2011 NFL Draft Results: Grading the Philadelphia Eagles' Picks
The 2011 NFL Draft is in the books, with this year's first round being one of the more exciting and surprising first rounds we have seen in awhile.
The Philadelphia Eagles continue to build their offensive line through the draft, picking three offensive linemen this year.
In addition to the o-line, the Eagles' biggest needs coming into Thursday night were also outside linebacker and in the secondary. Philadelphia filled all those needs and then some by even picking a kicker for the future.
Here is a final draft grade for each pick by the Philadelphia Eagles.
No. 23 Overall: Danny Watkins, OG (Baylor)
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Like most fans, I first said,"Eh," with this pick.
As the day and weekend went on though, it started to grow on me.
I was hoping for an OT because both Gabe Carimi and Derek Sherrod were still available, but I understand the OG selection. Max Jean-Gilles and Nick Cole are both free agents, so Danny Watkins can step in right away in Week 1.
Watkins will be a 27-year-old rookie, which may be the only downside to this pick. He is a tenacious lineman though with whom Philly fans will fall in love.
No. 54 Overall: Jaiquawn Jarrett, S (Temple)
As a player, I love that the Eagles got Jaiquawn Jarrett from nearby Temple.
For value though, I was not crazy on them selecting him here. I also again can see why the Eagles pulled the trigger because he was the second best safety on most boards after Rahim Moore.
Jarrett looks like the perfect replacement for Quintin Mikell in case he leaves. He is the same type of player who can stop the run and play very physical.
Andy Reid said he compares Jarrett to former Eagles S Brian Dawkins. If he is even close to Dawkins, this will be a great pick.
No. 90 Overall: Curtis Marsh, CB (Utah State)
Curtis Marsh is a raw corner who has played the position for only two seasons.
He started at Utah State as a RB, then converted to CB before his third season.
Marsh has great size for a corner, which the Eagles desperately need; their corners got killed every time they went up against a bigger wide receiver last year.
With good speed and very long arms, Marsh should help the Eagles down the road against the bigger wideouts. He is a project guy who could definitely turn into a starter.
No. 116 Overall: Casey Matthews, LB (Oregon)
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This is my favorite pick for the Eagles this year.
Casey Matthews is a guy who comes from a very strong bloodline of NFL players, including his big brother Clay Matthews.
Casey had a terrific senior season that included a standout game in the National Championship against Cam Newton and Auburn.
He is definitely not going to be like his big brother, but the Eagles are hoping he can provide the some depth at the ILB position.
Casey is also a tenacious player and team leader with a great work ethic.
No. 120 Overall: Alex Henery, K (Nebraska)
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In the fourth round, the Eagles drafted a kicker. Really?
Well since its Alex Henery, I am all for it.
David Akers may not return, and the Eagles absolutely need a reliable kicker because of their shaky red-zone offense.
Henery is one of the better college special teams prospects in recent memory. He was a place kicker and punter at Nebraska, and was brilliant at both.
He kicks 50+ yards with relative ease and pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 26 times last year.
Henery could become a dual K/P for the Eagles.
No. 149 Overall: Dion Lewis, RB (Pittsburgh)
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The Eagles' new 1-2 punch in the backfield will both be products of the University of Pittsburgh.
Dion Lewis broke LeSean McCoy's two-year rushing yards mark, recording 2,860 yards in just his first two seasons as a Panther.
Lewis is a small, but surprisingly powerful back. He is only 5'7", but does not play to his size, thanks to a thick lower body that allows him to break arm-tackles.
He is also more of a north-south type of runner who can also catch the ball out of the backfield.
No. 161 Overall: Julian Vandervelde, OL (Iowa)
Julian Vandervelde is a little undersized, but he makes up for it with his moderate athleticism.
He is very versatile, going back and forth between left and right guard in college, but was expected to be a better fit in a zone-blocking system, which is interesting.
He has been effective at the college level as a four-year starter, but might struggle adapting to the NFL.
No. 191 Overall: Jason Kelce, C (Cincinnati)
Jason Kelce is very undersized for a center in the NFL at only 6'3" and 280 pounds.
He is a good athlete, but perhaps just does not have the size and strength to be a consistent contributor.
Kelce was another prospect who was seen as a better fit in a zone scheme as well. He will probably be a career reserve lineman if he even makes the team.
No. 193 Overall: Brian Rolle, LB (Ohio State)
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Brian Rolle is another undersized player the Eagles are taking a chance on.
At only 5'9", Rolle may have only been drafted for special teams purposes.
If given the chance to play LB though, Rolle is very quick with great speed. He uses all of his 220-pound frame to lay big hits on the ball carrier. Rolle is also above average dropping back into coverage.
No. 237 Overall: Greg Lloyd, DE (UConn)
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The Eagles could not go a whole draft and not pick a defensive lineman.
With the seventh round compensatory selection, Andy Reid picked up Greg Lloyd out of UConn.
Lloyd is projected to help out as a linebacker in the NFL though. He is a big man who has plenty of experience and helped bring the UConn football program to the national stage.
He has struggled staying healthy and had knee issues though.
No. 240 Overall: Stanley Havili, FB (USC)
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Stanley Havili is a guy Andy Reid should love. He is a little undersized at the fullback position, but is excellent at catching the ball out of the backfield.
If he puts on some pounds, Havili could become a very interesting piece for the Eagles' offense. With Leonard Weaver likely done for his career, Havili will immediately battle Owen Schmitt for the starting fullback job.
By selecting Havili, the Eagles pick up the third-rated fullback in the last round.