoming more and more undersized. Corners need to be bigger in today’s NFL… just the way it is

          • Hanibal Luis

            I can’t wait until the day receivers are 6’10” and corners are small at 6’6″. I give it 5 years.

          • Doctor Jay

            yea yea yeaaaaa

          • ray

            I don’t disagree with you that taller corners have an edge in today’s nfl, I just can’t believe how everyone is so caught up in the measurables. How he plays on the field is the substance, our own brandon boykin is a prime example. I don’t hate smith I just think they got stuck and scrambled to get a guy they liked at bad value in the draft. Ill happily eat my words if he becomes a beast, and i hope he does.

          • peteike

            was just gonna say, dont tell Boykin that

        • Alistair Middlemiss

          while i love Dennard’s guts and play style he is not a ‘lock’ top player (no one is) but a 5’11 4.51s low upside CB is not really ideal at 22. they want someone bigger or faster for that kind of value. there are some interesting CB’s later in the draft which i think fit the eagles with better value.

      • peteike

        just like Dee Milliner was a day 1 starter?

        • Javi Echie

          damn pete you beat me to it this was the exact reference I was gonna make.

        • ray

          yeah, or maybe like how patrick peterson or joe haden was a starter. Your going to take Milliner as an example because he had a bad rookie year. It’s only been one year with him anyway so milliners book is just beginning to be written, and he is projected as their starter this year, so good bad or otherwise, yeah like dee miliner. Not saying dennard is peterson or haden, but how can you say he’s milliner petey boy?

          • peteike

            I cant, also can never say day 1 starter, that was my point

          • ray

            You’re right you can’t cement him as day 1 starter. That’s why I said he was a Day 1 starting CALIBER player. No player can be locked into a starting role as no one can predict what will happen up until opening day. But Dennard has the talent and our corners aren’t exactly the toughest competition to beat out for a starting spot. Marcus Smith was three picks later and he probably won’t start, I’m just arguing value.

          • peteike

            gotcha, and keep on dude. At least you are reasonable with back n forth, some negatives are just incessant. Even if people are a bit hommerish to jump all over the negative posts, its good to have a bit more of that. Per OLB though, I think its just a tough position to find and almost always will need a bit of training up at the next level, seems to be the way it is at that spot.

          • Ray

            Defiinitely OLB was tough to draft this year especially where the birds were sitting. Looking back I would’ve loved to get dion jordan for the 22nd and graham but thats just me and I don’t know how talks were with dolphins as they seemed to fizzle out a while ago. Deff don’t mean to be a downer on the comments tho, years of disappointment have molded me into this skeptical serpent. Thanks for the back and forth

      • Richard Colton

        “Tom you’re nuts” – bold opening, I’m intrigued

        “darqueeze dennard” – you’re losing me

        “most national media…” – and I’m gone

        • Andy124

          lol

        • Joe from Easton

          Well played Rich. Drinkin’ the dark stuff today, eh?

          • Richard Colton

            all day – dragging from last night. the prospect of getting three playmakers tonight is keeping me wired though.

            you do mean Guinness, right?

          • Joe from Easton

            Yes sir. I personally go for the extra stout because I’m an ABV guy.

          • cliff henny

            weapons and guinness, should be double upvote

        • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

          just catching up from the morning, but from what I’ve seen CK would approve. You, sir, have won the day

    • mtn_green

      Tom W. I have your big board open and was following it. Lee, smith and attachou were same rank, top of 2nd.

    • Amar

      Nope, SF was always going DB, WR. They have to play Sea/Ari twice every year.

  • Ark87

    Thanks T-Mac, this sounds about right. Overall 22 for Smith and a 3rd, I’m pretty excited about. 26 for smith, seemed a tad early. To be clear, He probably was going to be taken soon, so it’s not a reach in that sense. I just think the pass rushers were a bit lower tier than the people going around them pretty consistently in the second half of the first round.

  • Adam

    Don’t understand why people think it has to be one extreme or the other when it comes to liking or not liking this pick. Just because you think it was a bad pick and I don’t hate the pick doesn’t mean blind faith in the organization. I’m good with the pick because:

    * After Evans, Watkins and maybe Cooks, the drop off in talent at WR isn’t that big and more comes down to coaching. The drop off after Smith at OLB is much worse IMO. I’d rather trust Chip with a 2nd round WR and go with pass rush early.
    * According to some, a reach based on mock drafters and bloggers. Based on how the way the draft was playing out, taken anywhere from 5-15 picks higher than where he might have gone. I don’t consider this a reach.
    * We filled found a player with a skill set and physical attributes that matches what the Eagles want in their OLB’s. He can cover, set the edge, and rush the passer from multiple spots. Clearly a scheme fit.
    * This guy can produce. 14.5 sacks is nothing to balk at. Even if some of those sacks came were unblocked, I have faith that Billy Davis can scheme up some mush rushes that will put him in similar situations. He had a lot of succcess doing that last season.
    * We got an extra third round pick. This is huge. To me that does more than enough to blur the distinction between an late first rounder and an early to mid 2nd rounder.
    * Would an S or CB be nice? Sure, but I’d still rather pass rush. If Smith can have success, that lets Cox see more 1 on 1’s, allows Kendricks to play more clean, and takes some pressure off our secondary. It improves our D on a few different levels.

    I don’t hate the pick. I’m not madly in love with the pick. I can be good with it. It doesn’t have to be black and white.

    • Javi Echie

      Preach on brotha

    • Andy124

      Did Howie play football? How many years did he spend climbing through the scouting ranks? Case closed. Bad pick.

      • Doctor Jay

        hasn’t even played a down of football in midnight green… kid looks to be a good pick IMO

        • knighn

          That’s Andy124 being sarcastic.

          • Andy124

            Me? Please, name one time when I’ve ever been sarcastic.

          • Joe from Easton

            You have never been sarcastic. I’m almost positive that you are the most monotone and literal poster I’ve ever read. You surely have not shown any ability to even understand the way in which a sentence can be constructed vs. the context of a current conversation so that sarcasm is evident to the rest of us.

          • Andy124

            You sir, have seen straight through to my soul.

      • Max Lightfoot

        A bit early, aren’t you? You’re not allowed to say “bad pick” until three years from now – then you can let us all know. Just sayin’.

        • Andy124

          Can’t blame doctor jay, but now that my sarcasm has already been illuminated, what’s your excuse? :)

      • GoBirds1

        Can we all agree now with Chip running the show and should be here for the long haul, that Howie, ‘never played a down of football’ Roseman has zero influence on who gets picked and who doesn’t. He can manage the cap and structure contracts and be the PR man when things are good and disappear when things are bad but has no say in personnel decisions. He knows his place, stop attributing credit or blame on PeeWee Howie. This is Chip’s show, just like it was Andy’s ex-Banner. I would go as far to say that Lurie has more influence on personnel than Howie does. Do you think this really happened:
        Howie-Chippah, I know you are really pissed I could not move up and get one of our targeted guys, but now that they are all gone I think we should take Marcus Smith instead of Dennard or Lee? Really, I think not.

  • tk76

    Pleasantly surprised to see the FO being so upfront regarding what went down. It certainly appeared to most fans that the players they really wanted were taken just before their pick at #22, and these statements from the team confirms this. Not exactly the best outcome, but at #22 and no extra picks you don’t have total control. So I guess they tried to make the best of a bad situation and at least got the #86 out of it, giving them more flexibility in todays rounds. But i certainly would have wished they could have come away with a more highly regarded pick with their first rounder. I guess we will have to see how the entire draft plays out,

    • Doctor Jay

      who would you have picked?

      • tk76

        My point is that agree with what the team is saying that the best targets were gone at #22 (and #26.) I would have either moved to #20/21 to get either Cooks or HaHa or if that was not an option then I’d have traded back further from #26.

        • Adam

          Which would you rather? (h/t to @JimmyKempski)

          • Andy124

            Option C:
            Clowney
            Mack
            Watkins
            Evans
            Mosely
            2nd round pick
            2nd round pick
            3rd round pick
            3rd round pick
            3rd round pick
            –Yeah, that’s good. Don’t want to get too greedy.

            I guess I’d take Option A as my second choice though.

          • tk76

            You think it would have cost a 4th rounder to move up from #22 to #21?

            Per the value chart it was worth 20 pts, which translates to pick #178 (6th rounder.) It was competitive, so maybe it would have cost them a bit more than that, but a 4th rounder?

          • Adam

            Considering Green Bay wanted Dix, they wouldn’t trade out. You would have had to jump them, so Arizona pre-NO trade, or Miami. To move up 4 (CLE) and 7 spots (NO) it costs thirds, so I don’t think moving up 3 spots for a 4th would be a huge stretch. But who knows.

          • tk76

            The Cards traded #20 to the Saints for #27 + #91… which is odd given the Eagles got more than this back for the #22 pick (#26 +#83.) So it seems like the Eagles should have been able to get to #20, but they likely lacked the flexibility.

          • NCBiRDMann22

            Keep filling this out through the draft please…Lets see how much the haters change their thoughts!

          • Richard Colton

            can I get back to you in 12 years when all their careers have played out?

          • Adam

            I’ll check my schedule

        • Doctor Jay

          They didn’t have the ability to move up and I doubt chip wants a 5’9″ receiver and bama d-backs haven’t exactly panned out in the NFL

          • tk76

            My impression is that Chip wanted those 2 players, but they were gone. At least that is how I interpret the team’s statements. Whether or not you or I value those players is not really relevant to the point I was attempting to make regarding the teams intentions and actions.

          • Doctor Jay

            I don’t think chip wanted cooks honestly… I think ha ha was a target, but I think they got more with trading down and getting an extra 3rd

          • tk76

            You could be right. I think drafting any WR in the 1st round would have looked sort of bad. It would have meant that they had to expend a 1st in order to replace a player they cut (Desean.)

          • Doctor Jay

            thats why I don’t understand anyone’s disdain for smith. I’d be mad if we took benjamin or jordan mathews as our 1st pick.

      • Alistair Middlemiss

        I wish Ha Ha fell 1 more pick, or that someone traded with green bay for manziel. Didn’t happen and they did the best job they could with the situation. Doubt there was much value at 26, because you where in a band of picks from 22-40ish which all have similar value and with that being the case why move up in a deep draft?

    • Corey Dawson

      Yep, exactly how I think it fell out. Ha Ha was their last target and got taken right before #22, so they traded back. At #26, they still didn’t have a 1st round grade on anyone, so the choice was to trade back and get even more picks, or to do what they did and take a position of need that had a risk of having a huge drop off by their next pick. They chose the later. I would have chosen the former and just dealth with the OLB position this year while gathering picks for next year to help address it then. I would have been on the fence though, so don’t have a problem with the direction they went if they really feel OLB is that big of a need.

      • Alistair Middlemiss

        I am not sure how much value was on offer for a trade down, not sure i would be happy moving down 15 picks for a 4th at that stage.

        • tk76

          We won’t know. But it looks like they got themselves into a bit of a bind and they just made the best pic they could in the circumstances. Which meant they got a player they liked, bit not a player they had targeted with their 1st round pick. So in their minds they did not get great value… but that is not exactly the end of the world.

          That is very different than if a player they had rated really high had fallen to them or if they had traded up a few spots to get a guy the coveted.

          Again, I appreciate the team’s honesty and forthrightness about the pick. It shows they are self confident enough to not try and blow smoke,

          • Corey Dawson

            Yeah, me too. They admitted their 1st round targets were gone and they just did what they could with the situation. Chalk it up to the cost of being a playoff team.

  • Mikeq

    I didn’t really like the way the players came off the board, from an Eagle perspective. We got to 22 and I found myself thinking, “ugh, who would I pick here?” I was not a Lee fan. And if I remember right, there isn’t a single player from 21-32 where I wish the Eagles had taken that guy instead. The first round didn’t fall our way, but if the OLB depth chart is Barwin-Cole-Brandon Graham then I don’t mind if they forced it a little to get some cover. I’d take another developmental OLB sometime in this draft as well, you can’t play an effective 3-4 without competent OLBs.

    • Alistair Middlemiss

      agree with all of that. think we did a decent job with the cards dealt.

    • PaoliBulldog

      This draft featured defensible first round selections by the Cowboys *and* Raiders (R.I.P. Al Davis). When’s the last time *that* happened?

      So there were no Heywood-Bey-esque reaches that made other teams reshuffle and try to deal. I thought the Bills way overpaid to get Watkins, but that trade didn’t affect the Eagles at 22.

      I wish we knew what would have happened if Jerrah had taken Manziel at 16. Could the Birds have traded back anyway? Seems to me that Jerrah’s good sense earned the Eagles an extra draft pick.

  • myeaglescantwin

    so basically BPA went out the fuggin window.

    best player available, at our position of need. . . . hahah

    • myeaglescantwin

      i like the pic btw.
      they needed a OLB, they got one. More seasoned than Barr. More reliable physically then Ford.

      this kid has 34″ arms and is ripped. He could add size and technique and be something to fear. Or, he could be Ricki Sapp 2.0
      we will see.

    • Kev_H

      You can’t really apply general approaches to specific situations. Obviously, if the best player available is a QB, and it was at #22, and you think you are set at QB, you won’t pick one just because. Similarly, if the best player available is a WR, but there are 4-or-5 other WRs you like just as much and there is only one pass rusher you like left in the draft, you have to consider the pass rusher. It’s just common sense and nobody wants to end the season like last year- helplessly watching the opponent moving the ball however they please, to take a lead and burn the clock.

  • Uncle Wonder

    Feel like Howie was uncharacteristically forthcoming with his comments on what they were trying to do…he claims they wanted to trade down a 2nd time but were scared they wld lose Smith if they dropped 5 to 15 spots…i doubt that highly, and I think losing out on Smith and getting say…Attaochu, Lawrence, or even Martin would have been worth it to stack more picks. Oh well, sounds like they will be doin more wheelin and dealin

  • Hanibal Luis

    Do I like the pick, yes, do I love it, no. But not my issue. My issue is that if you don’t like it, fine but be objective, state your case.

    1. Saying, “but they could’ve traded back again”, you don’t know that. Takes two teams.

    2. “Lee (or player X) was better value again”, again don’t know. Can’t speculate if you don’t know what their board looks like. Know one here can say what Chip likes in a WR since he hasn’t drafted one yet. No, Momah doesn’t count.

    3. “Draft Pundit Y had a 2nd – 3rd grade on him” Yeah, and those guys also had Latimer, a one time mid round projection who rocketed up because of his pro day, Carr, Lee and others going in the first and they didn’t. Many also had Benjamin going to the Eagles, a pick most here dismissed as lazy, uninformed reporting just because #10 was let go. These are your pro talking heads saying that now.

    4. “Same old Eagles, reaching or crapping their pick or blah blah blah” Ok, but not this regime. I can safely say that Danny Watkins would not have been picked by Chip. This is by far the weakest argument anyone can make.

    So, sure debate the pick, love it, like it, not hate it, hate it, whatever but don’t use weak arguments to support the hate.

    I’m no pro scout or pundit and I haven’t watched college football consistently in 10 years. But I support the pick, extra 3rd aside, because he has good measurables, a good tape, good Senior Bowl and after a Freddie Mitchell, Jerome McDougle, Broderick Bunkley and Danny Watkins to name a few, maybe I should save myself from an ulcer and give the new guy a chance to pick some guys, see how they pan out before my expert fan opinion gets the best of me.

    • Richard Colton

      #4 is the one that bugs me

      • BuddyBall

        Yup. I kinda get a feeling they had a Jaiquawn Jarrett freak out moment (last player in a “tier” at a position they felt like they needed to address). It had sounded like Howie learned from that mistake the first time.

        • Joe from Easton

          I don’t think this guy is JJ, not by a long shot.

          JJ was incredibly raw with a known lack of a major skill coming out; coverage. As it turns out, he couldn’t cover a floor with a throw rug and was $h!tty tackler to boot.

          This guy is well-rounded and seems to be at least good at the three things he needs to be good at. He’s got above average measurables and tested well at the combine vs. his peers.

          I really don’t see any good analogy between the two other than the loose comparison of being drafted due to positional need.

          • BuddyBall

            I wasn’t saying Smith would be a bust, or analogizing him as a player to Jarrett. Instead, I was just pointing out the similarities in situation: they made what even they seem to acknowledge was a reach pick after the draft played out poorly for their board. That sounds exactly like what happened with Jarrett.
            Last year, there was a lot of talk about taking the best player available, regardless of position. Now we’re back to talking about “positions of need” and “tiers” and the relative strength of the talent pool at one position versus the other. The last time the front office used that strategy, we got burned and that’s disconcerting.
            Reading between the lines, the Eagles felt like they had to take a pass rusher at 26. That’s a bad position to be boxed into, and one we’ve heard Howie say wouldn’t happen again. For a long time, he preached draft flexibility to take the best player available. From his comments, it’s clear that he did not succeed in reaching that goal this year.

          • Alistair Middlemiss

            JJ was a bust because he lacked the minimum physical skills needed to play in the NFL. Smith has anything but that problem.

          • Davey J

            In my opinion… The pick is a fail regardless of how he plays. If you can get him in the late 2nd or 3rd as everyone including himself projected, then don’t pick him in the 1st.

      • Hanibal Luis

        Yeah man. You think Andy was out there measuring wrists? No, he was out there asking kids,”if you were a baseball pitch, what pitch would you be? A screwball? Really? I hope the Cowboys draft you”.

        • Andy124

          This is one of those times where lol can be interpreted literally. lol

          • Hanibal Luis

            Thanks, I aim to lol.

    • peteike

      thankfully we dont get that much around here, always some and I actually prefer some different opinions. When its non stop bashing and out of date comparisons it just gets old. Philly site has enough of that to send any fan to drink until they forget the picks

    • kenkap

      One question. If AR and Banner had made this pick, what would your response be? Maybe the kid will work out. Most likely not a huge impact immediately. Let’s hope.

      • Hanibal Luis

        I probably be less optimistic than I am now to be honest but knowing AR’s history with drafting LBs and the type of LBs he drafted, I think it would be highly unlikely he would have taken Smith.

        • Maggie

          Linebackers? AR?

          • Hanibal Luis

            Andy Reid ;)

  • Uncle Wonder

    Stevie Johnson fetched a 4th next year…could become a 3rd? Sms like an overpayment considering how deep this draft is

    • cliff henny

      9ers, have pics to burn

      • Uncle Wonder

        they do…buy why not trade up in this draft and get a WR? they traded a 2015 pick during a supposedly deep WR draft…just doesnt make a whole lot of sense to me

        • cliff henny

          wonder if it has to do w/ kaep reading field limitations? need veteran wrs he knows where they’ll be? i like kaep, will like him less when eagles get good enough to be legit competition w/ SF, but was little surprised at how little he pregressed last year. gb cb makes that pick, lot different off-season for team and player

          • Uncle Wonder

            I think his limitations are overblown actually, he sure outplayed that other QB in that game…but that O needs to become more dynamic in the backfield…and I wouldn’t mind us upgrading Polk and possibly Brown either.

          • cliff henny

            think they’re pretty fair,but if i was sf fan, while he still runs like the wind and is winning, i wouldnt care. but would be very carefull about tossing him a 5-7yr contract extension.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

        they seem like the destined landing spot for devante adams or jordan matthews

        • cliff henny

          how many WRs do they need when qb is half the field 2 reads and takeoff?

  • tk76

    So if the 6 targets were all gone, then it Sounds like Maziel determined the Eagles fate. Had he gone before #22 then one of those 6 targets would likely have fallen to them (Ha Ha?) But instead, the Eagles managed to at least get the consolation prize of the #87 pick via trade. But honestly, I’d rather want a 1st rounder that the team targeted over their admitted result of a guy slotted a bit later + #83. But they had to play the hand they were dealt, and at least the process seems sound.

    • dnabrice

      Darn Packers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dix would have been awesome for this team, and he was dying to be an Eagle.

      • Joe from Easton

        I felt bad for him last night. He was on record saying he wants to be an Eagle. He started to slide and honestly I don’t even think he cared after he got passed Dallas because the birds were right around the corner. He looked shocked and disappointed when he was coming out of the green room. He was one pick away from going to the team he wanted to go to. That doesn’t happen for a lot of these guys. Damn, it was close. Would’ve loved to have him. We wouldn’t be going through all of this crap today.

  • tk76

    Odd fact:

    For #20 the Cards received #27+#91

    The Eagles received a better return for #22, getting #26+#83

  • guest1

    Looking back at what all the national pundits are saying has me confused. People seem to completely throw out how a player will fit into a team’s scheme and look solely at that prospects upside. For example everyone is praising the vikings for taking Barr at 9 but i absolutely hated that pick for them. Where does Barr fit on the vikings as a Strong side LB? a DE? This pick reminds me exactly of the Dion Jordan situation in Miami except the vikings chose to pick into this where the Dolphins did not. I see Barr having a really underwhelming year as he bounces around the defense while Minn sees what they can actually do with him. Give me the highest rated guy that is going to work in your system all day.

  • Engwrite

    Maybe it went a little differently. They re sitting at 22 and have two guys they like, lets say Ford and Smith. Why those two and not any of the receivers or corners? Because with Ha Ha gone they are going for a pass rusher, because they have to make teams pay when the Eagles make the other team uni-dimensional which they couldn’t do last year. So they could take Ford at 22 but, Cleveland is offering a 3rd rounder to move back 4 picks. They know the Browns are taking a qb so that leaves three spots with two good targets. When Ford goes at 23 they get nervous and unwilling to trade back or wait, so they take Smith. Is it a reach? 1st rounders have a 60% success rate anyhow, so lets wait three years before judging the move. (I like the extra pick)

  • travis papa

    Definitely a need pick which shocks me with the constant bpa talk. Who cares in the end if he turnsout to be a stud. If he sucks then they should learn another lesson… Again. Dee Ford talk doesn’t make any sense if he was rated so much higher than Smith just sit tight and take him. Had 2 shots at Benjamin so they didn’t really want him or Lee. Ultimately he has the measureables production versatility and athleticism so I’m happy now let’s get a couple wrs or another lb

    • peteike

      wouldnt taking Dee Ford have been like BG part 2, trying to convert him.

      • travis papa

        Exactly what went thru my head when Reid took him. There’s a fastball with a high motor if they didn’t see Reid taking him having worked so close with him for so long then their deduction skills are the worst in the nfl.

  • anon

    C’mon guys — we’re picking in the mid-twenties, what’d you expect? Maybe we’re out of practice on picking late in rounds. Big change all the sexy guys were gone. NO ONE complained when we traded back — this is a consequence of doing that. I think we can make the extra third worth it.

    • Rahkem

      youd have a point if marqise lee and bradley roby werent on the board along with. I understand the marcus smith pick but i cant agree with it. Id rather not adress the pass rush this year than reach

      • anon

        I hear you and almost agree — but our D was worst against the pass last year and i think that’s a product of no pass rush. We should have paid for a guy in FA. oh well.

  • dnabrice

    The birds 2nd and one of the 3rds would put them up at pick 4-7 of the 2nd round. That’s high enough to potentially snag one of the higher talent WR left (Lattimer/Lee).

    • Andy124

      Or they could stay put and get someone just as good at 54. With Lee, A-Rob, Lattimer, Matthews, Richardson and the combine freak Bryant all lurking, plus SF trading for a receiver today, odds seem pretty good that we’ll get to choose one of the big guys with out pick. And if not, there should be plenty of other good options.

      • cliff henny

        where’s Miami’s pick? give them #54 and graham for their 2nd.

        • Joe from Easton

          They’re only 4 picks up from us.

          • cliff henny

            still, 4 spots is something. think Graham is almost worthless, i’d jump on 6th

  • JoeyJoeJoeJuniorShabadoo

    This is clearly ‘bad eagles draft pick’ 2.0! They’ll regret not taking ‘future really good player’ or trading up to get ‘other good player’. Doomed franchise just takes one step forward, 2 steps back.

    • Rambler

      Don’t really have a comment on your opinion… but I love the Simpson’s reference screen name. “Homer, that’s the worst name I ever heard.”

  • Amar

    I’m not the one for flip-flop, however, after listening to Howie and Coach Strong I am convinced:

    1) Eagles did not have a choice of a Top Safety,CB or LB at 22,

    2) That Marcus Smith would not have lasted past the 40s.

    I do understand why they took him where they took him. This statement finally did convince me “Would you rather have Marcus Smith and an extra 3rd round pick or Brandin Cooks / Ha Ha Clinton-Dix without a 3rd round pick?”

  • NCBiRDMann22

    T-minus 53min till we keep stacking this D with studs!

  • NCBiRDMann22

    Josh Gordon facing a season long suspension…wow

    • oreofestar

      what?!

      • NCBiRDMann22

        Browns are cursed. Feel bad for them lol. what a freaking mess.

      • peteike

        Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon could face a season-long suspension after a second failed drug test months ago, this time for marijuana, sources told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Friday.

        • oreofestar

          well….no confirmation but that would suck if true for Manziel

          • peteike

            bad for Hoyer you mean haha

    • peteike

      ya what?