This time, the Eagles aced the Draft

Has Howie finally aced a Draft after so many flunks?


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The 2016 NFL draft kicks off in Chicago on Thursday.

Scotty Allen, Sports Writer

Last month, the Eagles made a crazy trade with their arch-rivals, the evil Dallas Cowboys, to move up ahead of their other arch-rivals, the sinister New York Giants. With the 10th overall pick, the Eagles selected the 2021 Heisman trophy winner Devonta Smith. The bottom line? The Eagles needed a number one receiver and they got one.

Smith is a terrific route runner and has incredible hands. NFL Network Analyst Brian Baldinger said of Smith, “He’s just so silky smooth. A tremendous route runner.” Plus on top of this, Smith and Hurts played with each other in Alabama, so having a reliable receiver he can trust should help Hurts develop into the franchise quarterback the Eagles need.

After grabbing Smith, in the second round, the Eagles drafted the best center in college football, Landon Dickerson from Alabama. The only reason he fell back to the second round was because he tore his ACL in the senior game. The Eagles are taking a shot on Dickerson, but once he gets healthy he should be an immediate force on the offensive line that needs an infusion of youth.

“If he stays healthy, he’ll be the best lineman in this draft. He might take over for [center Jason] Kelce this year,” said Baldinger. Dickerson’s talent can get him to take over the Eagles’ best lineman Jason Kelce as early as this year. Dickerson will make a great replacement for Kelce once he retires.

After these two solid picks, we’re a little uncertain with their other picks, as they picked a couple of defensive lineman and edge rushers to add more depth to an aging defensive line and linebacker depth. In the third round, they drafted a defensive tackle who is too small to play defensive tackle in the NFL. Then they drafted Marlon Tuipulotu, another undersized guy. Of Tuipulotu, Baldinger said, “it looks like he’s a two-down player at best. You just don’t see much pass-rush from him.”

In the sixth round, the birds took Tarron Jackson, a solid pick with good size and talent but needs some time to develop. To finish off, in the seventh round they drafted Patrick Johnson, a stocky outside linebacker out of Tulane. We will see if this production can transition to the NFL.

In the remaining rounds, the Eagles added more depth to their secondary by drafting a corner and safety. Zach McPherson, their fourth round pick, played well in Texas Tech after transferring from Penn State and will be a reliable corner. He got many interceptions and has great football instincts which is just what the team needs as they did not have many defensive turnovers last year.

Jacoby Stevens is another solid defensive player. Hailing from LSU (he was on their championship team), Stevens is a smart tackler and plays physical, which is something the Eagles are lacking in the secondary and just overall on their defense.

Hopefully, all these picks can do well, but as we know, very few draft picks have success for decades and make a dramatic difference for the team. It is very rare to hit on every draft pick in the draft. The transition from college to the NFL is tough on a lot of guys, and we will just have to wait and see what these guys can do for the Eagles. There is not much controversy here; it seems like most fans are happy with these picks, unlike the last couple years of draft Hurts and taking Reagor over Jefferson. There is at least some hope here in Philadelphia as we wait for the 17 game season in the fall.