NFL Draft Roundtable: Grading Philadelphia Eagles 2015 Class


No, the class won’t include Marcus Mariota. Yes, it only has six picks. So what should you think about this Philadelphia Eagles draft class? Probably not a lot until you see them out on the field.

Granted, you could say that for a majority of draft classes, but it holds especially true for this one. Nelson Agholor, the team’s first-round pick will immediately be an impact player. Eric Rowe, the Cornerback/Safety taken in the second round, is going to make an impact, but even he and the Eagles don’t appear to know what position it will be at.

And as you can see by looking at how the rest of the draft unfolded for the team, no one in the rest of the draft is a lock to contribute right away.

First Round (20th overall): Nelson Agholor, Wide Receiver, USC

Second Round (47th overall): Eric Rowe, Cornerback/Safety, Utah

Third Round (84th overall): Jordan Hicks, Inside Linebacker, Texas

Fourth Round: Traded selection to Detroit Lions for 2016 third-round pick

Fifth Round: Traded both selections, with 52nd overall pick to Miami Dolphins for 47th overall pick. 

Sixth Round (191st overall): JaCorey Shepherd, Cornerback, Kansas

Sixth Round (196th overall): Randall Evans, Cornerback, Kansas State

Seventh Round (237th overall): Brian Mihalik, Defensive End, Boston College

Jordan Hicks, taken in the third-round, has an injury history and many felt the team overdrafted him. Seeing as how the team traded away their fourth-round pick, Hicks may be under even more pressure to contribute in the long-run.

Much to the surprise of just about everyone, Chip Kelly and Ed Marynowitz also failed to draft on Offensive Lineman, though if none on their board were available when they were picking, that may turn out to be a positive.

So tentatively, I’ll give the Eagles a B-. Trading their fourth-round pick for a future third-rounder really sits well with me, and I think Randall Evans is going to be a very effective slot corner in the long run.

Some of our other staff members were polled on their thoughts on the class, and here’s what they said.

Somers Price, Editor

Grade: B-

Having not reached on any of their picks, for the most part, it’s tough to get too upset with this draft. Leaving it without an offensive lineman, a position of strength according to Ed Marynowitz is concerning. That said, I feel that is a position that this administration feels they can scout better than anything else on the field. They addressed years of failing to address the secondary with one class. I would imagine that several of their picks end up contributing to the secondary in years to come. Feels like JaCorey Shepard could be the steal of this group.

Jason Ferrie, Senior Staff Writer

Grade: B+

I think the Eagles addressed their needs in this draft. Kelly made a play for Mariota, which we all assumed that he would, but he had a very good backup plan. Agholor should play right away, so we should see production from the team’s first-round pick this year.  On defense, the Eagles were very aggressive picking three defensive backs. Kelly addressed the Eagles’ weaknesses, all while holding onto current assets such as Cox and Kendricks, so I give Kelly a high grade for this class.

Denny Basens, Staff Writer

Grade: B

The good news is that Eagles came away from this draft with two players that should be instant starters in Nelson Agholor and Eric Rowe. Both the first and second rounder were solid, safe picks that should help make the team better right away.

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After the Rowe pick, things get pretty dicey. Jordan Hicks is yet another guy with an extensive injury history, and doesn’t project to contribute to anything other than to special teams in his first year. I don’t hate the Hicks pick, but I feel like the Eagles may have been better served using their third-rounder on another guy that can step in right away and help improve another area.

I really liked the trade that brings the Eagles Detroit’s third-rounder next year, though it may hurt the team to not have any new talent from the fourth or fifth round, where plenty of gems remain on the board.

Rounds six and seven were also real head-scratchers for me. Granted, at this point in the draft, teams are just taking fliers on guys, but I don’t think it was necessary for the Eagles to draft two more cornerbacks. Corner is already crowded with Byron Maxwell, Rowe, Brandon Boykin, Nollan Carroll, Walter Thurmond, and Jaylen Watkins. I feel like it’s going to be a stretch for either JaCorey Sheperd or Randall Evans to have a realistic chance to make the team right away, meaning that the these are most likely two wasted picks. Ditto for seventh rounder Brian Mihalik, who also faces very long odds to become a part of an already deep defensive line rotation.

I also didn’t like that the Eagles failed to address the offensive line. They’ve now gone two straight years without drafting a lineman, and it’s particularly surprising that they decided not to replenish their talent here given the hole at right guard and the age of both Jason Peters and Evan Mathis. I think it’s a mistake to rely on Allen Barbre or Matt Tobin to be an answer. After the Eagles invested so much in the running back position, they would have been wise to protect that investment.

However, despite my complaints, most of my grade for this draft is based around the first two picks. I like both Agholor and Rowe, and I feel like the Eagles came away from this draft a better football team because of them.

What grade do you give the Philadelphia Eagles 2015 draft class? Let us know in the comment section below!

Next: Chip Kelly has Optionality if he Keeps Mychal Kendricks