Philadelphia Eagles Draft Post-Mortem: More Questions Than Answers.

(freewebs.com)

Two weeks ago the Philadelphia Eagles were supposed to use their 11 draft picks to catapult themselves back to the top of the NFC. After weeks of speculation Andy Reid and Co. had the chips available to land a true #1 receiver in the form of Chad Johnson, Roy Williams or Anquan Boldin didn’t they?

But to the disappointment of many, the Birds traded away their first round choice for essentially the Carolina Panthers’ first-round choice next season. The silver lining in this deal was the acquisition of projected first rounder wide receiver/return specialist DeSean Jackson, with their second choice in the 2nd round, thus filling a need on special teams.

Oh! And in case you haven’t heard, Lito Sheppard is still an Eagle.

Andy Reid is thinking ahead…too far ahead for my comfort.

I’m trying to figure out what Andy Reid was thinking when the Carolina Panthers dangled next season’s first round pick in front of him for thier 19th selection overall. Did he really believe that no one was available at #19 that could help the Eagles right now? Was this move part of a bigger deal down the road to gain an impact player? If so, I can live with that. Or is it about money, and their lack of committment to pay out first round contracts. Could it even mean with this presumably being Donovan McNabb’s last season in Philly, Reid is beginning to put the pieces in place to build around his backup Kevin Kolb. With eleven draft picks and a Pro Bowl cornerback on the trading block, the Eagles could have and should have controlled this draft, but instead they walk away with one maybe two players that will see significant time this season.


Has Andy Reid once again left Donovan McNabb out in the cold???

Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook have made it known that the Eagles were not that far from the Super Bowl and that adding some playmakers would push them closer to that goal. While free agent cornerback acquisition Asante Samuel and Jackson will solidify the secondary and return game, I don’t think that’s what they had in mind.

For weeks there was speculation that the Eagles were hot on the trails of a #1 receiver the rumored deals went from New England Patriot Randy Moss to Arizona Cardinal Larry Fitzgerald to Cincinnatti’s disgruntled Chad Johnson and anyone else in between. Once the draft was over and all we walked away with was DeSean Jackson, I wasn’t too encouraged. The Eagles also picked up running back Lorenzo Booker in a deal with the Miami Dolphins, Booker will more than likely be given the chance to beat out Correll Buckhalter for the backup spot to Westbrook. However the fact remains that there have been no significant changes to an offense that has a quarterback that is still one of the best in the League when he’s healthy and the games best player from scrimmage in terms of yardage. So why not look to add a gamebreaking receiver to the mix? We can go back and forth about Terrell Owens and how he left the team in “shambles”, but before things went south hard to stop and fun to watch. What doesn’t Andy Reid understand?


Either get this man some help or expect a shortened career.

So far free agency and the draft have been used to address the defense and special teams, which was definitely needed and they’ve taken a flyer on some offensive linemen but we may not hear about theses guys til ’09. Has the franchise given up on the possibility of obtaining a true #1 receiver we’ll know in July when training camp begins?

Finally, we come to Lito Sheppard who has been in lame duck status since Asante Samuel inked a 6-year $57 million dollar deal in February. Sheppard was all but gone on draft day, there were rumors that had him going to the N.O. Saints for wideout Devery Henderson or offensive tackle Jammal Brown, neither materialized and according to Reid there were offers throughout the day but nothing he felt that was worth giving up Sheppard.

(The Honolulu Advertiser)

Sheppard was at the team’s mandatory mini-camp and was for the most part incognito, there has been the discussion of restructuring the deals of fellow corner Sheldon Brown, Westbrook and Sheppard who has 4 years left on his deal. The one person who seems happiest in all of this is defensive coordinator Jimmy Johnson who relishes in the possibility of having three Pro-Bowl caliber cornerbacks. Johnson has several packages divised to have all three on the field at once, not only in three-wide situations but also run downs. Samuel and Sheppard would play outside and Brown would go inside, sort of like a quasi-safety, lightening the load on safety Brian Dawkins allowing him to play centerfield in the passing game.

For what it’s worth this is Donovan McNabb’s swan song in Philadelphia (provided Kolb grasps the offense) and the farewell tour has gotten off to a rough start. Maybe Andy Reid is hoping that Cincy will just give up on Ocho Cinco and cave in, or that the Lions will take the first round pick next season for Roy Williams. Whatever the case may be, he needs to give McNabb enough tools to work with and to this point he has not. Sure McNabb will say that, “I asked for playmakers, not receivers.” It’s the right thing to say, why screw yourself with a potential employer next season by being a malcontent this year.

Regardless of what happens, all DM5 can do is stay healthy and presumably happy…stay tuned

23 Responses to “Philadelphia Eagles Draft Post-Mortem: More Questions Than Answers.”

  1. Temple3 says:

    The Drug Emporium Draft of 2008?

    In all seriousness, the Eagles are going to be fine. The key to this team is McNabb’s health. If he’s not able to play at least 14 games, it won’t matter much what they do. Finally, the Eagles would be wise to keep 3 solid corners. You’re going to need that type of quality and depth if you are going to continue to play Johnson’s blitzing style.

  2. Temple3 says:

    I don’t believe you said who you think the Eagles should’ve drafted. Is your point simply that they should’ve packaged that pick for an established WR instead of for the ’09 #1?

  3. Temple – Funny enough in my mock draft I had the Birds taking DeSean Jackson in the first round, to get him in the 2nd was great. Other than Jackson, Kenny Phillips was a player I had in mind at 19, drafting B Dawks successor made sense to me. I know a #1 in some cases is too high for an established wideout but this team is not that far away, it’s not like they were mortgaging the future.

  4. Co Co says:

    I am an Eagles fan and I became one because of McNabb. I grew up in a state with no pro team so I rooted for who my dad rooted for which was the Steelers. Anyway, I’m fond of McNabb and I wish the Eagles would get him a legit receiver, but the problem is the fact that McNabb found a way to have so much success without one. It’s great that he’s able to get so much out of so little, but it hurts him in the long run. The Eagles have been so competitive for so many years doing things their way that they don’t feel the need to change. They let players go left and right and barely miss a beat. I think they’ve shown that they don’t always make the popular decision, but its normally the right decision. I don’t follow the draft like that so I don’t really know what to expect from the new players. When the season starts I’ll be rooting for them no matter what. I wonder if I’ll still be an Eagles fan when McNabb leaves……

  5. I agree with you in part on him winning in spite of what the front office does. But at the same time for someone that is dedicated to pass 60% of the time you would think that Andy Reid would get at least one top flight guy in here.

    I used to think the T.O. debacle scared Reid off from the high profile receivers. To be honest with you if they would’ve gotten a Joey Porter or a Javon Walker I would’ve been cool with that.

    Brown and Curtis are good receivers, a third player of their caliber would be good, a stud wideout would be great.

  6. Co Co says:

    McNabb is a prime example of how making your teammates better is not always a good thing! LOL
    He needs to go all Kobe Bryant on the front office and demand better players. It could lead to them making a trade or it could lead to the players on the team doing what the Lakers player’s did and work their assess off to prove McNabb wrong. Either way he wins!

  7. It’s a little too late for that. More than likely this is his last go round in Philly, the only way he comes back is if Kevin Kolb cannot grasp this offense (I’m hoping Reid gives him another year or five to get it down) Other than that he’s gone and he knows it, so to stir the nest now gives everyone ammo to say this and that about him being a whiner etc, etc.

    He’s going to deal with whatever he has to deal with this season with a smile and move on.

    The last time he lobbied for a player it was Owens.

  8. Co Co says:

    It’s going to be interesting to see if my love for Philly leaves with McNabb. I was still rooting for them when he got hurt the past couple of seasons, but I don’t know if I will be able to maintain once he leaves…

  9. This will be one of those all too familiar cases where those idiots that booed him at the ’99 Draft and others that have knocked him throughout his career here will realize what they had.

  10. Temple3 says:

    He’s probably been saddled with the worse cadre of wide receivers of any elite quarterback that I can remember. I like Kevin Curtis and Brown in small doses. Owens was excellent – and after that, it’s just about as depressing a list as I’ve ever seen. I suppose John Elway, in the early years, also had mediocre wide receivers. They had a nice nickname, but none were stellar performers.

    Guys like Fouts, Bradshaw, Staubach, Anderson (Kenny), Marino, Favre and others were fortunate to avoid this conversation for their better years.

  11. Co Co says:

    The fans will definitely miss McNabb’s making something out of nothing numerous times per game plays (although he doesn’t scramble near as much as he used to) Sometimes fans just have to learn the hard way.

  12. michelle says:

    Eagles management isn’t concerned about winning. The only concern they have is making money. Staying competative is good enough.

  13. Temple3 says:

    Michelle:

    I was wondering about that. The management knows how good they have to be in order to retain their fan base. I’m sure they do “sensitivity analyses” and run focus groups to determine what the elasticity of demand is for any given seat. (I hope they do…if they don’t, it’s no way to run a business.) Who paid for the new stadium? Did the Eagles’ ownership pay for part of the stadium and the land or all of it or none of it? Did the city lease the space to them? Seems like the Eagles have a solid philosophy to field a team that’s one step below the best in the game.

    The Owens gamble was considerably hedged by the franchise, though. They did not take on a great financial risk and accrued a great deal of benefit. It’s funny that while Owens, McNabb and the players were roundly criticized for various failings (not all on the field), Eagles ownership and management has remain relatively unscathed in the national press.

  14. Co Co says:

    They remained unscathed because they’ve managed to be a factor in the NFC for so long that the media doesn’t think they should question them. I don’t live in Philly so I don’t know whether they sell out every game or what, but if they do then that’s probably a factor in management making no significant changes. If the fans are going to come anyway, why spend the money??

  15. thebrotherreport says:

    There is alot that goes with the management of the Philadelphia Eagles.

    1. The Stadium is owned by the City of Philadelphia, but I believe the Eagles put up half. I’m almost certain of that.

    2. Temple University pays the Eagles $1 million a year to play their home games at The Linc.

    3. As for personnel decisions, rarely is a player offered a new contract after age 30, Brian Dawkins was the first player in the Andy Reid era to recieve one.

    4. Rarely is a player re-signed during the season, this was common during the Ray Rhodes regime, but since Reid has been here it has rarely if ever happened.

    5. Young players are signed to multi-year deals (3+ years) and will have to outperform that contract to even be considered for and expension.

    6. The Eagles use ‘voidable years’ in some of the bigger contarcts because it allows them to fit under the salary cap.

  16. thebrotherreport says:

    They are definitely about money.

  17. origin says:

    Yes the Eagles are about money All the teams in philly are about money. While the fans hate the players their dumb @sses need to hate the Owners. I often compare Philly to chicago. Because all the team owners are cheap @sses. Hell the only reason the bulls won chips were because Jordan and pippen were so great. Hell if it was up to Reinsdorf the bulls would have never won.

    As for Mcnabb he is F&^%ed just like most Black QBS in the good old boy league of the NFL. The only hope of any of these black QBs winning a ring is with Oakland and Washington because their owners actually believe in surrounding their black QBs with talent.

    Its hard for these brothas because they often are drafted by teams that have cheap ownership and have no intent of trying to win. As far as what sista CoCo said she is right these guys win with nothing then management feels there is no reason to surround them with talent. The messed up part is if they didn’t win in the first place they would have been benched. They don’t get the 2 and 3 chances that their white counterparts get. Their black @sses better win or the fans and media will be on their @ss. Ain’t no getting chance after chance like Kyle Bowler and Rex Grossman. If those dudes were black they would be out of the league.

    Another thing most of he time these guys only get chances if black QB has had previous success with the teams. See Houton/Tenns (moon, mcnair) , Philly (Cunningham), Minnesota (Moon, Cunningham, Culpepper)

    Thats why I believe that it will be 40 years or longer before you see a Black QB drafted high in Detroit, ATL and Dallas. Because of the issues that they had with their highly drafted black QBs.

    And yes this is my boy Mcnabbs last season in Philly. I just pry that the rotha doesn’t get hurt. Hopefully next year he goes to Minnesota and wns a ring.

    The way that black Qbs are treated in the NFL has just soured me with the league.

    By the way whats the odds that Culpepper never plays in th league again????

    Yet watch Grossman play 15 years in the league.

  18. michelle says:

    Origin,

    Man..you always know just what to say and how to say it.In true Origin like fashion. LOL!

  19. michelle says:

    TBR,

    Not to change the subject but how about those Flyers? I’m shocked they are still skating. I still think the Red Wings are going to win it all though.

  20. Miranda says:

    Origin,
    CHUCH!!! Is this mic on?? Preach it brotha……do you know that the consensus of the mainstream media nitwits is that Atlanta MUST give Matt Ryan at least 4 years before he can be fairly critiqued??? I lie to you not. The reason is because the whole team had to be gutted because it was so sorry….all because of #7….its at that head-scratching moment that you just have to throw your hands up.

    Duante Culpepper can’t get a job, but Joey Harrington still gets a NFL check. Chad Johnson is screaming to get out of Cincy, but management will not let Carson’s playmaker go. Just like Indy will wipe out that entire neighborhood in Philly before they let Marvin Harrison get caught up. Meanwhile, Donovan is expected to make lemonade out of prunes….and I read an article in the Washington Post that actually stated “how long does Jason Campbell have”?? I tell ya….we not only don’t make the rules…they don’t even tell us what the rules are.

  21. thebrotherreport says:

    Michelle – Something clicked in the Flyers when the Playoffs began and they haven’t looked back. I think they’re too physical for Pittsburgh and Sid the Kid. Flyers go to play for the cup and they just might win it.

    Detroit is my team but we need a parade!

  22. [...] TheStartingFive.net takes a look at the Philadelphia Eagles draft, I swear I’ve seen a million articles talking about this team, and what mistakes or non-mistakes they made. This one stood out to me thou, and it actually brings up more questions then most fans and their front running “we’re winning the super bowl” talk. [...]

  23. HarveyDent says:

    Tight article but as a diehard Eagles fan I have to give this draft an incomplete grade. I still want a stud WR but management did address many needs on the defensive and special teams parts of the team which is encouraging. I don’t think I can rule out a deal during training camp though for a true #1 though because they did swing a trade for Donte’ Stallworth, whom they should have kept, that same time two years ago. Curtis is good and Brown is adequate but don’t be surprised to see either Baskett, Avant, or GLew cut to make room for a new wideout because I would not be surprised if it’s Roy Williams or Chad Johnson. Boldin’s not leaving the desert because that regime is finally trying to field a winner so he’s out of trade discussions but I can see Johnson or Williams suiting up this season.

    On McNabb, I thought for sure he was out of there at the end of last season but I think for some reason he’s going to show and prove again this year that he’s a Top 5 QB in the NFL . I don’t know about the Bowl but I see a division crown and a deep playoff run so that he’ll make it hard for the team to cut him loose. I believe him when he says he wants to retire an Eagle but more because I get the feeling he wants to rub it in the pundits and fans who criticize him faces that he was tougher than them and earned his spot. Since that HBO interview, I’ve been noticing more a trickster persona in him where he’s let that stuff go and is just going to have fun and damn what kind of team they put around him.

    Thanks for giving the Flyers some love, Michelle, because I went and bought a black home sweater this past weekend and had it on when the eliminated the Habs on Saturday. I would love to see them go from worst last season to hoisting the Cup this year because if they can get past the Penguins and then most likely the Red Wings believe me they will have earned it.

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