2011 NFL Draft: Re-Draft for the Philadelphia Eagles
Even though it is early to grade the Eagles 2011 draft class, I think there were some questionable picks.
Andy Reid and Howie Roseman still put together a solid rookie class that will contribute to the team's success.
This article was just to see how the draft class would look if I was in charge of the Eagles and could make the decisions.
Nevertheless, let's take a look at who I think the Eagles should have drafted.
Round 1 Pick 23: CB Jimmy Smith
Original Pick: G Danny Watkins
Smith, at 6'2'' 205 pounds, ran in the 4.4's and has huge upside.
Smith's play earned him 2010 First Team All-Big 12 honors, as he recorded 68 tackles.
Though he did not intercept a pass all season, Smith was not targeted. He shut down the opponents' best wide receivers. Smith is a great run supporter, he is obviously big in size and is also great in press coverage.
Character concerns hurt Smith's draft position, as he had top 10 talent and yet was drafted in the late first round by the Ravens.
Smith's press skills would have been a perfect fit for the defense.
Round 2 Pick 54: DE Justin Houston
Original Pick: S Jaiqwann Jarrett
Houston recorded 10 sacks and was up to 6'3'' 270 pounds at the Combine. He still ran a 4.63 in the 40-yard dash and notched a 36.5-inch vertical.
Houston could have been the solution to an average pass rush, lacking an ideal complement to Trent Cole, especially with the recent news of Brandon Graham.
With an explosive first step, Houston would have fit Jim Washburn's defensive scheme.
Houston's character concerns dropped him all the way to the third round, even though he was projected by most to go in the top 30 picks.
Round 3 Pick 85: G Clint Boling
Original Pick: CB Curtis Marsh
Boling was expected to go in the second-third range and yet the Bengals got a steal in the fourth round with the guard.
At 6'5'' 310 pounds, Boling was a versatile guard who was athletic.
Boling has good lateral quickness and could move around on the offensive line.
He was a great run blocker in college as well, as he could generate a push on the defensive line.
Round 4 Pick 116: LB Casey Matthews
Original Pick: LB Casey Matthews
While Matthews does not have the physical tools, he has a relentless motor and never stops working on and off the field.
Matthews can play all three linebacking spots, though he would excel in the middle, calling the plays out for the defense.
Matthews is only 6'1'' 232 pounds, but has the heart and is one of the best at reading and reacting quickly.
The Eagles continue drafting high-character guys and Matthews could even win a starting job. I think he could play right away on special teams.
Round 4 Pick 120: K Alex Henery
Original Pick: K Alex Henery
People are calling Henery the best kicker to enter the draft in a while. He consistently hit bombs beyond 50 yards.
He hit 18-of-19 of his field goals, and 10-of-11 beyond 40.
It might have been a little early for a kicker, but Henery has immense talent.
Look for the Akers era to end in Philly.
Round 5 Pick 149: RB Dion Lewis
Original Pick: RB Dion Lewis
Dion Lewis went from being in the same backfield in Pittsburgh with current starting running back LeSean McCoy to playing with him in Philadelphia.
Lewis is a smaller back at 5'7'' 192 pounds, but he was a workhorse at Pittsburgh.
Though he does not have elite speed, he is more football fast and has great vision like McCoy. He sees the hole and hits it fast.
In the open field, Lewis can embarrass defenders with his quick cuts; and with a low center of gravity, he can get by defenders.
Lewis has solid hands and will prove to be a solid option out of the backfield for Michael Vick.
In college, Lewis had 52 receptions for 405 yards and a touchdown.
Look for Lewis to take over the backup running back spot for the Eagles next season.
Round 5 Pick 161: LB Quan Sturdivant
Original Pick: G Julian Vandervelde
Quan Sturdivant played inside linebacker at UNC, but would have had the speed to play weakside linebacker for the Eagles.
Sturdivant recorded 62 tackles and 3 sacks, while only playing in seven games.
He is a tackling machine and is attracted to the ball.
Sturdivant may not be a flashy linebacker, but he does provide consistency. He will not miss assignments and is solid in coverage.
It was a steal that the Cardinals got one of the best linebackers of this year's class in the sixth round.
Round 6 Pick 191: DT Jerrell Powe
Original Pick: C Jason Kelce
Powe at 330 pounds is very quick off the ball.
As one of the best Mississippi defenders, Powe recorded 27 tackles, 8.5 tackle for losses, and 2.5 sacks last season.
Powe has long arms and uses his hands to generate a great amount of push.
He can bull rush and make many plays in the backfield.
Round 6 Pick 193: G Lee Ziemba
Original Pick: LB Brian Rolle
Lee Ziemba, a guard out of Auburn, struggled in the Senior Bowl, but there is still no denying his talent.
Ziemba is 6'6'' and 320 pounds, and I thought he could have gone as high as the fourth round.
He ended up being picked late in the seventh round.
Ziemba is a much better run blocker than pass blocker, but he can certainly improve in pass protection.
Round 7 Pick 237: LB Greg Lloyd
Original Pick: LB Greg Lloyd
Greg Lloyd III is the son of Steelers great Greg Lloyd II.
At 6'1'' 245 pounds, Lloyd has good size and translates to the middle. Like Matthews, Lloyd has great instincts and can read and react.
He tackles very well and uses his hands to shed blocks. Lloyd brings toughness to the Eagles linebacking corps as he is one of the bigger hitters in the draft.
As a pass rusher and run stopper, Lloyd is one of the best, and though he will not be a three-down player because of the lack of his coverage skills, he is still a great seventh-round steal.
Lloyd tore his ACL and MCL in 2009 and spent most of last season recovering from it, which explains why he dropped a bit.
Lloyd struggles moving backwards, which will hurt him on passing plays, but on obvious running plays, Lloyd will be very effective.
Round 7 Pick 240: S DeAndre McDaniel
Original Pick: Stanley Havili
McDaniel seems to be falling, especially with his character concerns.
He is a big hitter in the secondary and is solid enough in coverage, though most would not characterize that as his best asset.
McDaniel is 6'1'' and 217 pounds and ran in the mid 4.6's at the Combine.
Though you would like him to be faster, McDaniel can impact the defense with his bone-crushing hits.
He would be a capable complement to the faster coverage safety, Nate Allen.
If anything, he could be a solid depth player for a safety group lacking a hard hitter.