• October 5, 2022

It’s Simple, Eagles Must Draft Better Defensively

Over Andy Reid’s time with the Philadelphia Eagles, the team has struggled to draft good, productive, defensive players.

They haven’t missed all the time. Trent Cole was an excellent find in the 5th round. Sheldon Brown, drafted in the 2nd round, has had a fine career. Stewart Bradley, 3rd round, has a chance to become a very good linebacker.

Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley, both 1st round picks, have been above average. Lito Sheppard, also a 1st round pick, had a couple of decent years before falling out of favor. Same goes for former 1st round pick Corey Simon.

However, in 11 years, those are the best of Reid’s defensive picks.

The Eagles have been particularly bad at drafting linebackers. They once thought so highly of Barry Gardner that they gave him the starting job while allowing Jeremiah Trotter to leave via free agency. Quintin Caver was gone before you knew it. Matt McCoy lasted half a season in the starting line up before he was benched.

All three of those players were taken in the 2nd round, which only underscores how bad the Eagles have been at drafting linebackers in the Reid era.

Drafting on the defensive line has faired no better. Jerome McDougle in round 1, Victor Abiamiri and Trevor Laws in round 2, and Bryan Smith in round 3, just to name a few. Other than Trent Cole and Derrick Burgess, the best defensive end drafted in the Reid era is Raheem Brock, and he never played a down for the Eagles.

Drafting in the secondary, particularly at the safety position, has also been disastrous. Second round pick Michael Lewis looked good for a couple of seasons, but was eventually exposed in coverage. His replacement, 4th round pick Sean Considine, was even worse.

Third round pick Matt Ware made 1 play and it was on special teams, not in the secondary (the blocked FG-TD in the 2005 Chargers game). Fifth round pick C.J. Gaddis was supposed to be groomed under Brian Dawkins, but didn’t make it out of training camp. Quintin Demps was supposed to be a steal in the 4th round, but all he’s shown is weak play and a bad temper.

Go back and look at some of those names again. One star, a handful of above average players, and at best, a huge collection of questionable picks.

This is an important draft for the Eagles to rebuild the defense. They have five picks in the first three rounds. The scouts need to be spot-on this year, and Reid must improve on his drafting record.

Denny Basens

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ReidSucks
ReidSucks
April 15, 2010 4:16 am

I formally protest against this article. After all Reid has done for you all, how dare you question anything? Hasn’t he consistently taken the team to the playoffs? What else could you possibly want?

ChuckRob
ChuckRob
April 15, 2010 4:52 am

So does that give anyone a warm and fuzzy that this year will be any different. All these draft picks mean nothing if you don’t draft the right guy. The Eagles draft too much on potential instead of drafting a stud. I think it goes back to the business side. They like to draft safe picks, definitely not anyone who voices there opinions or who would go against management. The Eagles are trying to make money not win Superbowls, everyone knows this. Well I thought they did…

enzone
enzone
April 15, 2010 5:10 am

If Phil Savage has anything to say, this draft will be better. We were told he was brought in specifically for the draft, so we’ll see. The guy is a real good football mind and better talent evaluator, when compared to Reid.

drummerwinslow
drummerwinslow
April 15, 2010 5:25 am

Remember, this team traded out of the 1st round a few times. That, alone, says a lot about their ability to draft.

Eaglez
Eaglez
April 15, 2010 5:54 am

I think part of the problem with the drafting is not properly developing players once they’re here. The non-coordinator coaches need to make rookies into players and they deserve a lot of the blame, especially on defense. Who even coaches our line-backers?

Eaglez
Eaglez
April 15, 2010 5:55 am

PS – Only four months until it is just about Kolbberin’ time boys!!

scorpiodsu
scorpiodsu
April 15, 2010 6:22 am

Bradley, Bunk and Patterson…… all average.

scorpiodsu
scorpiodsu
April 15, 2010 6:27 am

Yeah drummer, they got scared and didn’t know who to pick so they traded out lol. Well this year will be very defining for Andy Reid. He has an entire team that he built through draft, trades and FA. Can’t lean on the veteran defensive players that Ray Rhodes brought here and the entire offense is his. We will now see if he is able to build a TEAM now that he doesn’t have inherited pieces already in place. Having McNabb made it easier to deal with shortcomings in other areas but now he has a fresh QB and the entire team he built. So we will see.

phillywill
phillywill
April 15, 2010 6:27 am

kolberin time lmao kolb has played in 3 gms of signifigance lol 1st gm came in against ravens threw pick 6 gm over 2nd great gm against the chiefs lmao i probably could threw for 300 and 3tds on them but ok and 3rd the saints ok he ended the gm their too pick 6 on a out route to a 5-8 wr he threw for like 500 yards in garbage time after we were down 21 because of 2 of his picks threw 3 or 4 picks for the gm now im not saying he wont be ok but where the hell r u getting proof to believe in this guy lol r u andy and at practice with him everyday or something or is it just in andy u trust alot of u eagle fans hate andy but in andy u all trust sad very sad

paulman
paulman
April 15, 2010 6:57 am

Remember that JJ had a lot on influence on who the Eagles picks over his tenure as DC..
He seemed to liked the smaller,more athletic players for his defense and schemes..
With their 8 choices in the top 137 Selections they need to select 5-6 defensive players with 2-3 challenging/competing for playing time this year and to become starter material by 2011
The cannot take “flyers’ on players like in the past (Jack Ike,B Smith,M Ware,T Laws,M McCoy,Abriami) Savage will help out quite a bout in this area

schiller
schiller
April 15, 2010 7:42 am

A first round pick always turns into a better player than a second round pick right? Always. Definitely. And when they Eagles traded out of the first, they got no value from the trade right? They just gave away that pick right? If those sentences seem silly to you, as they should, then you can see how it’s not necessarily a bad thing to trade out of the first. Some of you think on a very simple level, the draft is complicated and ‘drafting studs, definite successes’ happens VERY rarely in the NFL draft. For some reason, a lot of you don’t get that.

Eaglez
Eaglez
April 15, 2010 9:10 am

I don’t get people who spend so much time on this website saying how bad the Eagles are going to be. Maybe they need to jump on another team’s bandwagon? Sure there are holes, but also some positives here.

Plus, nobody on this website knows what they’re talking about.

phillywill
phillywill
April 15, 2010 9:36 am

i’ve jumped redskins fan now where is there gcobb like site ?

navyeaglefan
navyeaglefan
April 15, 2010 10:33 am

Eaglez – actually there are a few that know what they are talking about – hang around for a couple days. There are a few people that can post without making comments about Andy Reid’s waistline, salary cap SBs, and how bad everything is in Eagleland. We tend to view things with a much more rational, even keeled, world wide view of football as a whole, vice through the ‘oh my god, the Eagles haven’t won a super bowl so they suck’ Mentality. You will get used to the standard ‘ I have nothing intelligent or relevant to say so I’ll say the Fo is cheap’ or ‘ they only want the money’ Look at the comments about trading out of the first rd – well in the second rds those years we got Desean Jackson, and Kevin Kolb – now Jackson went to the Pro Bowl in 2 positions and Kolb will be our starting QB – as compared to the teams that drafted Brady Quinn, Matt Lienhart, Jamarcus Russel and all the other 1st rd QBs now floundering away – What will really be special is if those two Notre Dame DL man (Abrami and LAws) get it in gear this year and make something happen. See – that’s just facts getting in the way – the Eagles have an excellent drafting record, but its cool to point out all the ones that didn’t work, vice the overall quality in comparison to the rest of the league. You got Philly Will now ….

WellWellWell
WellWellWell
April 15, 2010 1:17 pm

Eaglez- NEF is right, we’re not all bad, now if Phillywilljustgoaway…

IanIJM
IanIJM
April 15, 2010 1:47 pm

Eaglez says:
“I think part of the problem with the drafting is not properly developing players once they‚Äôre here. The non-coordinator coaches need to make rookies into players and they deserve a lot of the blame, especially on defense. Who even coaches our line-backers?”

Kind of an interesting point … but I’m not sure I agree and here’s why. You’d think, if it was just coaching, that some of these guys would have caught on with other teams and eventually a few of them would have emerged as stars. But unless I’m missing something, none of them have.

In regards to the whole good vs. bad drafting argument, I think it’s a bit ridiculous to say that “the Eagles have an excellent drafting record.” because I just don’t think you can back that up. I mean the article doesn’t lie anywhere, does it? Is anything that Denny says untrue? They have missed on a TREMEMDOUSLY high amount of their defensive players.

Are the Eagles the worst drafting team in the NFL? Absolutely not. But “excellent” … come on … middle of the road at best.

RegalEagle
RegalEagle
April 15, 2010 2:42 pm

I think that part of the eagles early draft issues had to do with their scouts. The scouts spend way more time evaluating players than the FO. The birds have been improving in this department over the years. The eagles have also brought in some new eyes. I think Dick Jauron knows secondary talent and linebackers fairly well. Add this to the other new guys and we have a chance of getting the kind of players we are going to need.

Everyone needs to remember that sometimes you can draft a great talent who goes no where because he is a knucklehead with no work effort. Sometimes you draft a guy in the later rounds and they mature over a year or two and work hard and become the trent coles of the world.

navyeaglefan
navyeaglefan
April 15, 2010 3:34 pm

IanIJM – interesting note – here are a couple I can think of – Takao Spikes ia apparently doing well, and Dhani Jones (yes bow tie and air guitar) apparently kicked but on D for one of the Ohio teams someone help me out, and I guess Ryan Moats actually had a decent season for Houston, Considine played for I thinkJacksonville – Matt Ware got another contract in I think Arizona – but other then Derrick Burgess – I haven’t heard of anyone we let go doing really great things –

As for the ‘excellent’ what I did was went and looked at some of the draft magazines – and they offer scores (usually letter grades) on each team based upon certain factors like number of starters, number of players on team, number players to pro bowls, and then they compared the entire league. So its not me personaly saying the Eagles are excellent – its reviewing a bunch of these magazines and looking at the ctiteria they had for what constitutes a great drafting team – or – for example – the fact last year Peter King from SI and I quote “Andy Ried and the Eagles Front office gave the rest of the league a lesson in how to run a draft board” So I guess the best way to say the Eagles are an Excellent drafting team when compared direclty against the other 31 NFL football teams – Its not enough to say ‘the eagles have missed on a TREMENDOUSLY high amount’ – you can, but then the question is how do the other teams do? That’s why if your like me, you let someone else do the research and you read. Do the eagles need to do better – they have entire staffs dedicated to doing better – but in comparison to the other 31 teams, the have an excellent track record

jimmy mac
jimmy mac
April 15, 2010 4:07 pm

Andy Reid is the best coach the Eagles ever had. Every team has flops in their drafts. I trust in Reid and believe Roseman will become a great GM.

footballfreak
footballfreak
April 15, 2010 4:12 pm

Was Brady a first round draft pick? I don’t think so, and look at what a windfall he turned out to be for his team. Reid is an idiot, but the draft is all a crapshoot!

IanIJM
IanIJM
April 16, 2010 2:33 pm

NEF – Well in fairness I said they’d missed on a TREMENDOUSLY high amount of their DEFENSIVE selections. You left out the “defensive selections” part of what I said, which sort of changes the tone a bit.

So if you really want to break down what I said, you’d have to take a look at their defensive picks, the dropout rate, and then compare that to the rest of the league.