Nov 23, 2011, 11:20 AM EDT
The Eagles have made some puzzling decisions in the draft over the years. They like to move around a lot, stock up on picks, and they’re not afraid to take a flyer on a kid with an injury. The process lends itself to some fairly wild and, at times, highly questionable decisions.
Like 2010 third rounder Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. A defensive end out of Washington, Te’o might as well have come out of nowhere — the pick certainly did. He was actually really productive in college, racking up 26.5 sacks over his final three years, but nobody had ever really heard of him it seemed, and he graded far lower than he was taken.
Multiple rounds lower.
When it comes to the draft, I like to take a wait-and-see approach. There have been plenty of “reaches” who have gone on to have fine NFL careers, and plenty of “can’t-miss” prospects that busted out. It’s a lottery, so when the Eagles take a player who wasn’t on anybody’s radar, I’m usually willing to start with a positive outlook.
In Te’o-Nesheim’s case, that’s no longer possible. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed him from the Eagles’ practice squad yesterday, officially ending his tenure in Philly once and presumably for all. Te’o-Nesheim obviously had been waived earlier, but the fact that he found his way back to the practice squad meant there was still a tiny chance they could develop him.
The truth is, the writing was on the wall then. Sure, Te’o-Nesheim had been caught in a numbers game — the Eagles signed Jason Babin and CFL star Philip Hunt to go along with Trent Cole, Brandon Graham, Juqua Parker, and Darryl Tapp — but if the coaches were comfortable with his ability, they wouldn’t have gone out and signed a pair of free agents. They would have been willing to part with one of their veterans.
Daniel Te’o-Nesheim had one sack during his entire rookie season, that in the Birds’ meaningless Week 17 encounter with Dallas. Now he is gone, and apparently will play for somebody. For that reason alone, it’s too soon to stamp him with the old bust label, but it does not mean it’s too soon to call his selection a horrendous pick by the front office, either because it was simply awful, or because they weren’t patient enough to give him a shot.
The DTN era is over… and the Trevard Lindley era could be next.
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