4 Reach Picks the Eagles Absolutely Must Avoid in the 2013 NFL Draft
The Eagles are in great need of playmakers, but they should be careful not to overreach for players just to fill holes on their roster. A good GM drafts both for need and the best player available, and taking a player too high could have drastic, long-term consequences for the franchise.
All of the following players on this list are excellent prospects, but due to the circumstances of the Eagles and the picks they have, they would be reaches and wasted opportunities for the Eagles to address other needs with better talent.
1. Geno Smith (QB)
Geno Smith has all of the physical tools to be an excellent quarterback in the NFL. But despite being the best quarterback in the draft, he is not worthy of a first overall pick, nor is he worth a top five pick. It is why Andy Reid passed on him and chose to sign Alex Smith instead, and the Eagles should pass on him as well.
Smith has a great arm, excellent mobility and impressive intangibles. But Smith struggles with consistency, especially when it comes to accuracy. His footwork needs more work, and he is still overall a work in progress, possibly needing a year to develop.
While Smith may seem like a good fit for Kelly's offense, his inconsistency raises concerns. Taking him would be too much of a risk at fourth overall.
2. Ryan Nassib (QB)
Just as the Eagles should not reach with their first-round pick, they also should be careful with how they use their second-round pick. It may be tempting to select a quarterback of the future, but Nassib is not the answer.
Nassib is projected to go in the second round, but the Eagles have too high of a second-round pick to select him. Nassib is still a very flawed player and requires a great deal of work.
Although he has a strong arm and good release, Nassib needs work with his footwork and he takes far too many chances. He has a hitch in his release, which affects his accuracy, and he does not possess elite speed.
Nassib may develop into a good player someday, but it is hard to imagine him as a consistent starter. And he looks like too much of a work in progress to draft high in the second round.
3. Matt Elam (S)
Matt Elam is one of the best safeties in the draft, but that does not mean he is worthy of the 35th overall pick. Elam is a playmaker, but is too much of a home-run hitter and is beaten too often.
He is incredibly athletic and can make bone-breaking hits, but he does not wrap up consistently and often misses tackles. In addition, he often allows himself to be beaten in pass coverage, and part of this is due to his small size—5'10".
Elam can make big plays, but he is not the type of safety the Eagles are looking for.
4. Jamar Taylor (CB)
Jamar Taylor is a good player, but he is not a player who fits the scheme of the Eagles, and for that reason he would be a reach at 35th overall.
Taylor is an aggressive player and has great agility and keeps up with receivers well. But he has not had much experience playing press coverage. He also did not play against elite competition in college.
His aggressiveness can also backfire at times, as he can be beaten with double moves frequently. Selecting him would be a reach with the 35th overall pick.