Andy Reid Changes Draft Style, Goes For Immediate Need

Rob LangiContributor IApril 29, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 18:  Head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on during the NFC championship game against the Arizona Cardinals on January 18, 2009 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

If someone told you that your team would draft one of the top two receivers in the draft, one of the top five running backs, and one of the top three or four tight ends, how would you react?

If you are an Eagles fan one word may fit: FINALLY.

After years of offensive and defensive lineman being drafted early and often, the Eagles changed their plans this year, picking wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, running back LeSean McCoy, and tight end Cornelius Ingram, with their first three picks in the draft respectively.

Maclin was seen as a possible top 10 pick by many scouts throughout the league. Perhaps the Oakland Raiders just missed his workouts, game tape and the combine, as they reached, to say the least, for Darrius Heyward-Bey of Maryland.

It is unlikely that the Birds were looking for a wide receiver with their first pick, especially Maclin. But when he fell to 19, Andy Reid and the Eagles brass made an aggressive move to jump up two spots and grab him without hesitation.

In the second round, most felt the Eagles would need to trade up if they wanted to get the last of the top running backs in the draft. The Birds stood pat, and lone behold, McCoy out of Pittsburgh fell into their laps, and from there it was a no-brainer to draft the kid who many believe is the ideal fit for their system.

It also does not hurt to have the heir apparent to Brian Westbrook, as he will turn 30 before the season. 

On day two, the Eagles began to frustrate fans when they traded out of the third round to stock up on more picks later in the day and next year. Many felt that they still had too many needs to be pulling the "old Eagles way."

However in the fifth round, they began with six picks. In a bit of a surprising move, instead of using a pick to draft a corner for insurance with the Sheldon Brown situation, the Eagles were able to package two of their fifth rounders and acquire four-year starting corner, Ellis Hobbs, from the New England Patriots.

With a player who has already established himself in the NFL at that position, Reid and company were able to be more flexible in the draft. And with their first pick in the fifth round, the Eagles drafted tight end Cornelius Ingram out of Florida.

Despite missing last season with a torn ACL, many had this young man as the second or third best tight end in the entire draft. Lucky for the Eagles, he fell to them in the fifth and they scooped him up.

Lets recap: A top 10 talent receiver; an All-Pro left tackle; a top five running back; a four-year starting NFL corner; a tight end with a whole lot of upside. 

Understand that it is near impossible to judge a draft before the players actually play a few games, maybe even a few seasons in the NFL. But it sure looks promising right now. It seems as though Andy had a mission this year.

Mission Accomplished.


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