Draft thoughts: Jarrett, Marsh and Asomugha
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Draft thoughts: Jarrett, Marsh and Asomugha
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.com
Here are some thoughts after the first three rounds of the draft.
HOW MARSH FITS IN
Going into the draft, we knew the Eagles needed to address the cornerback situation.
But looking back, it probably should have been obvious all along that if the Eagles did not get one of the top three corners - Patrick Peterson, Prince Amukamara, Jimmy Smith - they were likely going to have to address this need via free agency or a trade.
And so that's where we are after two days. The Eagles picked up Utah State cornerback Curtis Marsh in the third round Friday night, but considering his limited experience and the fact that he converted to defense just a couple years ago after beginning his college career as a running back, it seems extremely unlikely that he'll compete for a starting job in 2011.
Let's look at the Eagles' cornerback situation as a whole. Asante Samuel is the starter; Joselio Hanson is the nickel; Trevard Lindley and Marsh should settle in as the fourth and fifth corners on the roster.
We still don't know when free agency or trades are going to be allowed, but whenever that happens, we can now say with near certainty that the Eagles' No. 1 priority (by a longshot) will be to find a corner to play opposite Samuel on the right side.
Which brings us to...
ASOMUGHA, KOLB AND THE LOCKOUT
His name started to get mentioned pretty much as soon as Michael Vick's season-ending pass was intercepted by Tramon Williams in the wild-card round at the Linc: Nnamdi Asomugha.
The Pro Bowl cornerback will be the most sought-after free agent on the market. Just last night, ESPN's Adam Schefter pointed out that the bidding could start in the NFC East with the Eagles, Cowboys and Redskins. None of the three teams spent a first- or second-round pick on a cornerback.
Schefter threw the Ravens in there too, even though they drafted Smith in the first round. And there could be a large number of other suitors as well.
Asomugha has not been hurt at all by the lockout. If anything, it might help him. By the time teams are allowed to pursue Asomugha, much of their rosters will be set. The draft will be over and their needs will be as well-defined as ever. For a team like the Eagles that is expecting to compete for a Super Bowl in the next couple years, the difference between adding a player like Asomugha and other options at cornerback is enormous. The same can probably be said for others.
Meanwhile, Kolb finds himself in quite the opposite situation. In the first two rounds, six QB-needy teams drafted that position: the Panthers, Titans, Jaguars, Vikings, Bengals and 49ers.
Had this been just a regular offseason, I'm fairly certain that Kolb would be gone and the Eagles would have a one or two more players on their roster after the first two rounds.
Instead, the Birds continue to wait and see when they'll be able to make a deal. And the market for Kolb shrinks. Who's left among the QB-needy teams? The Raiders, Broncos, Bills, Cardinals, Browns, Redskins, Seahawks and Dolphins.
The most likely teams among that group to make a move are probably the Cardinals and Seahawks, but Arizona has been linked to veteran Marc Bulger. Whenever the dust settles and teams are allowed to make a deal, it will be interesting to see just what the market is for Kolb. As some of you pointed out via Twitter, all it takes is one or two teams. And that's true. I still tink Kolb will get dealt, but we'll see just how much the lockout hurt the Birds in terms of compensation.
JARRETT AND 2ND-YEAR PLAYERS
In the second round, the Eagles took Temple safety Jaiquawn Jarrett. So how does he fit in?
Well, it could mean that free agent Quintin Mikell is gone. Let's say, for a moment, that that's going to be the case. Here are the players likely to make up the Eagles' secondary: Samuel, veteran RCB to be named later, Joselio Hanson, Lindley, Marsh, Jarrett, Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman. Of that group, five of eight players figure to be first- or second-year players.
If you throw in the veteran cornerback, six of eight figure to be in their first or second seasons with the Eagles - Samuel and Hanson being the exceptions.
For that reason, I'm not ready to say that Mikell is 100 percent out of here. Couldn't those young players benefit from a veteran presence? And it's not like Mikell is a liability. He's still one of the better players on the Eagles' roster.
It will come down to what the market is for him and how many teams need to add safeties after the draft.
Either way, the Jarrett addition immediately creates competition for Coleman, last year's seventh-round pick, who eventually became a starter after Allen went down.
I think the Eagles like Coleman, but remember, just because a guy sees the field as a rookie does not guarantee him a roster spot the next season. There's always new competition. Just ask Macho Harris, who started as a rookie in '09 and then was cut the following year.
The second-year players are probably hurt the most by the lockout. We'll see how much the Birds can count on guys like Coleman, Jamar Chaney, Keenan Clayton, Brandon Graham, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim and Lindley to make that leap in 2011.