Because the internet is what it is: before anyone accuses me — an unabashed fan of the Washington Redskins — of being a “hater,” just know that I was the idiot who told anyone who would listen that the Philadelphia Eagles were the best team in the NFC heading into the 2019 season, by a substantial margin at that.
As is the case with so many other things in sports, almost needless to say: I was dead wrong about that.
Still, I’m rather unabashed with my fandom, and the associated rivalries that come with it. Which means I’m not above reveling in the schadenfreude of the first two days-worth of picks made by the Eagles in the 2020 NFL Draft.
If you’re looking for nothing but the tl;dr version of my thoughts, I’ll keep it simple. On Thursday and Friday of the evening of the Draft, the Eagles:
Saw LSU’s Justin Jefferson — the fourth of the four wide receivers considered to be consensus first-round picks remain available — when the Eagles were on the clock at #21 overall, and decided that Jefferson — who finished with 111 receptions (#1 in college football), 1,540 receiving yards (#3 in college football), and 18 touchdown receptions (#2 in college football) — wasn’t EXACTLY THE TYPE OF GUY CARSON WENTZ COULD REALLY USE, and that they’d rather take a really-really-fast guy with questionable hands (TCU’s Jalen Reagor) over a really fast guy (Jefferson ran the 40 yard dash in a very respectable 4.43 seconds) who caught everything thrown in his area code;
Bypassed the chance to add any number of available players whom many people had ranked among their top 50 prospects — including guys like LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton, who plays a position of glaring need — and instead used their second round pick (#53 overall) on a backup quarterback in Jalen Hurts, because General Manager Howie Roseman is still kicking himself for passing on Russell Wilson eight years ago (never mind the fact that Hurts feels more like a Tyrod Taylor-type quarterback than Wilson-type one everyone is making him out to be)
Tried to justify the reach for outside linebacker Davion Taylor from the University of Colorado with their 3rd round pick (#103 overall) by telling everyone “he fills a position of need!”… conveniently ignoring the facts that the Eagles’ needed more help at the inside linebacker spot, especially since they’re taking a flier on former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Jatavis Brown on the spot opposite of Duke Riley, and even if Brown turns out to be a total disaster, most people agree that Taylor is two years away from being two years away
As someone who revels in the shortcomings of the other teams in the NFC East, this series of events left me incredibly gruntled (that’s really a real word!).
This isn’t to say Philadelphia didn’t improve themselves from last year’s 9–7 division-winning squad — particularly on defense, where the team made smart signings that included Brown, defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, and nickel cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, on top of the “splashier” acquisition of cornerback Darius Slay.
But for a team that many — present company included — believed was on the precipice of a Super Bowl run, the Eagles didn’t do anything in the 2020 NFL Draft that reinforced any such sense of urgency, and didn’t put themselves in a better long-term position than the retooled Dallas Cowboys (who look VERY primed to usurp the NFC East crown away from Philadelphia).
And that’s why Eagles fans are very justified in their ire for Roseman — because these picks left the team with more questions than answers, at least as of right now.