Andy Reid's Picks: Defensive Tackles

Posted: April 26, 2011

Andy Reid's Picks: Defensive Tackles

Andy Reid's philosophy on the drafting of defensive tackles can be summed up like this: Take them early and take them late. In 12 years, the Eagles coach has selected three defensive tackles in the first round, one in the second, one in the sixth, and three in the seventh. Of the 46 picks Reid has made in Rounds 3 through 5, not one was used on a defensive tackle. The Eagles seem to believe the value at that position is by far greatest in the early rounds. In three of four drafts between 2005 and 2008, Reid expended his top pick on a defensive tackle. It may be time to readdress that strategy.

Here is how we grade Reid's three notable defensive tackle picks and the 2008 draft overall:

B Student

Corey Simon (1st round, 2000) - He's the best of the lot, although he never quite lived up to being the sixth overall pick. Still, Simon was voted to one Pro Bowl and collected 32 sacks in five seasons with the Eagles before he left for Indianapolis.

Failed

Keyonta Marshall (7th round, 2005) - Many seventh rounders have flunked out of the NFL, so it's hard to blast the Eagles for taking Marshall out of defensive tackle-factory Grand Valley State. But he's just another example of the Eagles' failing to strike gold late in the draft at that position.

Incomplete

Trevor Laws (2d round, 2008) – After two underperforming seasons, he rebounded nicely and was a valuable part of the defensive tackle rotation in 2010. He still hasn't warranted being a second-round pick, however.

2008 Draft Review

Trevor Laws was selected two picks ahead of DeSean Jackson, but for all intents and purposes the feline-quick wide receiver was the Eagles' top draft pick that year. On talent alone Jackson should have gone in the first round, but concerns about character dropped his stock, and the Eagles snagged him with the 49th overall pick.

It was a bold move and one that has paid off considerably. Jackson, already a two-time Pro Bowl player, gives the Eagles a game-changer who has the ability to score any time he has the football.

The Eagles actually had a first-round selection in 2008 but traded down when they received three picks from Carolina in exchange for the No. 19 spot. One of those picks - a 2009 first-round selection - was used by the Eagles to get veteran tackle Jason Peters.

The rest of the draft - the Eagles chose eight players overall - was full of misses and only one near the mark. Defensive end Bryan Smith (third round) and cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu (fourth) were stinkers. Safety Quintin Demps (fourth) and linebacker Joe Mays (seventh) were given opportunities but never quite adjusted to either the speed of the game or the Eagles' way of doing things. Guard/center Mike McGlynn (fourth) has been the only mid-to-late-round pick that has paid dividends. After jumping in at center last season for the injured Jamaal Jackson, McGlynn projects to be the Eagles' starting right guard next season.

Despite the miscalculations in the 2008 draft, Jackson tips the overall evaluation in the Eagles' favor.

Grade: B

- Jeff McLane

 

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