The very simple reason the Eagles can’t reach the next level

The Eagles have had tons of scapegoats over the years. Reid and Donovan McNabb have obviously been the most popular, Juan Castillo the most recent and it probably won’t be long before it’s Michael Vick either for his inability to stay on the field or his inability to be Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers.

But to me, the reason the Eagles haven’t found themselves hoisting the Lombardi trophy in February has been very, very simple.

The Eagles are completely incapable of drafting, and developing, young defensive players.

Since 2003 (9 drafts) the Eagles have drafted 44 defensive players. Only 1 (Trent Cole) has made a Pro Bowl. Even worse, only 3 others (Patterson, Bunkley, Gocong) spent more than 2 seasons a full-time starter. Think about that. In 9 drafts, only 4 defensive players have become long-term starters and two of them (Bunkley and Gocong) were unceremoniously dumped.

There has not been a similar problem on the offensive side of the ball, and that’s the only thing that has kept us going these last couple years. DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, LeSean McCoy, Brent Celek, Todd Herremens, Kevin Kolb, potentially Jason Kelce and Danny Watkins – all above average starters or even stars drafted by the Eagles and their scouting department.

So why can’t we draft defensive talent? Let’s take a look, by round, at the Eagles’ defensive draft picks over the last 9 drafts. And try not to think about Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyura (all Giants’ draft picks in the last 9 years) taking down Tom Brady (again) and lifting the Lombardi.

Before we get into it – here are my basic expectations for players based on round picked…

1st round: Above average starter to pro bowler
2nd-3rd round: Starter to above average starter
4th-5th round: Rotation player to starter
6th-7th round: Practice squad to rotation player

First Round

Pick 13 (2010): Brandon Graham, DE – The highest defensive player drafted by the Eagles since Corey Simon in 2000. So far – injured and undersized. 16 games, 3 sacks in 2 years. Drafted ahead of Earl Thomas and Jason Pierre-Paul.

Pick 14 (2006): Broderick Bunkley, DT – Showed flashes and spent 4 years as a starter. Probably only had one season as an above average starter.

Pick 15 (2003): Jerome MacDougle, DE – Bust. Hardly a rotation player. Drafted one spot ahead of Troy Polamalu.

Pick 31 (2005): Mike Patterson, DT – Solid to above average starter for 6 seasons now. The only 1st round defensive pick to meet expectations.

Summary: One meets expectations, one doesn’t suck, the other two are busts w/ Graham still having some time to prove that wrong

Second Round

Pick 37 (2010): Nate Allen, S – Seemed on his way to meeting expectations before injury shortened his rookie season. Didn’t regain form in 2011, but isn’t a lost cause. Not being a “lost cause” makes him one of the better player on this list

Pick 42 (2008): Trevor Laws, DT –  Never was more than a rotational player. Only one good season. Signed with the Rams this off-season.

Pick 54 (2011): Jaiquawn Jarrett, S – Picked 2 rounds too early because they thought he was game-ready. He wasn’t.

Pick 57 (2009): Victor Abiamiri, DE – Drafted too high to begin with. Was never healthy. Will likely never be healthy.

Pick 63 (2005): Matt McCoy, LB – Laughably bad pick, 83 career tackles. Projected as an undrafted free agent by SI prior to draft.

Summary: Two busts, two rotation guys, and one TBD with little promise. Nate Allen was the only player who wasn’t considered a “reach” of some kind. 

Third Round

Pick 71 (2006): Chris Gocong, LB – A solid pick for a 3rd rounder. Started 3 seasons for the Eagles before being traded to the Browns where he’s had his two best seasons and got a contract extension. He will not be the last on the list to improve after leaving.

Pick 80 (2008): Bryan Smith, LB – The only explanation I have for this pick is that there was no one they wanted here, couldn’t trade the pick and wanted to draft someone they knew sucked and wouldn’t make the team. Like McCoy, SI had him as an undrafted FA.

Pick 86 (2010): Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, DE – Another laughable pick, DTN could have probably been had in the 6th round. 2 career tackles before his predictable release.

Pick 87 (2007): Stewart Bradley, LB – Quality starter for a couple years before injuries took him down. Decent value in 3rd round.

Pick 89 (2004): Matt Ware, CB – Two years on the team as a special teams player.

Summary: Two decent picks, two mind-bogglingly horrible picks, one bust

Fourth Round

Pick 102 (2005): Sean Considine, S – Made 17 starts for the Eagles, but never better than an average starter.

Pick 105 (2010): Trevard Lindley, CB – Coming off injury when drafted, something that usually doesn’t turn out well. Will have to see if he gets in the mix in 2012, but seemed to be buried.

Pick 116 (2011): Casey Matthews, LB – Unlikely to ever be more than rotation player unless he borrows his brother’s PEDs.

Pick 117 (2008): Quintin Demps, S – 25 games in two seasons, never started. Rotation player for the Texans last year, who re-signed him.

Pick 121 (2010): Keenan Clayton, LB – Another reach, Clayton has gotten some rotation play and one start in the horrible Eagles’ LB core.

Pick 129 (2004): J.R. Reed, DB – Drafted as a KR. Wasn’t very good.

Pick 131 (2003): Jamaal Green, DE – Played 8 games. The write-ups are going to start getting a lot shorter from here on out.

Pick 131 (2008): Jack Ikegwuonu, CB – Another injured player. Didn’t work out. At all. 1 game played.

Summary: Only one starter out of this bunch, and not a particularly good one. 

Fifth Round

Pick 134 (2010): Ricky Sapp, DE/LB – Another injured player who did nothing.

Pick 146 (2005): Trent Cole, DE – God bless you Trent.

Pick 157 (2009): Macho Harris, DB – Started a couple games because there were no better options. Didn’t even make it to his 2nd season with the team.

Pick 159 (2007): C.J. Gaddis, DB – Don’t believe he ever made the team. Certainly never played.

Pick 168 (2006): Omar Gaither, LB – Good value down here. Made 36 starts for the Eagles. Average starter.

Summary: One gem, one starter, and three non-players

Note: For 6th and 7th round, I will only comment on players who did something, as you don’t really expect these guys to have an impact (though for the Eagles, they often do…)

Sixth Round

Pick 192 (2004): Dexter Wynn, DB
Pick 193 (2011): Brian Rolle, LB –
Undersized, but looks like a decent rotational LB.
Pick 200 (2008): Joe Mays, LB – Released by Eagles, started 13 games for the excellent Denver defense this year
Pick 201 (2007): Rashad Barksdale, DB
Pick 203 (2008): Andy Studebaker, LB
Pick 204 (2006): LaJuan Ramsey, DT

Summary: Rolle could be a nice find

Seventh Round

Pick 220 (2010): Jamar Chaney, LB – Potential starter, but was disappointing (misused?) last season. 
Pick 230 (2009): Moise Fokou, LB – 
Has made 22 starts, another good value down here.
Pick 237 (2011): Greg Lloyd, LB
Pick 243 (2010): Jeff Owens, DT
Pick 244 (2010): Kurt Coleman, S –
Like others on this list, made some starts, but only because there were no better options. I personally don’t get why people think he’s good…
Pick 244 (2003): Norman LeJeune, DB
Pick 247 (2005): Kenyonta Marshall, DT
Pick 252 (2005): David Bergeron, LB 

Summary: Sadly, this is probably their most effective round based on expectations

So how does this happen? How does a team that is so good at drafting offensive players become so bad at drafting defensive players? Based on what I’m seeing above, here are a couple theories.

1. They whiff on the early picks

It’s not a huge failure to not draft great players past the 2nd round, but it doesn’t help when you aren’t getting much before that. When you look at the 9 players the Eagles picked in the first 2 rounds, the only one you would re-draft is Mike Patterson. Take a look at the defensive picks in the same round/ time period (in the years leading up to their SB wins) for the teams that have won Super Bowls recently and it tells a different story…

NY Giants: Jason Pierre-Paul (1-2010), Linval Joseph (2-2010), Kenny Phillips (1-2008), Terrell Thomas (2-2008), Aaron Ross (1-2007), Mathias Kiwanuka (1-2006), Corey Webster (2-2005), Osi Umenyura (2-2003)
Green Bay: BJ Raji (1-2009), Clay Matthews (1-2009), AJ Hawk (1-2006), Nick Collins (2-2005), Nick Barnett (1-2003)
New Orleans: Malcolm Jenkins (1-2009), Sedrick Ellis (1-2008), Tracy Porter (2-2008), Roman Harper (2-2006), Will Smith (1-2004), Charles Grant (1-2002)
Pittsburgh: Lawrence Timmons (1-2007), LaMar Woodley (2-2007), Bryant McFadden (2-2005), Troy Polamalu (1-2003), Casey Hampton (1-2001)

Do any of those lists look anything like our 9 guys we’ve gotten?  Even the offensive-minded teams like New Orleans had their defense stocked with quality recent high-draft picks on the defensive side.

2. They concentrate too much on “scheme”

You will hear them say this a lot – most recently in regard to the decision to pick Brandon Graham over Jason Pierre-Paul. Picking based on “scheme” would be great if you had a great “scheme” to begin with. We aren’t the Steelers. We aren’t the Ravens. If a player as talented as JPP doesn’t fit your “scheme” – it’s time to re-evaluate your scheme.

3. They tend to draft undersized players with “high motors”

A running joke – but a true one. Motor only gets your so far in the NFL and the Eagles overdraft players based on it. Graham, Laws, Te’o-Nesheim all come to mind.

4. They don’t pay attention to the perceived value of a player

This just means that they might pick someone in the 2nd or 3rd round that it seems very likely would be available in the 4th or 5th. And a lot of the 2nd and 3rd round picks fall into this category.

5. They have bad defensive scouts

Really – this has to be the main reason, right? I guess it plays into #1 on this list as well. Andy Reid is probably confident with the picks on the offensive side of the ball, but he’s no defensive coach. Who is in charge of defensive scouting for the draft? And whoever it is, can it be somebody else please?

6. They don’t learn from mistakes

We see the same thing over and over from the Eagles, making mistakes 2/3/4 on this list and not adjusting. Once they do (and history shows they are stubborn people – but the did finally get us some WR’s, no?) we might start to see an improvement.

So, with the 15th, 46th and 51st picks in this year’s draft, can the Eagles reverse this trend? If Andy Reid wants to finally bring a Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia, he better hope so.


30 thoughts on “The very simple reason the Eagles can’t reach the next level”

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  3. Having done an outstanding job in leading the Philadelphia chapter of YA Tittle immitators as a playground youth, I’m well qualified to speak to the fates and fortunes of this final 2012 Iggles opponent, the mostly hated New York Football Giants.

    Possessive of 2 Super Bowl titles in recent years in which they literally perfected the came back from  dead with the psrtnership of perfect harmony with the football gods is more than ample reason for Iggle emotionalists to hate the dreaded G-men.  That, if you’re scoring at home, is double the amount of Eagle Super Bowl wins even with a generous transfer of title from when Bill Bellechick was working in video production.

    Add to that the geographic rivalry, the Bednarik Gifford deal, Miracle in the Meadowlands, and the intensity of rivalry would make most any Iggle rooter want to crush the ashes of hope the Giants have left for the forthcoming tournament.

    Too little, too late.

    The Giants need more help than Kobe Bryant does everytime he scores 40 points for the Lakers.  They stand together as losing propositions.

    Peiople think the Giants have this late season rush down.  Forgotten is that when they fade, and it ain’t happenin,’ it’s ugly.  And that’s the repeat mode of the Giants, this 2012 edition.  The Birds might go out with a sense of joy, but there’s nothing to be gained by winning this rivalry game. 

    Rather, the alternative, most unfortunately offers appeal.  Sad and vindictive though it may be, Sunday offers final closure on a bad time in Eagle history.  Three seasons back, a then still pretty beloved and respected Andy Reid brought Mike Vick to town.  To be sure, Vick unwrapped offered some genuine excitement and path crossing on the part of at least 1 fan.  It was impossible to ever view Vicvk with overwhelming respect, but it wasn’t hard to get geared up to see what athletic charm he’d expose in ensuing weeks. 

    When all was said and done, a thug was still a thug.  When all was said and done, for whatever reason, Andy Reid’s best days were either behind him, or ahead of him.  If there are legit answers at stake from 1 final outing by this regime, it’s beyond my scope as a casual football fan.  I’d feel more whole seeing this debacle end with the voilume cranked up.  It’s not like you’re rooting for the Giants to make the playoffs anyway.  That ship has sailed.  It just seems like the bottom is there to be rooted for, and it doesn’t want to take no for an answer.  Might as well watch the ship sink in style. It just feels right, with no reson to apologize.                   

    • All the way with Homer J.

      An underpublicized Eagle great, halfback Timmy Brown:  62 TDs in 96 games.  In comparison, Wilbert Montgomery, a decade-later gamer, 58 TDs in 107 games.  Rooted for the two in Colts and Lions helmets, respectively, at sunset of their careers.  Brian Westbrook, a more modern version of  gridiron greatness, 68 TDs in 85 games. 

      Will always love FB Earl Gros for taking a handoff from QB Norm Snead and carrying the pigskin 59 yards to paydirt on the first play from scrimmage of the 1964 season, Franklin Field, vs. the NY football Giants.  Eagles 38-Giants 7.   

      • Breaking news, although I haven’t confirmed it from 2 sources.

        Jet owner Woody Johnson is not at the Jets game today.  Details as demand increases, even if we have no further details, just to satisfy that urge.

        Perhaps sport’s premiere owner since the days of  “_________  ________ has lost it.”  

        Right on about Homer J.

        This message board remains rock solid, and improving.          

  4. Poll:  Worst Eagles pick ?
    A) 2010 1st round Brandon Graham
    Could have selected JPP (pro bowl),  S. Earl Thomas (pro bowl,  Center Mike Pouncey (pro bowl) or TE J. Gresham (pro bowl)  Bonus to move up in this draft we gave up our 3rd round pick who Denver used to get Eric Decker

    B) 2010 2nd round Nate Allen

    In the very next pick Browns take Safety T.J. Ward, and 4 picks later the Patriots show why they are so dominant and take TE Rob Gronkowski

    C) 1st round Danny Watkins

    Not only do Guards hardly ever get 1st round selections Danny has only started 18 of the last 28 games, as he rarely can beat out F.A. pickups.  Could have selected QB Andy Dalton, …

    D) High round draft picks MUST make the team.  2011 picks
     2nd round Safety J. Jarrett (cut)
     3rd round CB  Curtis Marsh (cut)
     5th round Guard J. Vandervelde (cut)
    “Success” from that draft
    4th round Casey Matthews (bench, special teams)
    4th round kicker Henery
    5th round RB Dion Lewis (3rd RB)

  5. What a misnomer of a headline this thread is.  The Iggles can’t get to the next level.

    Yeah, right.

    That elevator ride that Doc Kimble and Doc Nichols took in The Fugitive was alower than the 2012 trip straight down from 3-1 to 3-6.

    But the Big Story on Action News is a funny stat I ran across in my attentive look at the NFL standings this morning.  Forever known as one of the preemminent purveyor of stats since numbers were invented, I went straight to the all important point differential portion of the program, and discovered that all you need is a little Luck.  I see the Naptowners are running a report card of 6-3 at present.  And have gived up 15 more points than they have Lucked into scoring.  Nice accomplishment in and of it’s own merit, but check out these other NFL entries, and what their sabermetroplogist offerings include….

    San Diego         +18    4-5

    Minnie Vikes      +17   6-fo 

    Dallas Scum      -16    fo-fi

    Who Dat            -7    ditto 

    Natti                 -11    4-5 (popular record)  

    Miami              -18     4-6     

    So ya know how the sabermagicians are.  They got ahold of the Baltimore Orioles baseball run diff in June, and predicted the O’s would be outta here by July (not that I thought the O’s would last my damned self), but the last time I checked, the O’s and Yanks went 5 playoff games.

    Now of course Naptown is in Bartlett’s Famous Quotes for the line “playoffs? what playoffs?”  And despite the Luck of a negative point differential not dragging them below 6-3, they could make for a great story.  Sure, they might have an easy schedule, and play in a weak divvy, or would have to win a playoff game against a Burgh, or Patriot to punctuate the tale, but hell, they got a fun thang going.  Only a Scrooge would inject reality, and that particular devil’s time is a month away.  Enjoy it while you can.  Beats the hell out of scoping the Iggles fast sinking craft.     

    • Tsk, tsk.  Here I was thinking I’d be adding a post to that thread in widespread effort to drag it across the 700 post line, but here we are far, far away from  a similar position.  Oh, well.  Tell ya what.  Let’s at least stay with the recent format, and poill it up for a Sunday afternoon.

      Poll qurdstion du jour…

      The NFL MVP to this point of the season is

      A>Andrew Luck

      B> Andrew Luck

      C> Andrew Luck 

      D> Andrew Luck

      Once again, the Colts win a nip and tucker to pull to 8-4, 36-34 over Daytwat, which yielded about an 80 yard drive in 1:07.  Luck tossed for 391 yards.  What a tremendous story his year is.  As great as Meyton is, and as great as his year is, just a brilliant decision by the Colts to go the Luck route.   Good stuff.             

  6. Your blog is great. Two things I like about the post, one it is straight forward and two it does not attempt to promote anyone’s position particularly. Very valuable information Pete.

  7. Had to do my Eagles preview and putting it here until Pete has a better spot.

    It’s been a long time since the Eagle faithful have been this excited about a new season.  Me?  I don’t get it.  We were 4-8 when it mattered, those last 4 games were against teams who were resting for the playoffs or packing their lockers for golf season.

    Good news,
    1) full off season for Vick
    2) Defense heavy draft
    3) Backup QB has to be better than Vince Young
    4) Our new MLB DeMeco Ryans has everyone very excited, we haven’t had an average MLB in about 8 years.  DeMeco has a good chance to be well  above average.
    5) 2012 draft looked excellent

    Bad news
    1) Jason Peters will be missed at Left Tackle,
    2) Andy is still the coach, and with a fragile QB, and one of the NFL best RB will still demand Vick throw 60% of the time and run
    3) Vick will get hurt and miss 3+ games
    4) Vick was miserable last year, worst in the league in over 20 yard completions, & terrible turnovers & bad in the red zone
    5) 2009-2011 drafts have been complete busts,

    Big Unknowns
    1) Can Juan our Def. Coordinator coach?
    2) Will Namdi be used correctly as a cover man instead of a zone CB ?
    3) Demetris  Bell is a pretty good last minute addition to replace Peters, but can he play?
    4) Big money handed out to a bunch of players, that means full effort or Dave Chappelle wig out ?
    5) Once again we are asking a lot from our rookies
    6) Do we get near MVP 2010 Vick or 2011 Terrible Vick ?

    Forecast.  Vick plays 12 games goes 7-5, backup QB goes 1-3.  Another 8-8 year, maybe 9-7 if backup can do .500, everyone points to Vick winning record and rinse and repeat next year.

    Worry: 9-7 is best case scenario, chance for complete wreck of a season is high.

  8. Some positions are deeepr than others, so I try to fill the ones with more shallow player pools first. For example, I’ll take a 2B, SS, or 3B before I’ll take an OF because there is less quality talent available there.That said, if my choice comes down to Orlando Cabrera or Jason Bay, I’ll go with Bay because the drop off after Cabrera isn’t significant. You want to take a look at the entire board and what your needs are, but picking the positions with huge talent drop offs first is always safe. -3Was this answer helpful?

  9. High motor means the player is very active and makes the most of his skill. This is a very abstract thought, but Id rather have an above average skilled player with a  high motor than an “good” skilled player with an average motor. John Randle was a guy with a high motor and look at how well he did in Minnesota.
    TE isnt the same position, but it falls into the non skill position category, and Id say that LJ smith was a low motor player, and Jeremy shockey was a high motor player. Id take Shockey over LJ every time. LJ seemed like he had more skill yet was not as effective as Shockey. The stats are very lopsided.
    On a random note, I dont think it usually helps someone make a point when blankets statements like “only can”, “never works” etc are used. Theres a million exceptions that can often be used.

  10. It takes only a mental midget to understand that small and undersized but quick with a good motor can only work at skill positions (see DJ, Asanta, Vick, etc).  Why they continue to think it can work on the DL and LB is beyond me.  Seriously, mental midget stuff.  I called the Graham draft pick on Day 1.  I don’t even like the Cole extension.  Guys like that in that position get old overnight.  He maybe has one really good year left.

      • generously listed at 270.  Drafted as a rookie at 255.  Compare to the DE’s on the Giants that you reference in your well-written article.  Same philosophy but they got lucky that time, perhaps they mistook luck for skilled drafting.

        Smaller you are the quicker one can be anticipated to age / breakdown in the NFL trenches.  He has alot of miles and definitely toward end of career.  He will be 30 yrs old when we hit wk #4 this season.  30 is well on the downside of the mountain for DL on average, regardless of size.  I can’t think of a single dominant DLman over 30 in the NFL right now.

        • Tuck: 6’5”, 268lbs (a little taller but skinnier)
          JPP: 6’5”, 280lbs (def bigger)
          Osi: 6’3”, 255lbs (smaller)

          Cole certainly isn’t prototypical – but he is about average.

          As for DL over 30 years old – I still don’t understand why you say things without even checking if they are true.

          9 of the top 20 sack getters (including the top 3) last year were older than Trent Cole

          Jared Allen, 30 (22 sacks in 2011)
          DeMarcus Ware, 30 in July (19.5)
          Jason Babin, 32 in May (18)
          Terrell Suggs, 30 in Oct (14)
          Julius Peppers, 32 (11)
          Chris Clemons, 30 (11)
          Andre Carter, 33 in May (10)
          John Abraham, 34 in May (9.5)
          Robert Mathis, 31 (9.5)

        • John Abraham, ATL, 33: 62 games, 11 sacks/year
          Dwight Freeney, IND, 31: 32 games, 9 sacks/year
          Julius Peppers, CHI, 31: 32 games, 10 sacks/year
          Andre Carter, WAS/NE, 32: 46 games, 8 sacks/year
          Shaun Ellis, NYJ/NE, 34: 61 games, 5 sacks/year
          Justin Smith, SF, 32: 48 games, 7 sacks/year
          James Hall, STL, 34: 76 games, 6 sacks/year
          All of these guys are remarkably healthy and durable and at least 4 of them are still at or close to their prime as a “dominant” (as far as sacks are concerned) and according to they are all DE’s.
          These guys decline like everyone else but, for a pass rusher, a 30th birthday isn’t the harbinger of doom it is for running backs.

        • Baseball players peak at 27 (damn near universally excluding PED) running backs have a short shelf life as do linebackers, but those on the Line can last longer.  Don’t know why.

  11. good information. Watching the Eagles drafts is so random. I still cant believe what happened the one year when they traded down on almost all of their picks and ended up with about 15 picks. Im surprised the draft announcers didnt make more of a deal about it.

  12. Most would consider my knowledge and understanding of baseball and basketball as meager at the best. My knowledge of the fundamentals of football is miles more limited. That said, watching Kurt Coleman try (and fail) to tackle last year made me nauseous. I might not know exactly how you’re “supposed” to tackle, but I have a pretty good understanding of how to put a human being on his ass and Kurt Coleman looked totally hopeless in this regard. I’m led to believe he’s got some strength and physical capabilities since he’s a professional athlete – how the natural instincts can fail a man of his ability is totally beyond me. He couldn’t tackle my mother.

  13. How do those last 4 wins feel right now? They’d better be making you feel very excited and for years give you the feeling that 8-8 was great.  Why?  Based on strength of schedule at 4-12 the Eagles would have the #4 pick in the draft.  Yeah #4, at that point even the Eagles couldn’t screw up a draft pick, well probably not anyway.
    Instead we sit at #15 and how did (above) picks #13, #14, #15 turn out? Bust, bust, bust. In short once the top 5 can’t miss players are gone, the Eagles have shown no ability to figure out what to do in the middle of the first round.  So pay attention to who the Eagles could have had at #4, ’cause I’ll be reminding  you we could have had him very easily.

    • Mike,
      I totally agree. It’s SO costly for teams to go balls to the wall and try to win when they all but know they aren’t making the playoffs.  For public relations sake teams are so afraid to take dives, and I understand that. You can’t just come out and say you’re going to purposely lose. But that said, I see no reason this can’t be an internal decision. We presumably aren’t going to come anywhere close to #4 again in the next couple years (key word presumably), so this year would have been their best year to pick up a future replacement for Vick. I know most people want a defense pick, but this team is facing a serious problem at quarterback and it could start manifesting this year.  Vick is not going to be the fastest guy on the field forever and he’s injury prone.  I’m not sold on Tanehill, but if you’re already at number 4, a trade up to number 2 for RG111 would have been pretty easy, and if not, Tanhill at least has a shot at being a decent starter.  And really what would it have cost them?  A few meaningless games at the end of last year.  It’s just silly that they can’t figure that out.

      • Mike, if they would have dropped only 1 of those last 4, they’d also have been given the #3 seed in the NFC East and thus would have gotten an “easier” schedule this season.

        Instead, the Cowboys have it and yet somehow are still drafting ahead of the Eagles (how does that work??) 

        • Bah humbug don’t believe the hype of the “easier” schedule. This year the NFC East plays the NFC South and the AFC North that plus 2 games vs your own NFC East rivals.  Right there you have 14 games exactly the same as the Cowboys will have leaving 2 “strength of schedule games.  Eagles get Detroit and Arizona, Cowboys get Chicago and Seattle.  Eagles have to travel to Arizona which is worse than Dallas to Seattle.  Our two opponents had 18 wins last year  vs.  Dallas’s had  15 wins between Bears & Seahawks.  But what about this year?  Will Lions and Cards really be better than Bears & Seahawks, it’s a crap shoot.  Sheer random luck, like does a star player miss a game when you play that team but show up when someone (cowboys) play that team, I think are much bigger deals.

          • Ray D., said this week that the Eagles play 5  !!   5 teams coming off a bye this year, that’s brutal.  He was never aware of a team playing even 4 teams off a bye.

  14. This guy rated the Eagles drafts as average at best, but this included the awesome 2002 draft class
    Based on how absolutely terrible Eagles draft have been on the D side, you could argue they should only draft Offense the first 3-4 rounds no matter what.  It’s pretty obvious ever since JJ passed they have zero ability to rate Defensive talent.  What you all don’t know is that Pete went WAY too easy on the former ND players we’ve drafted.  Little homer-ism business there,  Trevor and Victor (both ND) flat out stunk, but otherwise a great article.
    Alternatively can the Giants draft D for us? That list is just painful to read.

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