Thursday, January 9, 2014
At 22, Eagles can still find talent in draft
By Phil Sheridan
PHILADELPHIA -- The good news for Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly is he doesn’t have to spend the next couple months traveling to high school kids’ homes and recruiting them.
The bad news?
"It’s a different league," Kelly said. "This isn't recruiting where you can go out and offer and try to get them to come. There's a selection in the draft process and we're not going to pick until the 22nd [spot in the first round]. There's 21 other guys that we may covet, but we don't have an opportunity to get them."
If a team drafted 22d every year and did well, it could be awfully good. Based on the last 10 years, drafting only players taken between No. 22 and No. 32 (the end of the first round), a team could have Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, wide receivers Dez Bryant and Santonio Holmes, running backs Steven Jackson and Chris Johnson, linebackers Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, safety Brandon Meriweather and defensive linemen Cameron Jordan and Sharrif Floyd.
You could do worse. Plenty of teams did do worse. Cleveland took two quarterbacks, Brady Quinn and Brandon Weeden, at No. 22.
Later we’ll look at some possible players the Eagles could consider at No. 22 in this year’s draft. For now, here’s a quick look at the 22nd pick in each of the past 10 NFL drafts, along with a few players that were on the board at the time (I didn’t go beyond the end of the first round out of fairness; just looking at first-round graded players):
2013: Cornerback Desmond Trufant from Washington, selected by Atlanta.
On the board: Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, WR/Returner Cordarrelle Patterson, defensive end Datone Jones.
2012: Quarterback Brandon Weeden from Oklahoma State, selected by Cleveland.
On the board: Linebackers Dont'a Hightower and Nick Perry, running back Doug Martin.
2011: Offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo from Boston College, selected by Indianapolis.
On the board: Offensive lineman Danny Watkins, defensive end Cameron Jordan, running back Mark Ingram.
2010: Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas from Georgia Tech, selected by Denver.
On the board: Wide receiver Dez Bryant, quarterback Tim Tebow, cornerback Devin McCourty.
2009: Wide receiver Percy Harvin from Florida, selected by Minnesota.
On the board: Offensive tackle Michael Oher, cornerback Vontae Davis, linebacker Clay Matthews.
2008: RB Felix Jones from Arkansas, selected by Dallas.
On the board: Running backs Rashard Mendenhall and Chris Johnson, cornerback Mike Jenkins.
2007: Quarterback Brady Quinn from Notre Dame, selected by Cleveland.
On the board: Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, safety Brandon Meriweather, linebackers Jon Beason and Anthony Spencer, offensive tackle Joe Staley.
2006: Linebacker Manny Lawson from N.C. State, selected by San Francisco.
On the board: Offensive lineman Davin Joseph, wide receiver Santonio Holmes, running back DeAngelo Williams, defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka.
2005: Wide receiver Mark Clayton from Oklahoma, selected by Baltimore.
On the board: Cornerback Fabian Washington, quarterback Aaron Rodgers, wide receiver Roddy White.
2004: Quarterback J.P. Losman from Tulane, selected by Buffalo.
On the board: Defensive tackle Marcus Tubbs, running back Steven Jackson, defensive end Jason Babin.