In the NFL, there are three types of head coaches: the builder, the game planner, and the game day coach. The builder is the coach who makes great draft choices and builds a great team that eventually wins a championship. The game planner is the coach who makes OK draft choices but writes a smart playbook that enables an average team to achieve an above-average record. The game day coach is the coach whose draft choices seem irrelevant but always seems to make the right choices in the midst of the game and lead their team to wins.
Sean Payton would be the game day coach. He coaches games like he's playing Madden, and his gutsy choices always seem to be right. Who will ever forget the onside kick to start the second half of Super Bowl XLIV?
Andy Reid would be the guy in the middle. He never had great squads (with the exception of 2004) and even the most casual Eagles fan can tell you that he is a poor game day coach. Having said that, his Eagles have made the playoffs in nine out of his 12 seasons, and I believe that this shows his talent as a great game planner. He has said in the past that he believes first-round picks are overrated and truly believes he can win the Super Bowl with execution and not talent.
In this article, I will play the what-if game and examine how Andy could have built an A-team with his first-round picks. For every draft, I'll list the player we drafted and the player we should have drafted. All the players on this list are still active NFL players and theoretically could still be in Eagle green.
I don't know if these players would have all materialized the way they did in our system, but it's fun to think about. So sit back and enjoy the ride. It should be a good one.