Was Foster the Way to Go at 14 for Eagles?
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Instead of the typical letter grades that are virtually meaningless until three years down the line we are going to take a stab at critiquing the Eagles draft by looking at what Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas did and what they actually should have done giving the lay of the draft board at the time of Philadelphia's selections.
This will continuously be updated through Days 2 and 3 of the draft.
Round 1, No. 14 overall - DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee - It's no surprise that Howie Roseman called Barnett the top player left on the Eagles' board when he was selected at No. 14 overall.
“We’re really excited to get Derek,” Roseman claimed. “Highest rated guy on our board."
If he injected Howie with truth serum what he really would have said was "He was the highest-rated guy on our board at our obvious positions of need (cornerback, edge rusher, running back and wide receiver)." And that was because Gareon Conley went out clubbing one too many times earlier this
And that was because Gareon Conley went out clubbing one too many times earlier this month and Sidney Jones tore his Achilles at Washington's pro day.
Nonetheless, the productive Barnett is someone Douglas has compared to Terrell Suggs and if that's the end game here, everyone should sign up.
Should have taken: MLB Reuben Foster, Alabama - Once the board fell the way it did, Philadelphia should have opened its mind to a true best-player-available philosophy, specifically in regards to the Alabama triumvirate of defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (No. 17 to Washington), tight end O.J. Howard (19 to Tampa Bay) and middle linebacker Reuben Foster (31 to San Francisco).
Foster particularly is probably a top-10 talent in this draft and fell due to concerns over potential shoulders issues. Physically though he's a thumper that is the closest thing to Ray Lewis since Ray Lewis and although picking would have meant moving the playmaking Jordan Hicks to the weak side, it's certainly something the Eagles should have considered if they were comfortable with the medicals.
John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen