What they're saying: Eagles draft grades

The Eagles drafted Oregon linebacker Casey Matthews in the fourth round. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Here's a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles' draft.

Over on Eagletarian, Paul Domowitch gives the Eagles a B-:

While they attacked their pass-protection problems head-on by selecting Watkins, who is expected to be a Day 1 starter at one of the guard spots, in the first round, they didn’t do anything to improve a pass rush that managed just 15 sacks in the last 8 games last season, and they didn’t find a starting right corner. At least not for this season.

Adam Caplan of FoxSports.com gives the Eagles a B-:

The Eagles were able to secure at least three future starters with their first three selections. However, selecting a kicker in the fourth round is a bit questionable.

ESPN's Mel Kiper gave the Eagles a C+. In terms of needs, he gave the Birds a B, but in terms of value, he gave them a C:

This feels like last year. I look at the Philly board and think, "Well, they got a lot of guys." The Eagles targeted what I considered their three biggest needs with their first three picks.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com gives the Eagles a B:

Best pick: I like the pick of Danny Watkins in the first round. He is a nasty player who will fit in on their offensive line, which needs help.

Questionable move: Using a fourth-round pick on kicker Alex Henery. Anytime you pick a kicker that high, it's a questionable move.

Third-day gem: Fourth-round pick Casey Matthews, Clay's little brother, will help at a position of need. Should be a good special-teams player, as well.

Analysis: The Eagles always seem to do a good job in the draft. This year was no different. The key might be second-round safety Jaiquawn Jarrett.

CBSSports.com's Rob Rang gives the Eagles a B-:

The Eagles' selection of a 26-year-old guard with the No. 23 overall pick will be criticized by some, though certainly not by me. Danny Watkins stepped in immediately for former No. 2 overall pick Jason Smith (Rams) at left tackle in 2009 for Baylor, demonstrating great toughness and competitive fire despite it being only his third season of playing the game. What was most impressive, however, was how quickly he acclimated inside at guard at the Senior Bowl despite having never played the position. He'll provide toughness inside for Philadelphia.

ESPN's Todd McShay says the Eagles' selection of Temple safety Jaiquawn Jarrett in the second round was their best move, and their selection of Nebraska kicker in the fourth round was their worst move:

The 120th pick is simply too high for Alex Henery. Yes, he was the No. 1 kicker on our board, but Henery has had some inconsistent stretches in his career, and while he has a monster leg the Eagles would have been better off addressing right offensive tackle, defensive line, tight end, wide receiver or return specialist, then taking someone like Kai Forbath further down the line.

SI.com's Don Banks says he wouldn't be surprised to see kicker David Akers stay in the NFC East:

Akers is a free agent and he's not done kicking in the NFL. Given the challenges the Cowboys and Redskins have had with kickers in recent years, I wouldn't be surprised if Akers wound up somewhere else in the NFC East, facing his old team twice a year. Not exactly the Donovan McNabb to Washington storyline of 2010, but it might be fun.

SI.com's Peter King gives his take on the first-round selection of Danny Watkins:

The good -- Danny Watkins is a day-one starter, mature and experienced, and can play either guard and, in a pinch, tackle, where he played last year at Baylor. The bad -- He'll be a 27-year-old rookie this fall.

NFL.com's Vic Carucci names Akers one of five veterans immediately affected by his team's draft:

The Eagles were fairly public in their disappointment over David Akers missing two field-goal attempts in their playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers. It was later revealed that he was distracted by his daughter's illness, which seemingly left some hard feeling between Akers and the team. Sure enough, when the Eagles gave Akers a transition tag after the season -- his fifth as a Pro Bowl selection -- he refused to sign it. And now they appear to have found his replacement in Nebraska's Alex Henery, a fourth-round pick.

CBSSports.com's Clark Judge likes the Eagles' decision to go with Watkins:

So Philadelphia's Danny Watkins is 26. Big deal. He also was the safest pick on the offensive line, ready to step in tomorrow and start at guard.

Two Eagles make Judge's list of top-10 draft losers, including Akers:

He felt bad after missing three field goals in a playoff loss to Green Bay, including a 29-yarder. He should feel worse now that the Eagles used a fourth-round pick to take Nebraska kicker Alex Henery. Akers doesn't have a contract, and he hasn't signed his tender as the team's transition player. Looks as if the Eagles don't expect him to sign on the dotted line.

And Kevin Kolb:

He'd love to get started -- and I mean started -- with his next team, but there is no next team. Philadelphia can't budge until the NFL is open for trading again.

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