Considering that our beloved JB stole my favorite pick for the Eagles, I decided to go with the next best talent at a need position for my 2nd favorite team. I could have gone a number of routes, and actually I strongly considered G Mike Pouncey here, as well as DT Muhammad Wilkerson though to a lesser extent. Pouncey would be a great fit for Philly given that they've needed better interior linemen for what feels like forever now. Wilkerson would boost their inside pass rush which is always welcome in the Eagles' D, plus he's a local prospect out of Temple.
Ultimately though, the decision to pick Jimmy Smith came down to two words: Dimitri Patterson. He was probably--almost definitely, really--the worst starting cornerback in the league last year. Then consider that there's nobody on the roster better than him, and it becomes a need so huge that you almost have to reach to fill it. Fortunately though Jimmy Smith is a good enough talent that it's not a reach at all--in fact he's arguably the best talent left on the board at this point.
More after the jump.
So what's the word on Jimmy Smith? Well, he's 6'2", 211 lbs, ran a 4.42 40 at the combine (some sources have him as high as 4.38). He's a physical press corner who was barely thrown at the past couple of years. He's a good run defender too--he's not going to knock anyone out with vicious hits but he's a solid wrap-up tackler that will contain the outside edge. The obvious comparison seems to be the most apt: Nnamdi Asomugha. His potential is definitely that high. Supposedly he shut down A.J. Green this past season in their game although the box score tells me that he had 7 receptions and 2 TDs in the game, but apparently that all happened away from Smith. The dude is clearly a player, and most have said he's a top-15 talent.
So why has he fallen so far in the draft if he's that good? The minor reason would be that Colorado sucks and thus he loses out on exposure. The major reason though is that he has a lot of character concerns. He's been arrested twice on possession charges and failed a drug test in 2007. That said, that was the last year he had any run-ins with the law, so I wouldn't really be concerned about that. He's an arrogant/overconfident guy, but that's pretty much required for the position, isn't it? Plus, he'd fit right in with the Eagles, home to troublemakers like Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson. Andy Reid loves to give talented guys with character concerns a chance.
The Eagles have Asante Samuel, and then guys that wouldn't have made the Jets' roster over Drew Coleman... the 2009 version. Ellis Hobbs might have to retire after his injury, and even when he was healthy he was barely adequate as it was. Dimitri Patterson, as I mentioned earlier, was probably the worst starting CB in the league last year. Nobody else on the depth chart has shown they're any better. Jimmy Smith would step in as the CB2 immediately and has the potential to take over as the CB1 eventually... maybe even over Asante! He's a perfect fit at a need position, and he just happens to be the best player available to boot. What more can you ask for?