With the draft three weeks away, it’s time to look closer at team needs for every NFL club. (Translation: We have nothing else to write about.)
CB: The artist formerly known as Toastelio Hansen is actually a solid nickel back. But if Hansen remains a No. 3, the Eagles having a gaping hole across from Asante Samuel for the other starting cornerback job.
Dimitri Patterson struggled badly late in the year and is set to be a free agent. Even if the Eagles brought in a big free agent, they need depth here.
LB: Jamar Chaney is the only Eagles linebacker definitely coming back that the team has no reservations about. Moise Fokou isn’t great in coverage and Stewart Bradley could be an unrestricted free agent. The Ernie Sims era should thankfully be over. Whether Chaney plays the middle or not, the Eagles need more talent here.
G/C: Right tackle is a problem, but the Eagles aren’t going to just give up on Winston Justice. The bigger problem is in the middle, where the Eagles can get pushed around. Guard Max Jean-Gilles is a free agent. New line coach Howard Mudd usually prefers smaller, athletic linemen.
DL: This makes the list out of habit. Defensive end Juqua Parker is better than people think, but last year’s first-round pick Brandon Graham is coming off a torn ACL. Andy Reid could also invest at defensive tackle. There are plenty of bodies on the defensive line, but not enough difference makers.
Overview: The Eagles successfully transitioned their offense from the McNabb era with a series of excellent skill position picks. They need to do the same with their defense and offensive line now. Besides Trent Cole, when was the last great player the organization drafted on defense?
The team could use a backup running back to LeSean McCoy, but this draft should focus on defense, with a few offensive linemen thrown in to keep Andy Reid happy.