Sunday, April 29, 2007

The ‘Best Available’ Draft

By Jeff Glauser
The Phanatic Magazine

After almost seven hours of waiting, wondering, and monitoring an day-long beer buzz, after suffering through the interminable filibustering of the media between picks, after nearly a full day of watching our lives pass before us (especially if our name ends in “Quinn”), after watching our boys in green delay the inevitable (by trading down with the Cowboys, which, in hindsight, should have been the first foreboding sign of things to come), the moment had arrived:

Quarterback.

Some guy named Cobb (or is it Kolb? Or I think it’s one and sounds like the other).

And then, less than an hour later, a defensive end with a name I won’t even bother to try to pronounce. The D-Line members already on the roster – still holding regular icebreakers to learn each other’s name – will now add another to the masses.

Instantly, the Eagles placed itself in a position to contend for the ever-elusive championship.

In 2010.

Maybe.

And while other contending teams pride themselves on adjusting to how the board pans out, filling glaring holes and immediate needs, putting their chips to the center to get over the top, our Iggles continue to stay the course.

“Dubya” would be proud.

Stockpiling for depth is fine – when you’re several weeks removed from raising the Lombardi Trophy and kept the nucleus of the team together. Dem Birds, however, do not fit that profile.

In the coming days, the most overused two words you’ll hear from management will be “best” and “available.” As in, “We chose Kolb because he was the ‘best available’ player when our turn came around.”

The “best available” will now – barring any unforeseen circumstances – be holding a clipboard for at least the next several years.

And, truthfully, that’s even if he makes the team! Remember, the Eagles spent the offseason giving Jeff Garcia money to newly anointed No. 2 man A.J. Feeley and traded to get presumed third-stringer (and former NFL starter) Kelly Holcomb.

(Oh, and by the way, there’s a very good chance the “best available” would have remained on the board by the time they picked again at 57)

(Furthermore, earlier today, the Patriots traded its fourth round pick – well into the 100’s - to the Raiders for Randy Moss. So I guess our “best available” – destined to hold a clipboard or lead the practice squad - is better than a probable Hall of Famer)

According to ESPN.com, Donovan McNabb expressed “befuddlement” at the choice.

Can you blame him? Regardless of the team’s soon-to-be stale alibi that this is, by no means, a testament to the lack of faith it holds in its franchise QB and alleged team leader, how can it not be? Could we perhaps be missing something in all of this? Slow progress on his rehab? A major trade on the horizon?

In a way, I hope so. At least then my afternoon which lasted eternity - and my buzzkill, which occurred in an instant - will be somewhat justified.

Jeff Glauser’s “best available” columns can be read here every Sunday. Reach him at jglauser@phanaticmag.com.
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