|Philadelphia Eagles 2011 NFL Draft Review|
|By Scott Garbarini, NFL Editor|
1 - Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor (6-3, 310);
2 - Jaiquawn Jarrett, S, Temple (6-0, 198);
3 - Curtis Marsh, CB, Utah State (6-1, 197);
4 - Casey Matthews, ILB, Oregon (6-1, 231);
4- Alex Henery, K, Nebraska (6-1, 177);
5 - Dion Lewis, RB, Pittsburgh (5-7, 193);
5 - Julian Vandervelde, OG, Iowa (6-2, 301);
6 - Jason Kelce, C, Cincinnati (6-3, 280);
6 - Brian Rolle, OLB, Ohio State (5-10, 229);
7 - Greg Lloyd, ILB, Connecticut (6-1, 246);
7 - Stanley Havili, FB, USC (6-0, 227)
Top Pick Analysis: The offensive line was a weak spot for the Eagles last season, prompting the team to eschew a glaring need at cornerback and take one of the draft's most intriguing prospects in Watkins, a 26-year-old former firefighter who's only played organized football for four years. A two-year starter at left tackle at Baylor, he'll have to kick inside in the pros due to his squatty build but has the strength, agility and competitiveness to make the transition. Jarrett went higher than expected in a weak safety crop, but he's a hard hitter who excels in run support and could be the future on the strong side. Marsh ran very well at the combine but is a project, having spent his first two years at Utah State as a running back. One of the more interesting picks was Henery, a legitimate NFL kicking prospect whose addition likely spells the end of David Akers' 12-year reign with the organization.
Best Value Pick: Havili is perfectly suited for Andy Reid's West Coast offense as an undersized fullback with above-average receiving skills. He's got an excellent chance to stick on the 53-man roster.
We Question Why: The Eagles didn't take a cornerback who's better equipped to play immediately than Marsh, unless they've got something up their sleeve in free agency. Not taking a defensive lineman, a place where Reid historically likes to stockpile young talent, was also a surprise.
Summary: The lockout roster freeze really hurt the Eagles, who could have parlayed backup quarterback Kevin Kolb into a premium draft choice or two had player trades been allowed, and the absence of a ready-made cornerback suggests the team may make a hard run at Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency. As for the newcomers, Watkins should be a solid starter off the bat and Henery's selection is actually justifiable, but Philadelphia reached a bit in the second and third rounds and the remainder of the lot are mostly backup types.
FINAL GRADE: C-