Friday, February 09, 2007

What about the Draft? - Is it Fair to Judge 2006 as a Waste?

Simply put, judging a NFL draft after one year can be fun, but it is generally short-sighted...

Unfortunately other teams in the league seem to be better than the Eagles at getting an immediate impact from their rookie draft classes, while the Birds players (even the higher round picks) don't seem to make a huge splash. One reason that hits me is our defense - where an immediate impact would be nice, and in fact was necessary this year to solidify our D-Line. It just didn't happen, and the D suffered for it. The thing is, Jim Johnson's D take a while to assimilate...Its a bit of detriment, as other teams seems to be able to bring in players and get an immediate bang; like the Charges (Merriman), Pats (Seymour, Wilfork), Seahawks (Tatupu), and Bears (Anderson, Urlacher, Vasher, et al) while Eagles players usually seem to require patience in an impatient business....

Giving it a moment of deeper though and you realize that players' careers are impacted by all sorts of things, injuries (Jerome the "Bust" McDougle anyone), freak accidents (JR Reed and infamous fence hopping), outside events (like shootings, again McBust sticks in my memory, bit also in the most extreme of cases things like the unfortunate death of Darrent Williams...think the Broncos thought they'd have to address the secondary this off-season, heck no...but they do now, or heck what about Jerome Brown?). Coaching changes can be a huge detour as well (have to outside the Birds for an example of that).

All that being said, you judging a draft usually take a couple of seasons...and they get re-evaluated each year....For the Eagles, 2002 was great...2003 looks pretty much like a wash unless LJ sticks around, 2004 is rounding out on the positive side of the ledger with Andrews, while 2005 - I would rate at still having great potential (even though the Eagles thought well enough to extend a # of those players already) and 2006 - I consider disappointing in the selfish aspect of wanting immediate gratification, but one I still think has the potential to be turn out very well.

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