Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers.
Selecting for Philadelphia is Eagles fan -- yet still friend of BBV -- 'ByeDawk.' He has written us a book on why he made this selection. Here goes:
First, a little background on the Eagles’ O Line issues last year …
The projected starters going into camp in 2009 looked like this …
- LT – Jason Peters
- LG – Todd Herremans
- C – Jamaal Jackson
- RG – Stacy Andrews
- RT – Shawn Andrews
The backups included OTs Winston Justice and King Dunlap; and G/C Nick Cole, G Max Jean-Gilles, and C Mike McGlynn.
Most pundits were hailing this OL unit as one of the 5 best in the NFL, some called it the best… And then… Bad things started happening…
- First, Shawn Andrews left for LA to have back surgery a couple weeks before the season and was eventually IR’ed, making Winston Justice the opening day starting RT. At the time, Justice’s only real game action was his spot-on impression of a turnstile against Osi Umenyiora, who had a career-making 6-sack performance. Personally, I didn’t expect Winston Justice to even make the team, much less start Week 1.
- Then, in the very last scrimmage in camp, Todd Herremans suffered a stress reaction in his foot. He would miss the first 6 weeks of the season, with Nick Cole filling in.
- Nearing Week 1, reports starting surfacing that Stacy Andrews, a player the Eagles signed to a 6 year $39 million contract, not only wasn’t fully recovered from his ACL tear the previous season, but he didn’t know the playbook. He would see only spot duty throughout the season as he became buried behind both Max Jean-Gilles and Nick Cole on the depth chart, and was a colossal disappointment.
- Jason Peters missed a big chunk of camp with an injury, which was costly since he wasn’t able to develop continuity with his OL teammates leading into the season. He played very well for the most part, although when he had to leave the Week 6 game against the Raiders, that opened the door for Richard Seymour to run amok all over Peters’ replacement, King Dunlap. The lack of protection in that game for Donovan McNabb was the main reason for that embarrassing loss to an inferior opponent.
And finally, Jamaal Jackson, the steady center for the Eagles played well all season, but in the playoff loss to Dallas, he tore his ACL, and remains a question mark leading into this season.
Frankly, it’s amazing the Eagles went 11-5, but that’s for another discussion. Anyway, that leads us into this off-season…
Peters is the LT, Herremans is the LG and primary backup LT, and Justice is the RT. That much is settled. The C position remains a question mark, as Jackson continues to rehab his knee, and although Cole and Jean-Gilles both have good NFL experience at RG, they’re probably better suited as reserves.
The pick here is Anthony Davis for a few reasons …
- Because the Eagles value versatility, they love bringing in tackles and having them play guard. They did it when they drafted Shawn Andrews out of Arkansas; they did it when they brought in his brother Stacy, who played tackle with Cincinnati; they did it with Todd Herremans. It’s also an effective strategy for their style of play, since they typically pass on 60% of their plays. The Eagles can plug in Anthony Davis Day 1 at RG and immediately upgrade that position with the intent of eventually kicking him out to tackle in a few years. Jackson would start at C if he’s ready. If not, it’ll be Cole. It also doesn’t hurt that Davis excelled playing RG his Freshman year, as he was First Team Freshman All American.
- Andy likes them big – Peters weighs 340, Herremans 321, Cole 350, Jean-Gilles 358, Justice 320, Jackson 330, etc. Anthony Davis, at 323, fits the mold.
- Because of some character stuff, his stock is dropping, but Davis, in my opinion, in a Top 10-15 talent in this draft. The rap on him is that his strength and athletic ability is superb, but his technique needs some work. The Eagles have one of the best OL coaches in the NFL in Juan Castillo, and an entire offseason working on that aspect of his game should do wonders.
My take: Hey, the Packers got C.J. Spiller here and the Eagles did not. I am a happy man. Davis and his questionable work ethic would be the Eagles problem in this scenario, and I'm down for that. Of course, he could turn out to be a monster. But, he isn't Spiller so life is good.
'LarrySoprano' is up next with the Baltimore Ravens selection.
Remember, to see explanations for previous selections click the highlighted player name in the table below.
|1||St. Louis||Sam Bradford||QB||Oklahoma||Soldier_
|3||Tampa Bay||Gerald McCoy||DT||Oklahoma||i_formation27|
|4||Washington||Russell Okung||OT||Oklahoma State||G Fan in England
|5||Kansas City||Eric Berry||S||Tennessee||ronjohnson|
|6||Seattle||Jimmy Clausen||QB||Notre Dame||CCE718|
|7||Cleveland||Dez Bryant||WR||Oklahoma State||GreatGatsby|
|9||Buffalo||Dan Williams||DT||Tennessee||The Greek|
|12||Miami||Jerry Hughes||DE/OLB||Texas Christian||sunlion333|
|13||San Francisco||Bryan Bulaga||OT||Iowa||RIPShea|
|14||Seattle||Trent Williams||OT||Oklahoma||Ed V.|
|15||N.Y. Giants||Derrick Morgan||DE||Georgia||Ed Valentine|
|17||San Francisco||Sean Weatherspoon||B||Missouri||RIPShea|
|20||Houston||Jason Pierre-Paul||DE||South Florida||BitterEli|
|22||New England||Jermaine Gresham||TE||Oklahoma||Ryan Valentine|
|23||Green Bay||C.J. Spiller||RB||Clemson||Dan Luibil|
|24||Philadelphia||Anthony Davis||OT||Rutgers||Bye Dawk|