Draft needs: Philadelphia Eagles


With the NFL Draft approaching, we’re taking a team-by-team look at the needs of each club. The Eagles are up next as we look at the areas they need to improve if they are going to repeat as NFC East champions in coach Chip Kelly’s second season at the helm. They have six picks at their disposal, including the 22nd pick of the first round.

Outside Linebacker: The Eagles relied heavily on Trent Cole to provide their pass rush last season. Cole delivered eight sacks, but he needs more consistent help and, at 32 with a big salary, he won’t be around too much longer.

Some have predicted a fall into the 20s for UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, who would fit the bill, and Missouri’s Kony Ealy is another edge rusher who could be there when the Eagles are on the board. Georgia Tech’s Jeremiah Attaochu should be on the board when the Eagles pick in the first round and may be there in the second as well if they decide to address another position with their top pick.

Wide Receiver: The Eagles have maintained confidence that their offense is going to be just fine without DeSean Jackson and there’s still plenty of talent on hand for Kelly to deploy to his whims. Another body wouldn’t hurt, especially if he brings the kind of big play threat that Jackson brought to the table.

USC’s Marqise Lee and Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks are both familiar to Kelly from his college days, while there’s been a lot of chatter about Philly interest in Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin. Benjamin would be a move in a different direction size-wise, but the Eagles are flexible enough to go in any direction at wideout.

Safety: The Eagles signed Malcolm Jenkins and re-signed Nate Allen to go with Earl Wolff, giving them some quantity at the position. There’s room for more quality, though, and Philly should address the position at some point in the draft.

Depending on how things fall, they could try for a major upgrade with Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or they could wait until later rounds to add competition and depth to what’s already on hand. The latter scenario seems more likely than Clinton-Dix lasting to the 22nd pick.

Cornerback: If the Eagles went into the season with Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Brandon Boykin and Nolan Carroll as their top four corners, they’d have a solid enough group outside with Boykin starring in the slot. A better pass rush could make them more than that, but, as mentioned, the Eagles need to improve in that area.

Should they not find themselves in position to boost the pass rush, adding a corner who could push Williams or Fletcher down the depth chart would be a worthy consideration. Would Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller or Ohio State’s Bradley Roby provide that upgrade?

Inside Linebacker: DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks are back and should retain their starting jobs, but there’s not much behind them and Ryans wasn’t a perfect fit in defensive coordinator Bill Davis’ first season in Philly. A player more skilled in pass coverage would be a nice complement now and possible replacement down the road.

20 responses to “Draft needs: Philadelphia Eagles

  1. This draft should have been all about defense but now they have a wide receiver problem since there is no one to stretch the defense.

  2. > Ryans is coming off a shaky first season in Philly.

    *DeMeco Ryans has started every game in Philly for two years. He had better numbers (including 27 addt’l solo tackles) in his second year than his first after transitioning from MLB in 4-3 to an ILB in the (hybrid) 3-4.

    Admittedly, the point about needing better pass coverage from the position is very accurate.

  3. i think people are over-rating the need for CB and unless Pryor or Dix are there i don’t see a worthy safety at 22, add in no likely OLB if Barr is gone and i think your looking at a WR or TE at 22 with a preference to trade back and pick up an additional pick in the 3rd from a team who want to grab a late 1st round QB.

    Also def need another Olineman with Herraman and Mathis above 30, the latter with a large price tag.

  4. All I know is I do NOT want that clod-foot Kelvin Benjamin.

    I don’t agree with the worry-worts over Jackson’s departure – between the spread element of Kelly’s offense and the addition of Sproles, I think people are over-reacting and under-appreciating Chip.

    Jackson’s best season was under Kelly/Foles – people are giving DeSean way too much credit. The little punk would prefer Reid/Vick still today, I’d wager.

    The chicken-or-egg nature of CB vs. edge rush is a more interesting debate to me and one I’m on the fence about. I think I tend to side with the Ryan’s mentality that you go for the CB first, to facilitate exotic schemes in the box. But I see both sides of the argument. I DO think an upgrade at Safety is absolutely necessary. Nate Allen has had too long to improve and I just don’t understand our fanbase’s fascination with Wolff. …Different isn’t inherently better but try telling that to the Phickle Phans.

  5. I don’t see any reason to be enamored with Wolff either. The only positive thing you can really say about him is that he played better than their other Safeties, which isn’t saying a whole lot….at least while he actually played and wasn’t injured.

  6. Demeco Ryans was not a perfect fit? Really? He played more snaps last season than any linebacker in the NFL! Who writes this garbage?

    Just an old rehash of Ryans in Houston when they switched to 3-4 during a season when Ryans returned from major ACL surgery.

    You can make a case that Ryans is getting old, but the notion that he doesn’t fit is stupid.

  7. i don’t know any eagles fans who are enamored with earl wolff so i don’t know what some of you are talking about. most people i talk to agree that we need to upgrade safety, but probably won’t have that chance at 22, and don’t hhave enough picks to move up for prior or dix. CB seems asinign to me. we don’t have elite corners (except for boykin) but the guys we have are very capable of doing the job, especially if we improve the pass rush and/or over the top help at safety. we bashed drc and asomougha for getting torched for 2 seasons, but when i watch tape i see time after time a corner thinking he has safety help over the top, staying underneath the wr, and getting beat for a touchdown because our safeties haven’t been in position to make a play since dawkins/lewis. if barr or another top olb is there i’m with it, but i think the smartest move based on who will be available is going to be a WR. we’ve been complaining about not having size at the receiver position for a long time…benjamin is the guy.

  8. flyinhighwithvick says:
    May 1, 2014 9:14 AM
    You could add defensive tackle to this as well. Louis Nix from Notre Dame fits.
    Nailed it. Nose tackle should be the pick if Nix is available at 22.

  9. Seems the defense improved as the season moved along so I don’t know that the need is pressing.

    I think the strength of WRs in the 1st round is a part of Jackson getting let go. I don’t think size is an issue in this case. They split out the TEs at times anyway.

    Unless a Defensive player drops unexpectedly, I think they go WR.

  10. Go Eagles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Eagles will go offense first, then DEE, unless someone (the “best available” on their board) drops into their lap, at 22, or beyond, and they just HAVE to take him. Cap’n Andy could afford to go “O” in his early years, since he inherited Ray Rhodes players on DEE who really shone under Jim Johnson. Chip has no such luxury, although, we could see year-over-year improvement in the young players we DO have (Cox, Kendricks, Logan, Boykin, Wolff (he scares me – adequate, but fragile, mentally, is not willing to play in pain)).
    Of course, what also concerns me is a similar attitude I detect, in Chip, as in Andy – it’s more system than player that will allow us to succeed. I know Chip recently said great players are important, however, Chip is a bit of an arrogant SOB, and I detect some of Andy in him – sic., “I can get us there with so-so guys at key spots (WR), we are fine…”

  12. I agree Nix is a possibility, the other player I like is ILB from Ohio State Ryan Shazier. He has the versatility and athleticism that Chip Kelly seems to like.

  13. If by some miracle Pryor, Clinton-Dix, C.J. Mosley, Barr, Dennard or Gilbert are available, they will trade down. I like Nix too. It seems that Latimar is the play for wide receiver in the second round.

  14. CB and WR seem to be an area of a good amount of depth but Kelly is hard to gauge. I didn’t think they’d go TE in the 2nd last year so who knows.

    Assuming neither of the safeties (Clinton-Dix or Pryor) fall, I’d like to see them go with a ILB or OLB (Barr maybe?) then take Jimmie Ward or a WR in the 2nd. Tired of Nate Allen and his disappearing act. Still hearing rumblings about packaging Graham and a 1st for Dion Jordan although I don’t know how realistic that is and whether Miami wants to move him. I think they take a NT, but not until later rounds.

    On with the Draft already!

  15. from what i’ve seen by Chip and Howie in these past years. this list is in no order at all

    WR – will be the best run blocking, route runner they anoint “their guy” regardless of round

    OLB – there are a few later round picks that stand out more than the top guys named. i think we get at least 2 after rd-1.

    MBL- they might make a jump for a proven leader than has been a 3 down LB in their career.

    DL- they are going to take tanks in the later rounds (Urban + Heart). Wouldn’t surprise me if they nab a top level DL in rd-1 to boost their teams strength.

    Safeties – they want the fastest most versatile player , but size needs to match the specifications. I’m thinking anyone over 5’11

  16. I hope all of the hype surrounding the Eagles’ interest in WRs Benjamin and Cooks is a smokescreen.

    Benjamin seems overrated and similar “size” receivers can be found in the 2nd and 3rd rounds in the form of Jordan Matthews, Donte Moncrief, Cody Latimer, Allen Robinson, etc.

    Cooks just seems like a guy that a lot of people want to plug in because he appears to have a similar skillset to the receiver the Eagles just cut. That’s great. But if you’re you’re just looking to replace what you used to have, you’re not moving forward.

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