Wednesday, August 20, 2014
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Eagles draft thoughts: CB and O-line

Which Eagles draft picks made sense? Which did not? And what are the team's biggest concerns going forward? Here's the breakdown:

Eagles draft thoughts: CB and O-line

Now that I've had a chance to sleep on it, here are some thoughts on the Eagles' draft:

* In our chat, I took an informal poll of your favorite and least favorite Eagles pick. Let's start with the favorite. The majority said Nate Allen or Brandon Graham, which makes sense. After the Eagles got no production from their safety position in the first season post-Brian Dawkins, fans were calling for them to spend an early pick there pretty much the second after the team lost to the Cowboys in the wild-card round. Ideally, Allen (the 37th player off the board) will come in, start and have an impact right away opposite Quintin Mikell. Of course, Andy Reid left the door open yesterday that Allen could be an option at corner.

* As for the least favorite pick, the choice was nearly unanimous: third-rounder Daniel Te'o-Nesheim. Why? Draft experts like Mike Mayock had him projected as a sixth- or seventh-round pick. The Eagles had four fourth-round selections. Granted, none of us were on the phone with NFL executives or know what GMs were thinking, but is it reasonable to wonder whether Te'o-Nesheim would have been there for the Eagles later in the draft? Absolutely.

Now, if he ends up being a player, it won't matter that the Eagles used a third-round pick on him.

But if not...

* The team picked up 13 new players, but the biggest concern going into the draft remains the same: cornerback. The Eagles took Kentucky CB Trevard Lindley in the fourth round, but other than that, no pure corner was selected. As I mentioned above, Reid said Allen could see some time there. Maybe Marlin Jackson can too. Or Macho Harris. Perhaps they even believe Ellis Hobbs can be the guy.

But these are not ideal options, and could lead to disaster. The Eagles focused much of their draft on rushing the passer, and rightfully so. But I don't expect Sean McDermott to change his philosophy of relying on the blitz. That means having cornerbacks who are dependable and who can cover. It's been like that for years - from Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor to Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown, and so on.

Who's going to start opposite Asante Samuel? And what if Samuel goes down with an injury? No depth there at all.

* The other area I thought would get addressed that did not is offensive line. Maybe not early, but I thought the Eagles would definitely address it at some point. Contrary to popular opinion, my concern is not at center. I actually think Nick Cole could be adequate there with an offseason of practices under his belt. I think they should be OK at tackle, and Todd Herremans does a good job at left guard. The biggest concern is Stacy Andrews at right guard. It seems like quite a leap of faith to expect him to be a dependable starter after he didn't even dress at various points in 2009.

The other concern is tackle depth. The plan would seem to be for Herremans to slide over if Peters were to go down, which could set up a potential starting guard tandem of Andrews and Max Jean-Gilles. Are you comfortable with them being counted on to protect Kevin Kolb from interior pressure? Didn't think so. The same scenario could play out if Herremans were to get injured.

* And finally, thanks to colleague Mike Potter for pointing out that seventh-round pick Jeff Owens (DT from Georgia) is on Twitter, for those of you who want to follow (jeffowens95).


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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