Three Eagles-centric draft predictions that I had spot-on


Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t like to come off as arrogant, but when you are trying to make it as a writer/sports personality, self promotion is part of the deal. Had I only had one thing kind of right, I wouldn’t have wrote this. But that wasn’t the case.

I have a small collection of sources that occasionally pass along nuggets that I incorporate into articles. I’d be kidding you if I said that any of the following predictions came off of anything that I hear from them, though. Instead I used the resources available to me (other media outlets and common sense) and pieced together educated speculation that made me look more reliable than half of the members of the local media, who have an army of sources. Need proof? Take a look at the following three speculations that I made–all of which came true.

1. If Johnny Manziel was still on the board at 22, the Eagles would trade down to the 26th spot with the Browns

Love him or hate him, Johnny Manziel’s slide in the first-round is what made this arguably the most interesting draft in league history. Manziel made it past the Browns first pick in the draft, the Vikings, the Titans, the Cowboys (that would have been too fun), and the Cardinals. Four of those teams could make the case that they seriously needed a long-term quarterback, and the other one has a senile dictator running the team, so anything was possible.

Still, I got the feeling that Manziel was going to drop. While I was half-waiting for Roger Goodell to say Manziel’s name as the Cowboys’ pick, I wanted to see Manziel drop to number 22, to see if Chip and Howie had the self-control to pass on him, and either take Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, if he was available (which I also correctly predicted he wouldn’t be), or trade down.

While there is no scenario in the world that I had the Eagles taking Marcus Smith at 26, the falling stock of Marqise Lee and Darqueze Dennard, among others, led me to tweet this out, around the 18th pick.

And sure enough….

2. Trade up for Jordan Matthews After an afternoon report from Mike Kaye of Bleeding Green Nation that suggested that the Eagles ‘really liked’ Vandy’s Jordan Matthews, I wrote the following about what I expected the Eagles to do with their second-round pick.

"Given the fact that they still have Bryce Brown as a potential trade piece and they now have two third-round picks, the Eagles very well could move up to select Mattthews."

Minutes before day two of the draft started, I tweeted this.

After the Jaguars selected USC’s Marqise Lee with the 39th pick, I tweeted out the following.

Within five minutes of that tweet, the Eagles packaged their second and fourth-round picks and acquired the 54th overall pick in the draft.

The Eagles selected Matthews, and my co-editor Somers Price had this to say.

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

3. Bryce Brown’s value being at a third or fourth-round pick

Ten days ago, I pegged Bryce Brown’s trade-value as ‘a third or fourth rounder’, in a piece where I broke down the idea that Brown was likely on his way out of Philadelphia. Not only did I foreshadow the idea that the Eagles were going to use Brown to acquire more picks, being that they entered the draft with just six picks, but I also had the exact value of Brown down to a science. When Brown was traded to Buffalo Saturday evening, he was moved for a conditional 2015 fourth-round pick, that could turn into a third-rounder in 2016.

Beyond that, I made another in-draft adjustment (take notes Andy Reid) to how the draft board fell. Friday evening, when the Eagles moved up in the second-round to take Jordan Matthews, they traded away their lone fourth round-pick. Even though they had two third-rounders, I figured that the Eagles front-office would still press to get back into the fourth-round, or to add a future pick. Friday evening, I wrote that I felt like Bryce Brown has the potential of a first or second-round pick (if running-backs were still picked in those rounds), but that a return of a fourth-round pick wouldn’t be bad if Chip Kelly really had no intention of using him next season.

Sure enough, Saturday rolled around, and shortly after the Eagles drafted Jaylen Watkins, reports began to break that the team had traded Bryce Brown to the Bills for, as I mentioned above, a fourth-round pick. I anticipated that it would have been in this year’s draft, but a conditional pick, that will benefit the Eagles sometime over the next two years, was probably a better pickup anyways.

4. What we learned

Give anyone, in this case me, enough years of watching sports and they don’t need sources to use logic. And not having as many sources means that you don’t have 10 different people yelling things in year ear that they heard down the alley, so you don’t have such a clouded view of things. I’m not by any means saying that we shouldn’t listen to people who have ‘sources’, because I couldn’t disagree more with people who think like that. What I’m saying is sometimes reporters believe every little thing that they hear, and end up getting misguided views on how things in sports will take place.