The NFL Draft concluded just over 1 month ago. There is no hiding that a majority of fans were furious with some of the Eagles selections. Very few people were like me and were thrilled about this draft!
The draft is over and have all had time to digest who the Eagles drafted. I am still happy with the selections, and here is my reasoning for why you should be happy as well.
Landon Dickerson will go Down as a Steal in 10 years
Lets get right into the controversy. The Eagles selected the center from Alabama who is known as a "guaranteed injury." Dickerson suffered two torn ACL's in college, so therefore a lot of Eagles fans already rule him as a bust. In his final two seasons at Alabama, he played and started 25 games and was the anchor of the best offensive line in football.
There is no hiding that his most recent injury is why he fell to the Eagles at 37. However, Dickerson is a top 10 talent and we snagged him at 37. I see that as a major steal. The Eagle's offensive line was horrendous in 2020, and Dickerson can step in and compete day 1.
Offensive lineman get lower body injuries all the time. There are very few elite lineman who can play all 16 games without getting hurt at least once. If Dickerson was a skill player with this many lower body injuries, I would want nothing to do with him. However, we saw how many lineman we went through last season. Dickerson can provide some much needed depth.
The skill for Dickerson is there. When you watch his talent, you are blown away by how big and athletic he is. He is the clear heir to Jason Kelce. A year playing behind the game's best center will help Dickerson heal and learn some valuable lessons. He is a high risk with a very high reward.
The other argument against Dickerson was, there are other needs. Yes, that is true. That takes me into my next point!
The Board did not Fall in the Eagles Favor
The dominos did not align for the Eagles. Every Eagles fan knows the biggest hole on the team was CB, and people were not happy that neither of the first two picks was a CB.
However, the pool of CB at each pick was either zero or very small. Instead of reaching for a player, the Eagles took the guy that fell into their laps
Players off the board at each pick:
Pick 10: Patrick Surtain and Jaycee Horn
If one of these guys were on the board, I would have questioned the pick. However, when the pool of candidates is slim, the decision to go elsewhere looks a lot better!
I personally hate when we reach for a player. If the Eagles would have taken a CB at 10 or 37, they would have reached. Since the board did not fall in our favor and we did not find a trade partner, I love the idea of not reaching at all.
Build from the trenches
The other complaint I here is the fact the Eagles focused heavily on offensive and defensive line. You build through the trenches in football.
Making our defensive line as strong as you can is only going to bring success to the defense. By creating pressure in the pocket or eliminating the run, it is going to help create bad decisions by the QB and get our offense on the field quicker. As much as I love him Fletcher Cox is getting old, and Milton Williams is a dawg! If the QB has 10 seconds to throw the ball or the RB can get by untouched, it does not matter who our cornerback or linebacker is; Our defense will be horrendous. The goal for a defense is to get off the field quicker. An elite defensive line will help accomplish that goal!
Dickerson is going to help do two major things. Make sure our new franchise QB Jalen Hurts does not get sacked 100 times a game and he will have time to throw the ball! Secondly, it helps solidify our run game. Dickerson excels better than any lineman in this draft in blocking for the run game. When our first team offensive line plays, Miles Sanders was phenomenal. He started getting hurt more and less production when our offensive line production started to decline.
If Dickerson can help solidify the run game, then my next point will also make fans very happy.
Kenny Gainwell = Most Underrated Pick for the Eagles
This is a guy that I thought was the RB3 in this year's draft. While in college he played behind 3 guys who are all incredible NFL RB's, and I think he is better than all 3! Gainwell is entering the perfect situation. He gets to be paired along side a top tier RB in Miles Sanders, and he will be able to be utilized in many different roles.
He is a top tier RB and also has the potential to be a top tier slot receiver. He has a very high football IQ and elite speed. Both of those will fit great into our offense. I was super high on him throughout the entire draft and never thought he would land in Philly.
Angry Eagles fans only want to talk about the picks they hate. You should learn to LOVE this pick. This should be talked about so much more. By drafting Gainwell, the Eagles have the potential to be one of if not the best running teams in all of football!
Well there you have it. Three great reasons why you should love how the Eagles did at the draft. I am sure I will not be able to flip all of you, and I know only time will tell. I do hope before you ride all these players off as busts, you at least let them play 1 FULL SEASON! We have a new coach, new QB, and a new atmosphere.
If you want to discuss any of these reasons, follow me on Twitter @AdammackNFL and I will be happy to debate. There is one thing we can all agree on... GO BIRDS