NFL.com Grades Eagles’ 2015 Draft Class a C+
All draft classes have hits and misses, it is never an exact science - but the teams who can hit in the top of the draft certainly fair much better. That wasn't the case with this year's Eagles draft class with Nelson Agholor and Eric Rowe, the teams top two picks, struggling for the most part.
While it seems fans remember the misses, like Danny Watkins, Marcus Smith, or Nate Allen more than the hits like Lane Johnson, Fletcher Cox or Zach Ertz - the draft if the best way to build your team for long-term success.
While its not fair to judge a player based on just one year, the Eagles need to get more from both Agholor and Rowe, their top two picks in 2015, to make this a successful draft class. Jordan Hicks looks like a keeper, but the rest of the class is a lacking.
Over at NFL.com, Bucky Brooks handed out his grades for the Eagles 2015 draft class which he gives a C+.
The Chip Kelly experiment is over, but the ex-coach's imprint will remain on the organization, thanks to his handpicked selections in the 2015 NFL Draft. Nelson Agholor (23 catches for 283 yards and one score) didn't play up to expectations as a rookie, but the implementation of more West Coast offensive principles under new coach Doug Pederson should play to Agholor's strengths as a catch-and-run specialist. Eric Rowe was thrown into the fire in the Eagles' aggressive bump-and-run defensive system. Although he struggled a bit early, he settled in and showed promise near the end of the season. Jordan Hicks, whose season ended with a torn pectoral in November, appears to be a great find for the team. Not only is he a productive tackler with superb instincts and awareness; Hicks is a natural leader with a knack for making plays in the hole.
The lack of production from the teams top two picks, even though both flashed potential at times during the season, was enough to bring the team's grade down. The team’s first-round pick, Agholor, had just 23 catches for 283 yards with one touchdown. Second rounder Eric Rowe showed the ability to make plays after taking over for an injured Nolan Carroll, but the jewel of the class was third rounder Jordan Hicks. In eight games, Hicks made a huge impact for the Eagles defense making plays in a variety of ways, forcing and recovering fumbles, battling down passes and just showing a nose for the ball - he saved this draft.
As we enter the 2016 draft season, the combine is coming up, this draft can go a long way to rebuilding the Eagles back to the top of the NFC East. As we enter the combine, Brooks has an idea of what the Eagles should be focusing on at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
The uncertainty surrounding quarterback Sam Bradford's free-agent status makes it imperative for the Eagles, who own the 13th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, to investigate any quarterback with intriguing potential. Thus, they'll certainly spend time with North Dakota State's Carson Wentz, Cal's Jared Goff, Memphis' Paxton Lynch and Michigan State's Connor Cook to determine whether they have the goods to develop into into franchise quarterbacks. The Eagles could also use a speed receiver to stretch the field. Baylor's Corey Coleman, Notre Dame's Will Fuller and Ohio State's Braxton Miller could draw interest. Boise State's Darian Thompson is a safety prospect to keep an eye on, based on his natural skills as a center fielder and communicator.
The idea that the Eagles will look to the draft to find a quarterback is not a surprising one, but wide receiver is an area the Eagles have taken high in the draft the previous two years and if the Eagles allow Walter Thurmond to walk in free agency, safety will be an area of need.