Career assists for Flyers captain Claude Giroux

Fish ‘n Chips

Posted by Eric Fisher On May 1

Instant analysis of the NFL Draft is, to put it mildly, an inexact science. If everyone else is going to have an opinion, thought, I might as well put in my two cents.

This was an unusual draft for the Eagles. They entered the draft with the final pick of the first round and no picks on the second day (second and third rounds). As it turned out, they traded their first-round selection and picked up a second-round pick.

It was hardly surprising that the Eagles traded out of the first round. In fact, the last sentence of my pre-draft Fish ‘n Chips was “Don’t be surprised if the Eagles trade out of the first round in order to pick up an additional pick.” All they needed was a team to want to move up to the end of the first round. The Eagles found their partner in the Ravens, who selected Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Eagles dropped back to the Ravens’ pick at No. 52, picking up a second-round pick in 2019 in the process.

I would have preferred that the Eagles receive a higher second-round selection, but you can only get the picks of the team that wants to move up to your draft position. The only way this looks like a bad move is if one of the guards selected early in the second round, Austin Corbett, Will Hernandez and Braden Smith, turns out to be a terrific player, or if Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki, selected 42nd by the Dolphins, turns out to be much better than tight end Dallas Goedert.

The Eagles selected Goedert with the 49th overall pick. Apparently concerned that the Cowboys would select Goedert with the 50th overall pick, the Eagles made a trade with the Colts to move one spot ahead of the Cowboys, who are concerned that tight end Jason Witten will retire.

The Ravens trade kept on giving during the draft. As part of the trade, the Eagles and Ravens flipped fourth-round picks. With the 125th overall selection, the Eagles picked Pittsburgh cornerback Avonte Maddox. Five picks later, the Eagles selected Florida State defensive end Josh Sweat.

The Eagles went with size for their final two picks. They selected TCU offensive tackle Matt Pryor (6-foot-7, 338 pounds), who has the versatility to play tackle or guard, in the sixth round. And then they traded up in the seventh round to select Jordan Mailata (6-8, 347), an Australian rugby star.

I have no idea if Mailata will make an impact in the NFL – and neither does anyone else. The one player who will be expected to contribute next season will be Goedert. He will likely be used in two-tight end sets with Zach Ertz. With so few picks in the early rounds, it was unrealistic to expect the Eagles to improve themselves too much by next season.

We’ll know for certain in a few years if the Eagles had a good draft. For now, though, it appears the Eagles got good value while picking up a second-round pick for next year’s draft.


WHAT HAS BROWN DONE FOR YOU? There were three players among the first six picks who are legitimate possibilities to be among the top players at their positions. The Browns, with the first and fourth overall picks, didn’t pick any of them.

The Browns selected Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick. If the Browns were sold on Mayfield, why didn’t they trade down? Unless they thought the Jets would have selected Mayfield at No. 3, the Browns could have traded down in exchange for extra picks and still selected Mayfield at No. 4. Instead the Browns picked Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward at No. 4. After leaving Penn State running back Saquon Barkley on the board at No. 1, the Browns picked Ward instead of North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb or Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, who were selected fifth and sixth, respectively, by the Broncos and Colts.

The Browns selected Nevada guard Austin Corbett with first pick of the second round, and then took Georgia running back Nick Chubb two picks later. Even if the second round turns out well, there is the feeling that the Browns missed out on some generational players.


GIANT PICKUPS: The Giants resisted the temptation to select at quarterback with the second overall pick and selected Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. There isn’t anything Barkley can’t do. He is off-the-charts strong, incredibly quick and can block and catch passes out of the backfield. I am confident that Barkley will be a better running back than any of the quarterbacks selected early will be at their positions. Some people believe the Giants needed to draft a replacement for quarterback Eli Manning. Instead, they significantly upgraded the talent around him.

The Giants also made a nice pickup with the second pick of the second round, selecting Texas-El Paso guard Will Hernandez, whom some people suspected the Eagles would have picked at No. 32 if they hadn’t traded that pick. The Giants found a quarterback, Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta, in the fourth round.


BRONCOS MAKE SPLASH: The beneficiaries of the Browns’ puzzling first-round picks were the Broncos. Team president John Elway must not have believed his eyes when North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb dropped to the Broncos at No. 5. Imagine Chubb paired with defensive end Von Miller.

In the second round, the Broncos selected SMU receiver Courtland Sutton. In the fourth round they further enhanced their receiving corps with Penn State’s Daesean Hamilton. In between the two receivers, they selected Oregon running back Royce Freeman..

The Broncos may have picked the premier defensive player from this draft, as well as some weapons to help new quarterback Case Keenum.


SEVENTH HEAVEN: Boston hosted a Game 7 during the Stanley Cup playoffs and another Game 7 in the NBA’s opening round. Even better for the home fans is that the Bruins and Celtics both won their mathups.


RACE TO THE TOP: Joey Logano’s victory Sunday at the GEICO 500 prevented Kyle Busch from sweeping April. Busch won the first three races in April to vault to the top of the NASCAR standings. Logano interrupted the streak, but Busch remains the circuit’s hottest driver entering Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover International Speedway.


ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Union don’t have much time to celebrate their 3-2 victory over D.C. United last Saturday. With the three goals against D.C. United, the Union (2-3-2) match their scoring output in their first six games. But those goals won’t have much impact if the Union don’t survive their upcoming road trip.

The Union play three games in eight nights, starting Friday (8 p.m.) against Toronto FC. The Union will visit Columbus on Wed., May 9 (7:30 p.m.), and then will wrap up the stretch of road games on Sat., May 12 against Montreal.

Eric Fisher, who has been covering sports for more than 29 years, wasn’t thrilled to stay up late Thursday, only to watch the Eagles trade their first-round pick.

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Side angle of Cody Parkey's missed field goal