Another Eagles’ draft class has been lit on fire which has been a growing and major concern since their Super Bowl victory in 2017. The apparent disconnect from the front office to the coaches is truly astounding.
It’s only been two weeks, but it’s not like the draft class is shining. Fifth-round pick John Hightower will try and take over for Jalen Reagor after it was revealed that an injury will cost him most of his rookie campaign. Seventh-rounder Casey Toohill got his first taste of NFL football with 22 snaps last week, and Jalen Hurts could sprinkle into 2-QB sets. The trio had 32 snaps combined through the opening two weeks.
Speaking of the rookie signal-caller, the Eagles unfairly put doubt in the mind of Carson Wentz instead of using the pick on a player like J.K Dobbins or Jeremy Chinn. The Panthers rookie safety would’ve been a great addition for the Eagles’ secondary while Dobbins could’ve formed a devastating 1-2 punch in the Eagles’ backfield.
Instead, the team used a premium draft selection on a backup quarterback while they’re paying Wentz $128 million over four years.
That draft pick was a total waste for not only the Eagles but Hurts, who won’t really get any opportunities in the NFL for a long time.
The 2017 Debacle
It’s a growing concern the Eagle’s who can’t hit on their draft picks and this 2020 class isn’t exactly silencing that rhetoric.
Although you can’t account for injuries in grading rookies like 2019 first-rounder Andre Dilliard and 2020 first-rounder Jalen Reagor. The majority of the Eagles’ draft classes since 2017 have been released or just don’t get any opportunities through the coaching staff.
Currently, the Eagles have just two players from their entire 2017 draft class still on the roster. Most noteworthy the Eagles’ second and third-round picks were released this offseason. Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas were axed and ultimately wasted draft picks by the Eagles.
Amazingly, Douglas has been put in a position to succeed early on for the Panthers.
Rasul Douglas has allowed only 6 out of 11 completions on the season for 46 yards so far this season.
54% completion percentage
Avonte Maddox has allowed 10 out 14 completions for 137 yards this season.
71% completion percentage
— Bryan Cameron (@BCameronPSN) September 23, 2020
Put Me in Coach
Unlike Jim Schwartz, the Panthers are putting their players in positions to succeed, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s working.
Schwartz is continually playing struggling players like Nate Gerry and Marcus Epps, but won’t give rookies any opportunities. I understand you need to earn your reps in this league, but if Nate Gerry is the best linebacker Schwartz thinks he has, what’s the point of even drafting Davion Taylor in the third-round?
It just shows the disconnect between management and the coaching staff. No one seems to be on the same page with what personal the team needs and how to deploy them.
I refuse to believe Taylor is worse than Gerry at this point. Although if he really is worse than Gerry, why use such a high draft pick on a project player? The Eagles need for linebacker help was so glaring after last season and Gerry has been picked apart so far with a dismal 37.4 PFF rating. Somehow he’s gotten worse since last season and unbelievably Taylor can’t get a look.
The same can be said for K’Von Wallace, the Eagles fourth-round pick. He was outstanding for Clemson and elite in coverage throughout his college career but he can’t get any real chances.
K’Von Wallace: 92.1 PFF coverage grade since 2017
1st among NFL Draft safeties pic.twitter.com/4QVqi8obWw
— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 25, 2020
With just six snaps in two weeks Wallace also can’t get a look under Jim Schwartz.
Eagles Draft Class Not Looking Good
So in summary this is what the Eagles top picks look like after two weeks:
Jalen Reagor: 100 snaps, five catches for 96 yards.
Jalen Hurts: Three snaps.
Davion Taylor: 0 snaps.
K’Von Wallace: Nine snaps, one fumble recovery.
With Reagor out long-term, we are now looking at another rookie class that simply won’t make a difference on the field. Even last season JJ Arcega-Whiteside had literally every opportunity to supplant himself as a long-term option and couldn’t give the team a vote of confidence. He did have some highlight real catches, but the team probably could’ve used a field stretcher. Parris Campbell, D.K Metcalf, or Terry McLaurin all would’ve been better selections for what the team needed.
However, he wasn’t the only wrong choice in 2019 as Shareef Miller and Clayton Thorson (DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-CLAYTON THORSON) were released by the team already. So of the entire 2019 draft class, only Mile Sanders is a serious contributor at the moment.
You could actually make the argument that the Eagles have only had one real rookie contributor per draft class over the past four drafts. Derek Barnett, Dallas Goedert, Miles Sanders, and Jalen Reagor.
It’s honestly embarrassing that out of the 17 draft picks between 2017-2019 only nine remain on the team.
So either Roseman is making the wrong draft choices, which is true sometimes. Or he’s picking good players, which is also true sometimes, but they don’t get the opportunity. Or those players get the opportunity but aren’t put in a position to succeed.
The Eagles’ upper management isn’t on the same page when it comes to drafting players and this needs to be the last time they squander a draft class if they ever want to get back to the Super Bowl again.
Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire