Since the draft, many writers and causal fans have questioned the pick of Sidney Jones over Dalvin Cook. As we know, the Vikings moved up in the second round to take Cook two spots ahead of the Eagles, while the Eagles stayed pat and took Jones. Jones and Cook were both projected first round picks early in the draft process, but due to injury’s for Jones, and off the field issues for Cook, both fell to the second round. Here’s my five reasons why the Eagles made the right move by taking Jones.
5. Jones has the Higher upside
Watching Jones on some tape and throughout the year, the kid has some serious talent. He is long and physical at the line, but has the ability to make a play on the ball in the air. Before his injury, some thought he wouldn’t fall out of the top 15. Jones was the best player on a Washington defense that saw three players taken in the first three rounds. Cook is a really good running back, but had injuries in college and ran the ball a lot. I think Jones has more of a superstar potential compared to Cook.
4. Better Value for the Eagles
As we know, the Vikings traded up for Cook, swapping seconds and a fourth round pick. If the Eagles did such a trade, they would not have been able to select Jones or their fourth-round pick, which turned into Donnel Pumphrey. Pumphrey was a great pick by the Eagles. With Sproles most likely taking part in his last NFL season, Pumphrey should come into his own in a few years and be a great change-of-pace back. Every year at San Diego St., he had at least 2,000 yards from scrimmage. If he puts on about 10 to 15 pounds, he could be a solid role player. Two possible starters are better than one, in my option.
3. Corner a bigger need than Running Back
Entering the draft, the biggest holes the Eagles needed to fill were CB, RB, and pass rusher. Derek Barnett fell into their lap at 14, and they took the best player on their board, which I am a big fan of. The Eagles feel Jones’ injury should not affect his progression. With Jalen Mills being the only CB on the team from the previous year, there are big holes at the position. Compared to running back, the Eagles have Sproles and fifth-round pick from a season ago, Wendell Smallwood on the roster, who had some flashes in his rookie year. Even if Jones does not play this season, he immediately upgrades the Eagles biggest weakness for the next few years.
2. Value of RB is still not super high
Many would have you believe that Ezekiel Elliott’s big year brings back the draft tend of selecting running backs early. When the Eagles moved up to pick eight last year, I was begging the Eagles to take him (The Prospect who can supply the Eagles with a new identity) He was a different type of prospect though. Look at Todd Gurley. Two years ago was the 10th pick, had a decent rookie year, and last year fell back to earth hard. I think running back talent can still be found in the late rounds of the draft (case in point: Jordan Howard). Also, the NFL is a passing league. Running back will play a small role in the Eagles 2017 offense, so I feel Cook was not a necessity to the Eagles.
A lot of people thought this year’s running back class was deep, but it’s crazy to think that next years may be deeper. With names like Saquon Barkley, Bo Scarborough, and Nick Chubb just name a few, the Eagles could target one of them in next year’s draft. Even though they don’t have a second-round pick, the Eagles have 14 projected free-agents after this upcoming season. If some of them leave, and the Eagles only sign a few of them, compensation picks could be used to move up and take one of those running backs. With that said the Eagles already have their future corners in Sidney Jones, Jalen Mills and Rasul Douglas.Author: John Purificato (Twitter Handle: @johnpurificato Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)