Our annual 2011 NFL Mock Draft, with picks made by each of SB Nation's NFL team bloggers, is in full swing. The latest pick in to the podium: the Philadelphia Eagles, at No. 23 overall.
With the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select Jimmy Smith, cornerback, Colorado.
Jason Brewer of BleedingGreenNation.com explains the choice, and our own Dan Kadar reacts to it, after the jump. Make sure you're grading this pick for the Eagles, and checking out Bleeding Green Nation for all of your Eagles needs.
Jason Brewer explains: Coming into the draft we identified two clear needs for the Eagles: offensive line and cornerback. With guys like Gabe Carimi and Anthony Castonzo off the board and Jimmy Smith still on it, the pick seems almost elementary to me. He’s got great size, which will be important to match up against all the big receivers in the NFC East. Really, the big knock against him is the so-called "character concerns."
We’ve heard rumors that he’s overly cocky, but we heard those same things about DeSean Jackson, and look how that turned out. A lot of teams outsmarted themselves taking guys like Devin Thomas and Jerome Simpson before him. A lot of teams probably did the same thing last year with Dez Bryant. The Eagles have never shied away from taking guys with character concerns, and I know they recently had Smith in for a visit to Philadelphia. Assuming he carried himself reasonably well in that face to face interview, I don’t think the Eagles would have any reservations about taking him.
Dan Kadar reacts: There are a load of reasons why this pick makes sense and why it's been mocked nearly all off-season. First and foremost, Philadelphia needs a cornerback in a bad way. Asante Samuel is on one side, but the other is a huge unknown following Ellis Hobbs' career-ending injury. So from a need standpoint, Smith fills arguably Philadelphia's biggest hole.
Some may be scared that Smith has some off-putting character issues. But if there's one coach that shows he won't eschew that sort of thing, it's Andy Reid. That's not even taking Michael Vick into account. Remember when DeSean Jackson was in the draft? He had the same attitude problems Smith does. Reid took him and it hasn't been much of an issue.
Reid could do the same with Smith, who has the ability to be a true No. 1 cornerback for years. [Jimmy Smith Scouting Report]
Mocking the Draft's Top 5 Remaining Prospects
|9||Aldon Smith||DE||Missouri||scouting report|
|13||Justin Houston||OLB||Georgia||scouting report|
|14||Stephen Paea||DT||Oregon State||scouting report|
|15||Mikel Leshoure||RB||Illinois||scouting report|
|16||Cameron Heyward||DE||Ohio State||scouting report|
2011 SB Nation NFL Writers' Mock Draft - RESULTS
|1||1||Carolina Panthers||Blaine Gabbert||QB||Missouri||story|
|2||Denver Broncos||Von Miller||OLB||Texas A&M||story|
|3||Buffalo Bills||Patrick Peterson||CB||LSU||story|
|4||Cincinnati Bengals||A.J. Green||WR||Georgia||story|
|5||Arizona Cardinals||Cam Newton||QB||Auburn||story|
|6||Cleveland Browns||Marcell Dareus||DT||Alabama||story|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||story|
|8||Tennessee Titans||Nick Fairley||DT||Auburn||story|
|9||Dallas Cowboys||Tyron Smith||OT||USC||story|
|10||Washington Redskins||Robert Quinn||DE||North Carolina||story|
|11||Houston Texans||Julio Jones||WR||Alabama||story|
|12||Minnesota Vikings||J.J. Watt||DE||Wisconsin||story|
|13||Detroit Lions||Da'Quan Bowers||DE||Clemson||story|
|14||St. Louis Rams||Corey Liuget||DT||Illinois||story|
|15||Miami Dolphins||Mark Ingram||RB||Alabama||story|
|16||Jacksonville Jaguars||Christian Ponder||QB||Florida State||story|
|17||New England Patriots||Gabe Carimi||OT||Wisconsin||story|
|18||San Diego Chargers||Cameron Jordan||DE||California||story|
|19||New York Giants||Mike Pouncey||G/C||Florida||story|
|20||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Ryan Kerrigan||DE||Purdue||story|
|21||Kansas City Chiefs||Phil Taylor||DT||Baylor||story|
|22||Indianapolis Colts||Anthony Castonzo||OT||Boston College||story|
|23||Philadelphia Eagles||Jimmy Smith||CB||Colorado|
|24||New Orleans Saints|
|28||New England Patriots|
|30||New York Jets|
|32||Green Bay Packers|