The 2017 NFL draft event that was held in Philadelphia the City of Brotherly Love was as much historic as it was memorable. Whether you were the commissioner Roger Goodell or ex-Cowboys Drew Pearson, you felt and embraced the football fans of Philadelphia like never before. What was once skeptical in the minds of the sports media throughout the TV and radio networks was met with thousands of passionate Eagles fans. The three Day event is still being talked about by reporters, players, fans of every news source that they represent. If you weren’t there to experience the excitement of each twist and turn of events, then I’m sorry that you couldn’t be there. As of this day, I still catch myself pumping out the Philadelphia Eagles fight song at the thought of Westbrook and Dawkins speech.
It’s a great time to be excited about Philadelphia sports, especially our Philadelphia Eagles. I think it’s the first time in a long while that many Eagles fans have been this excited about an Philadelphia Eagles draft. We all knew that going into 2017 that we needed more production out of our offense and defense. Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas added a few key pieces for coach Doug Pederson around Carson Wentz. Then Howie and Joe gave coach Schwartz a little more defensive support. I think these guys had a real productive draft this year. They took a draft rebuilding idea from the past and implemented it beautifully. They were able to draft key productive talent not only in some areas of need but that actually fit the Eagles system. This new drafted and undrafted players class has the opportunity to impact all 3 major levels of our Eagles team.
Too many times we get caught up in the false environment of the NFL Combine and its numbers. The NFL Combine numbers are important but I think the numbers that these players produced on the field should never take back seat. The NFL Combine numbers can project some things. One thing for sure it cannot measure someone football IQ, mental toughness, willingness, dedication and their love of the game. These traits when added to physical talent is what allows a player to consistently produce solid results. One example has been the discussion of the selection of Allen or Jones over Barnett. They believe the other two players may have presented a slightly better “NFL Combine test numbers”. I honestly am not sure if Allen or Jones even fit the Eagles defensive system and scheme as well. If you’re going by the numbers, I love what Barnett was able to produce on the field. His on the field production was as good as anyone’s and better than most. When you put these lineman in the same game environment against similar top talent, all Barnett did was produce. The theme of the Eagles draft choices this year seemed to be about players that demonstrated high motor, high IQ that consistently produced at a high level.
The Eagles new line rotation of Fletcher Cox, Tim-Jernigan, Vinny Curry, Brandon Graham, Chris Long and Derek Barnett should be able to create enough QB pressure in a domino effect to help the linebackers and cornerbacks. The Eagles have improved their defensive secondary through the draft with the selection of Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas. Sidney Jones without a doubt was considered a 1st round pick while many had him rated as the top rated or #2 cornerback in the draft (based on production). Yes he will miss some game time with his injury. If players like Suggs and Jason Peters came back, I think the young 20yr old player Sidney Jones can recover as well. Sidney Jones is considered the lock-down cornerback that the Eagles haven’t had in a long time. He’s another baller that consistenly produces and isn’t afraid of any challenge. Welcome to Philly Sidney and Rasul.
I believe that our offensive game just got a little better than last year with the draft selection of Mack Hollins. The amount of yards after the catch and touchdowns is something that you really need to recognize. The speed that he brings to our receiving core as a deep threat should be a welcomed benefit. Add that threat to what Alshon Jeffrey, Torrey Smith and Jordan Mathews brings will be something special to see.
My sleeper Eagles draft picks on offense are Donnel Pumphreys and Shelton Gibson. Gibson just may be one of the fastest and quickest wide receiver you’ll want to see. The excitement that he brings may just remind you of an ex-Eagle that now with Tampa. As far as Donnel Pumphrey goes, there simply wasn’t a more productive college running back ever in college than him. Small but mighty, tough as nails that simply just run and scores.
Are we excited about our Philadelphia Eagles finishing with more wins than last year while making the playoffs? We sure are because they’re an improved team across the board from last year. Are they done with tweaking their roster, I don’t think so. Are exciting times ahead, you better believe it. They’re finally building a winning team the right way. Right now every Philadelphia fan of all sports should be excited. There’s nothing like Eagles playoffs except for when all four teams are competing in the playoffs during the same calendar year. That excitement started with the Eagles draft and now our Sixers, Flyers and Phillies are next. Our Sixers could end up with 2 picks in the top 10 selections on June 22. Then two days later our Flyers will be selecting the 2nd overall lottery draft pick. Eagles you’re still front and center, so keep it going in the right direction this off season…
Fly Eagles Fly!
Bruce Jacobs (Contributor)