Andy Reid’s offensive game plan is predictable.
His draft-day strategy? Not so much.
During 11 seasons as the head coach, it is impossible to figure out what Reid is going to do based on past draft-day performances.
Here’s his track record with the round number listed first and the overall pick listed second in parentheses:
1999 (1,2): QB, Donovan McNabb
2000 (1,6): DT, Corey Simon
2001 (1,25): WR, Freddie Mitchell
2002 (1,26): CB, Lito Sheppard
2003 (1,15): DE Jerome McDougle
2004 (1,16): OT, Shawn Andrews
2005 (1,31): DT, Mike Patterson
2006 (1,14): DT, Broderick Bunkley
2007 (2,36): QB, Kevin Kolb
2008 (2,47): DT, Trevor Laws
2009 (1,19): WR, Jeremy Maclin
It’s not a bad track record at all, but you walk away with few answers and one major question. The only answers we have are these:
Reid Does Not Have a Track Record for Our Current Needs
The Eagles need defensive help in the worst way and they need it in the form of a safety, linebacker, or defensive end.
Over the years, Reid has taken four defensive tackles, two quarterbacks, two wide receivers, one offensive linemen, one defensive end, and one cornerback.
Reid certainly doesn’t have a track record that makes us feel confident when it comes to our current positions of need because Reid has only addressed those three positions once with his first selection in a draft.
It’s hard to deny the Eagles need those positions filled. The debate can run wild when it comes to putting trust in Reid to address those positions with his first pick in the draft.
Reid Struggles Outside of the Top-20
Reid has struggled to draft impact players outside of the top-20 with his first pick in the draft. Mitchell (25) never lived up to the hype, Sheppard (26) proved to be a very good draft pick, Patterson (31) has been a solid player (but was he anything special?), and Laws (47) does not appear to ready to make any significant impact on the D-line.
Kolb (36) has the opportunity to change our thinking, but until he shows us what he has or doesn’t have, we can’t include him on the list until the end of this year.
The assessment that Reid struggles with his first pick occurring outside of the top 20 should not be a complete knock against Reid. It is obviously more difficult to draft impact players with picks 20-32 when compared to picks 1-19.
So with the 24th overall selection we are left with one major question:
Will Reid Trade Up or Trade Down and Does It Matter?
Reid played the cards he was dealt from 1999-2002. In 2003 he traded up 15 spots to draft McDougle.
Things did not work out well for either party on and off the field. The pick went down as a bust and Reid’s first attempt to improve through trading up was deemed a failure.
In 2004, Reid traded up 15 spots again and drafted Andrews. Eagles fans were frustrated with the offensive linemen, but as things unfolded, Andrews proved he was one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL and an incredible steal by Reid.
Andrews then battled injuries and depression, which ultimately led to his release. There are numerous ways to evaluate this pick. No one knew Andrews was going to have those issues, so I will give Reid a pass and say trading up to get Andrews was a great move.
Following a split decision with trading up, Reid traded down ten spots in 2007 to select Kolb. The trade helped out the Cowboys as they were able to acquire Anthony Spencer.
To call this trade good or bad is still up in the air. The fans were ticked, McNabb was confused, and so were the fans.
In 2008 the fans went nuts when Reid traded out of the 19th overall pick and pigeon-holed himself with the 47th overall selection, which landed him Laws. As stated earlier, this appears to be a bust.
Fans were quick to say Reid would rather trade down instead of trading up even though he did both twice.
It seems like Reid will trade up if he sees a player that addresses a major need for the team. But since most agree that defensive end, linebacker, and safety are the biggest needs it appears unlikely that Reid will trade up in this year’s draft.
But who knows? Reid has proven to be unpredictable on draft day.