Wake-Up Call: The Eagles And Draft Order


Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian - USA Today

Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian – USA Today

It’s amazing how quickly focus can shift from one thing to another in the NFL.

At this time last week, we were discussing scenarios that could get the Eagles into the postseason. But after a disastrous Week 16, it’s now time for a more realistic outlook.

Which brings us to the topic of today’s post: draft order.

If the season ended today, the Eagles would have the 20th pick. That’s the lowest slot for a non-playoff team. In other words, regardless of what happens this weekend, they can’t pick any later than No. 20.

Here’s the top-20 draft order with records and strength of schedule, courtesy of SB Nation:

draftorder_2015

* Note: Based on strength of schedule, it looks like they made a mistake, and the No. 17 and 18 teams should be flipped.

As you can see, there could potentially be six teams tied with a 9-7 record after this weekend. The tiebreak for draft order is strength of schedule. The team with the worse strength of schedule gets the better pick. The team with the better strength of schedule gets the worse pick.

Eagles fans should be rooting for the Ravens, Chiefs, Bills and Dolphins all to win on Sunday. If the Ravens win (assuming they don’t get into the postseason) and the Eagles lose, Philadelphia would move up to No. 19.

Three of the current 8-7 teams (Miami, Buffalo, Kansas City) have better strengths of schedule than the Eagles. That means if those teams win and the Eagles lose, the Eagles could move all the way up to No. 16.

Based on my calculations, the Eagles cannot get ahead of the Texans, regardless of what happens in Week 17. There is no set of results that would produce a big enough change in strength of schedule.

Long story short: The Eagles could end up with any pick between 16 and 20, depending on what happens this weekend.

If they win, they’ll be picking 19th or 20th. If they lose, any of the five spots are in play, depending on other results.

Update:

Twitter follower Randy pointed out that I forgot one scenario:

So there is a chance that the Eagles can get the 15th pick.

WHAT YOU MISSED

“So much for Chip Kelly’s revolutionary ways changing the league.” What they’re saying about the Eagles.

Despite missing out on the Pro Bowl, Fletcher Cox may have been the Eagles’ MVP this season, says Kelly.

An All-22 look at defensive decisions that burned the Eagles.

McManus takes a look at Trent Cole’s future with the team that drafted him.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Bob Ford of the Inquirer takes a look at three days that doomed the Eagles’ season:

If the Eagles thought getting stouter near the line of scrimmage was more important than improving a so-so defensive backfield, they didn’t succeed. In fact, Smith has taken only defensive snaps in six of 15 games, the majority of which came at the end of blowout wins, and has played just 68 of 1,035 defensive snaps.

As for that extra pick, they traded it to get the 101st and 141st picks in the draft and took Florida cornerback Jaylen Watkins in the fourth round and Oregon defensive end Taylor Hart in the fifth. Hart has been inactive all 15 games. Watkins has been inactive 11 of 15 games, didn’t play a single defensive snap, and had 34 special-teams snaps, although none since Nov. 2.

Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz chimes in on Jeremy Maclin’s future with the Eagles:

Jordan Matthews had a good year. Josh Huff showed some potential. Riley Cooper is a major question mark after a disappointing season. Maclin is the best of the bunch and is the kind of high character player that Chip Kelly loves. He must be re-signed.

The Eagles will pay good money when they think a player is worth it. Maclin put up good numbers this year and showed that he can be a playmaker in this offense. He’s not an elite #1 type, but he showed he was more than just a complementary weapon to DeSean Jackson. And that was in a year where he didn’t get great QB play. Maclin can be better.

COMING UP

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from all of us here at Birds 24/7. We’ll have predictions and more later.