Day 1...Did You Really See This Coming?
Today was all about the speculations. A friend and I were on our way to Lincoln Financial Field for the Eagles Draft Party. I'm listened to the radio hoping for a last minute move to bring in either Braylon Edwards or Anquan Boldin.
I just knew that the Birds were going to obtain that stud receiver today along with using the No. 21 pick on Knowshon Moreno. Boy was I wrong.
When the Oakland Raiders selected Darius Heyward-Bey (Maryland) with the No. 7 pick instead of Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech), that was my first clue that it would be a very interesting Day 1 of the draft.
As far as the Eagles were concerned, I wanted them to upgrade at the three offensive skill positions of wide receiver, tight end and running back (in no particular order) before the day was over.
Two thirds of my request was fulfilled, but how it was done is what threw me completely off-guard. I kept thinking to myself about the last article I wrote. When it comes to the Philadelphia Eagles, expect the unexpected.
When Denver picked running back Knowshon Moreno (Georgia) at No. 12, there definitely were a few grumbles echoing throughout the Linc. Many fans felt he was the only option at running back.
I kept thinking that the best next option is LeSean McCoy(Pittsburgh) for running back, but they definitely were going to have to trade up in the second round for him.
Before that though, let's keep our fingers crossed that tight end Brandon Pettigrew stays available until pick No. 21.
When the Eagles traded with the ultra-generous Cleveland Browns to jump up to pick No. 19, I was prepared to cheer for our new starting TE.
Then came the shocker. The Eagles selected wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (Missouri) and all I could do was just stand still for five minutes with my jaw dropped. Initially there were mixed feelings surrounding me. Some fans loved the pick, others hated it.
Once recollected my thoughts and came back to Earth, I thought about previous reports about Maclin. He was the No. 2 wideout in this draft behind Crabtree. He was projected to be a top 10 pick. Simply put, he fell right to the Eagles as a gift and I'm happy they cordially accepted.
I didn't pay much attention to him before the draft because I figured if he's a top 10 prospect there's absolutely know way he'll end up in midnight green. Thank God mock drafts are meaningless.
The Eagles need to send another thank you present to Al Davis (the first for the win over Tampa last year that helped the Eagles reach the post season). You see, if he didn't have such an infatuation with speed, the Raiders would've selected Crabtree instead of Heyward-Bey, prompting the San Francisco 49ers to take Maclin at No. 10.
Yes, the Eagles could've still taken Pettigrew but Maclin is actually a better fit. Also, there are still quite a few tight end prospects available that could contribute immediately.
To top the day off, the Eagles were able to select McCoy in the second round without having to trade up. McCoy actually is a player I originally felt would fit the Birds style of play better than Moreno.
I truly believe the Harrisburg, Pa., native will be the heir apparent to Brian Westbrook.
Once again, the Eagles made a move nobody saw coming. Unlike previous years, I must say it was a pleasant surprise. They addressed a need fans screamed about for years and they kept their first round pick.
I'll give them an A for Day 1 of the draft. Now it's time to look forward confidently to Day 2 selections....
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