DeVonta Smith vs. Micah Parsons: A Misguided Debate
This past weekend a very pointless debate erupted online.
Micah Parsons is putting together a stout Defensive rookie of the Year campaign — and arguably making a case for Defensive Player of the Year overall:
- 75 tackles
- 27 QB hits
- 12.0 sacks
- 3 forced fumbles
Should the Eagles have taken Micah Parsons instead of DeVonta Smith in the 2021 NFL Draft? Considering that the Eagles are both allergic to drafting linebackers, and desperately needed a wide receiver I think it’s fair to say there’s no point in rehashing this one. Especially when we consider all the many draft blunders over the years.
A history of draft ineptitude
Did you know that the Eagles had the very first pick of the very first NFL draft ever? They were the worst team in 1935 and as such, were awarded the top spot in the following year’s inaugural draft. Who did they go with? A historic draft position goes to a historic player. The first-ever Heisman Trophy winner, Jay Berwanger.
Jay promptly made history upon being drafted by taking one look at the Eagles and laughing all the way to a cushy sales job and never played another down of football in his life.
Another famous draft miss by the Eagles was more of what they didn’t do during the prior season. Namely, lose when they were supposed to. The Eagles were terrible in 1968. They were 0-11, and cruising towards the number one overall selection in the draft.
Then they went and won two straight meaningless games and dropped in draft position. The prize player: Heisman Trophy winner and future Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson.
On second thought, it’s probably for the best that they missed out on him.
In more modern times there was the selection of Mike Mamula over Warren Sapp.
Freddie Mitchell over Reggie Wayne in 2001 also stings in retrospect.
Danny Watkins being selected over literally anybody else in 2011.
Good god, don’t even make me think about Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson again.
I think I may have stumbled on why the Eagles’ fanbase is acting so stressed out about Micah Parsons playing so well.
PTDD: Post Traumatic Drafts Disorder
Chances are your grandparents watched the Eagles blow a sure thing in the draft. Then your parents. Now you are seeing the same thing. With this in mind, all of the histrionics about how things are going now with Parsons vs. Smith makes sense.
We’re all just sitting around waiting for the other shoe to drop. Cowboys fans are insufferable braggarts that won’t shut up about how great Parsons has been. Add in the fact that he went to Penn State and is from Pennsylvania. It feels like it should sting.
DeVonta Smith is too good to regret drafting!
But it’s also clear that last year’s Heisman winner has emerged as a legitimate WR1 as a rookie. The Eagles haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since Jeremy Maclin seven years ago. Sure his stats aren’t record-breaking, but that is a byproduct of him not always getting the ball. If you’re watching the games, you can see he is generating separation, against top corners at that. When he does get targeted, he produces.
Marshon Lattimore can’t hang. 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/5wKmk54WAp— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) November 22, 2021
DeVonta Smith was a good selection. Two teams can make good picks in the draft in the same year.
Not usually with the Eagles, but hey, there’s a first time for everything.