Granted, the Eagles didn’t make a sexy first-round pick Thursday night when they plucked Tennessee DE Derek Barnett.
Guys with a pastry tray of potential and exotic physical assets can go boom but often go bust.
Barnett is none of that. He is a football player, pure and simple. Which is exactly the point. He is a safe pick.
OK, perhaps his speed is a tick slow and his arms are a tad short for a defensive end. But he plays smart, has one helluva quick burst off the line and was a tower of productivity in the tough SEC.
The dude can rush the passer. Pairing Barnett’s skill off the edge with Jim Schwartz’s wide scheme is a beautiful marriage worthy of some wedding cake.
Barnett can line up wide and worry about little else beyond penetrating into the backfield — the perfect role for his skill set. Brandon Graham, Chris Long and Barnett make for a talented DE trio that should fire fastballs at QBs and take some heat off the cornerbacks.
That being said, the Birds had better pick a talented cornerback tonight. Make that two!