Earlier this week an ESPN journalist who will remain nameless because frankly, I absolutely loathe him as much as Craig James, reported that the Eagles were looking at bringing in a Defensive Consultant. The Eagles quickly refuted that report, as they always do reports from this individual because he seems to pull them out of his rectum.
After dismissing the drivel, I actually took some time to think about what I do think the Eagles do need to bring in. Of course, the first would be a new Defensive Coordinator as Juan Castillo just isn’t getting the job done. Look, I love Juan. He’s a great guy, I’ve spoken to him in the past and know his son Greg well, but it’s time to go back to the offensive side of the ball. Sorry, I just hate to see him get personally hammered.
Looking at it deeper though, it’s time to bring in a Defensive Consultant for the draft and/or, hire some new scouts. Why?
The Eagles drafted 48 players on the defensive side of the ball from 1999-2010 and traded up twice in the 1st round to secure the guy they wanted. Just counting the 1st round trade-ups, that’s 50 picks allocated to those players drafted. How have they faired so far?
What if I told you only 9 of the 48 players they’ve drafted have ever started a full 16-game season for the team? In fact, if you take out the years 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002; you can drop that number to 4 completing a full season as a starter.
Yes, that’s four 16-game starters drafted in the past 9 drafts.
Only a total of five players since 1999 have started two complete seasons for the Birds of those 48 picks. Oh, and the only two still on the team are Mike Patterson and Trent Cole. Props to the Eagles on finding a gem in Cole, but it’s not confidence inspiring that your biggest success since TLC’s “No Scrubs” was at the top of the Billboard Charts.
Speaking of “No Scrubs”, since that excellent 2002 draft class, the Eagles have picked up 37 players on the defensive side of the ball. Talk about turnover. 11 of the 37 are still on the team with one on IR in Victor Abiamiri, one on the practice squad in Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and a third on the PUP in Brandon Graham.
Zero players remain from 2006, Abiamiri from 2007, only Trevor Laws from 2008 and Moises Fokou from 2009.
So, what’s my point? I’m getting there…
Let’s take a look at who starts on this defensive squad or at least, what round is starting…
DE – 5th round
DT – 1st round
LB – 7th round
LB – 7th round
LB – 6th round
FS – 2nd round
SS – 7th round
Before the draft in 2009 the Eagles pulled off a trade with the Buffalo Bills to bring left tackle Jason Peters to Philadelphia giving up their 1st round pick. He was a young, proven player and it’s worked out well for them.
With the salary cap you can’t do this constantly, but it’s something I’d like to see the Eagles start looking into as I see an obvious inability to either evaluate or develop defensive players.
The Eagles have had some excellent drafts over the years and have also done very well with undrafted players, but I see this as a time to start seizing the moment … and by seizing the moment, I mean getting in some players that can tackle. Preferably at linebacker by the way… (Brian Rolle excluded of course)