Nate Solder, OT, Colorado.
Drafting for the Eagles in these mock drafts is an exercise in futility since the Eagles have either traded up or traded out of the first round in each of the past four years:
- Last year the Eagles targeted Brandon Graham, and traded up from 24 to 13 to get him.
- In 2009, they traded up from 21 to 19 when Jeremy Maclin inexplicably fell to the back half of the first round.
- In 2008, they traded out of the first round from 19, collecting the 43rd and 109th overall picks in 2008 from Carolina, as well as the Panthers’ first round pick in 2009.
- In 2007, they traded back from 26 and got the 36th, 87th, and 159th overall picks.
With 10 total picks, I’ll be shocked if the Eagles don’t get aggressive and move up for the third straight year.
The Eagles also have a history of selecting who they think is the best player available, as opposed to drafting for need. In this case, there isn’t a single available player that jumps off the board at me as a great value at 23. The top four guys on my board here in no particular order would be Ryan Kerrigan, Muhammad Wilkerson, Adrian Clayborn, and Nate Solder. The pick is Solder, who excels in pass protection.
Historically, the right side of the Eagles' offensive line has been the hammer. When (or rather, if) they ran the ball, more often than not, they ran it behind Jon Runyan and Shawn Andrews, and before Andrews, Jermane Mayberry. The left side's primary job was to keep Donovan McNabb off his back.
The landscape of the Eagles' OL has since changed. The hammer is now the left side, as Jason Peters and Todd Herremans both excel in the run game, and when the Eagles absolutely need to run the ball, they're running left.
Almost coincidentally (and I say "coincidentally" because the Eagles certainly didn't plan for this), the Eagles now have a left-handed QB in Michael Vick. However, in contrast to the Eagles teams of the aughts, the OL didn't do a good job protecting the QB's blind side last season. Both Winston Justice and Max Jean-Gilles are below average NFL starters, and while Mike McGlynn showed promise at times this season as the starting center, he also struggled at times. That's not the personnel you want to have protecting the blind side of your star player.
Solder would be would be a nice fit at RT protecting Michael Vick's blindside, now that the traditional responsibilities of the left and right sides of the line are flipped.
My take: Somehow it always seems that the Eagles and the New York Giants are interested in, and selecting from, the same pool of players. Maybe that is why for the last decade they have consistently been the two best teams in the NFC East. This pick would once again give the Eagles a player who likely will strongly be considered by the Giants.
It is a good pick for the Eagles, although with a completely revamped defensive coaching staff I would not be surprised to the see the Eagles value defense right here. 'JimmyK' is also right that, given the Eagles recent draft history, it will be very surprising to see them draft at 23. Having collected 10 picks, they will likely target a player and move up past the Giants and into the top 15 to get the guy they want.
[Note: Apologies to 'JImmK' and the Eagles fans who tried to participate in this discussion in a calm, rational manner. The stupidity supplied in the comment thread by a certain member of BBV who has now been warned has been removed from the thread. Gang, you all know better. That is not how we do things here.]
|19||N.Y. Giants||Akeem Ayers
||The Blood Of Eli
|29||Chicago||You're my boy, Blue|
New York Jets
|48||Oakland||G Fan In England
|52||N.Y. Giants||Ed Valentine|
||The Blood Of Eli|
||You're my boy, Blue|