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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Peter King on the NFL Draft for the Giants, Eagles

I agree with the veteran SI writer -- if either team is looking for a WR to select with its first-round pick. Basically, the advice is -- don't do it. Read the article (it's short) and draw your own conclusion. King presents great evidence that most WRs taken on the first round fail (which is why in previous years the Eagles have avoided taking WRs on the first round, because it's been reported that they believe WR is one of the deepest positions in college football and that they can fare well with lesser picks). King suggests that the teams -- who usually have winning seasons and are never that far from a serious playoff run -- trade their picks for either Braylon Edwards (although he had a lot of drops last year) or Anquan Boldin. It's pretty sound advice.

It will be interesting to see what both teams do, and you'll recall that there was a good article in "ESPN the Magazine" a few years ago that suggested that teams really shouldn't want to select anyone with a high pick because the failure rate was so high (as was the expense of the failures). Don't be surprised that if the Eagles don't see someone they like with the 21st pick that they trade down and out of the first round for the third year in a row. They also need a TE and a running back, and their philosophy also has been that you can get good value from the RB position after the first round.

And despite Philadelphia fans' frustration with the Eagles' not winning the Super Bowl during Andy Reid's tenure, Reid has gotten the Birds to the NFC championship game 5 times (where he's proven to be a poor man's Marv Levy). Reid does know what he's doing (after all, he's not Matt Millen), and one of the best RB's to come out of last year's draft (who had a brilliant writeup in Mel Kiper's draft guide by the way) was Chris Johnson of East Carolina, who was drafted after the first round and starred for Tennessee. And, because of the need for cap management, Johnson cost his team a whole lot less precisely because he didn't go in the first round.

Oh, those general managers in various cities are wily foxes all. John Clayton of ESPN wrote an article the other day about the five best, and he included Reid, Bill Polian and Bill Belichick in the mix. Creative, aggressive, and, yes, their teams win more often than not. Jerry Reese likewise has excelled for the Giants, and this draft day should prove to be a most interesting one.

One aside: In this morning's "Philadelphia Inquirer", Sheldon Brown indicated that there are other Eagles who are unhappy with their contracts. Note to Sheldon: you are pouring gasoline on a fire, and in most NFL locker rooms you'll have guys who are unhappy with their contracts for the same reason you are with yours. But here's the question: what were you thinking when you signed the deal you did early in your career -- didn't it cross your mind that you were trading potentially larger numbers in later years for the guarantee of a big bonus that you earned before you had a chance to get hurt and ruin the opportunity to earn those bigger dollars in later years? Didn't your agent tell you that? Don't you know that the average NFL career is so short that players assess this risk frequently in their careers, and didn't you also know that you were offered this type of deal before anyone else in your draft class. Your a good, decent man and a great player. Please figure out a way to make peace with the situation -- you owe that to yourself above all others.


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