With one week left in the NFL season, all Eagles fans can cheer for now is a high draft pick. The Eagles can pick no higher than 4 but no lower than 10. Most likely they will hold the 4th, 5th or 6th pick. This year’s draft class is nowhere near last year’s in terms of QB, but it is a very deep class in other areas. The Eagles and whoever is running the show in late April, can NOT mess this one up. This is a direction changing draft pick, and can make or break a franchise.
Let’s take a look at who may be available when our Eagles are “on the clock.”
OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
No one can, will, or has been “excited” about drafting an offensive lineman, but Luke Joeckel is the best player on Texas A&M. So what? Well, the Heisman trophy winner is also an Aggie. Joeckel, the Outland Trophy winner for best lineman, is just like Jake Long, Joe Thomas, and for Eagles fans, remember Jon Runyan? He is a stud, and although it may not be the “sexy” pick, it may be the smart one. An offensive line of Jason Peters, Todd Herremans (would move back to his best position), Jason Kelce, Evan Mathis, and Joeckel, would easily be one of the best in the NFL. With a young QB and two good runners, a great offensive line may be the best thing for this team. If he is on the board, do NOT be surprised if the Eagles pick him.
LB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
Game changer. This guy can FLAT OUT play. If you have not seen him, watch the National Championship, he will be the shining star for Notre Dame. Te’o does not miss tackles (Eagles problem). I saw a stat the other day, Te’o has only missed a handful of tackles…ALL YEAR. If that does not get you excited for him to be an Eagle, maybe his 7 interceptions will. As a middle linebacker, that is a unreal number. Manti Te’o is also a true leader, and an absolute presence. Some say he is the next Ray Lewis. It is hard to find a hole in his game, but some critics say he is too small. If 6″2 255 pounds is too small, sign me up. Te’o would make the Eagles defense light years better, and learning under DeMeco Ryans would only make him better. I do not like to make drastic predictions, but Te’o could be one of the best LBs to come out of the draft in a long long time. Perennial pro bowler, and maybe most importantly for the Eagles, a true warrior on the field.
DE/OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Jones can also be a all-pro player, but he fits most in a 3-4 scheme. If the Eagles bring in a coaching staff that implements a 3-4, Jones would be a great pick. Brandon Graham will be on one end, and Trent Cole, if he is still here, is a rotation player at this point in his career. The Eagles would need a force who can rush AND cover. Jarvis Jones is the guy. He dominated offensive lines in the SEC this year, and for those not familiar with college football, the SEC has some offensive lines that could compete in the NFL. Easily the best pass rusher in this year’s draft, Jones would demand a double team each time he rushed, and would give Brandon Graham one on one opportunities. If you watch Graham play, he is near unblock-able in one on one situations. I know a lot of you still think he is a bust, but look at the numbers, these can not lie. Brandon Graham this season, and in his career has a higher sack rate and pressure rate per snap as Jason Pierre-Paul. Doesn’t sound right does it? It is true. Graham just has not has the opportunities to play. With Jones and Graham, the Eagles would have a very good front 7 in Cullen Jenkins, Fletcher Cox, Antonio Dixon (who I still think would be very good in a 3-4) Graham, Mychal Kendricks, Ryans, Jones. As we all know, a good front 7 can make a bad secondary look good.
QB Matt Barkley, USC or QB Geno Smith, West Viriginia
I really do not see the Eagles taking either one of these guys. They are not very good and can not offer that “franchise QB” potential. The way I see it, it would not make a difference in developing Foles or either one of these two, so it makes no sense to draft a QB in the top 10. In my opinion, there is no QB in this draft worth taking in the top 20 picks. Barkley is still the best option, but I would not select him until 23 or higher. If the Eagles want to take a QB in this draft, the best value pick would be Landry Jones in the 3rd round.
The Eagles should pick: Manti Te’o
Te’o is a once in a generation type talent. We have heard people raving about him since high school, and he has lived up to the hype, and far exceeding it this year, being close to the first pure defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy. I believe with Te’o, the Eagles can move closer to a good defense, and I think Te’o is a guy who can make everyone better around him, like Ray Lewis. Te’o would play alongside Mychal Kendricks and DeMeco Ryans. Think about that Eagles fans, we would have three very good linebackers…imagine that..
The Eagles will pick : Luke Joeckel
It is tough to say, because no one know what direction the Eagles will go as far as coach or personnel decisions go. If the status quo is attained, (which I highly doubt it will) the Eagles will take Joeckel.
Stay tuned for later insight into the NFL Draft from the Eagles perspective, as it will be the most interesting off-season since 1998.Tags: Antonio Dixon, Brandon Graham, Cullen Jenkins, DeMeco Ryans, Evan Mathis, Fletcher Cox, Geno Smith, Jake Long, Jarvis Jones, Jason Kelce, Jason Peters, Jason Pierre-Paul, Joe Thomas, Jon Runyan, Landry Jones, Luke Joeckel, Manti Te'o, Matt Barkley, Mychal Kendricks, NFL, NFL Draft, Philadelphia Eagles, Ray Lewis, Todd Herremans, Trent Cole