Most (myself included) feel the Eagles will target the O-line early in the April draft. If not the first round, probably the 2nd or 3rd. It makes sense considering Tra Thomas is gone, and Jon Runyan likely won’t be re-signed. Stacy Andrews is in the fold, but is his addition enough?
Let’s take a look at the offensive line as it stands now and see if an early pick is needed. My starting lineup is merely a guess. The Birds have given no indication who will play what position.
|LT – Shawn Andrews||26|
|LG – Todd Herremans||26|
|C – Jamaal Jackson||29|
|RG – Nick Cole||25|
|RT – Stacy Andrews||28|
|G – Max Jean-Gilles||25|
|G – Mike McGlynn||24|
|T – King Dunlap||24|
|T – Winston Justice||25|
Every player in under 30. An aging line just got a lot younger. Now, Justice is probably on his way out since he’s been a major bust. Dunlap and McGlynn are both unproven. Jean-Gilles is the only backup with experience, but he’s still recovering from a badly broken leg.
If Reid and Co. are confident with the above lineup, they don’t need a starter. They will need depth, but 1st round O-lineman are usually pegged to be starters. My point is, it’s not necessarily a given they will use one of their two 1st rounders on a lineman. Unless they move way up, landing Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe is a pipe dream. The other elite tackle prospect, Andre Smith, has raised too many red flags to risk trading up to acquire him.
However, tackle might not be what the FO is looking at anyway. Perhaps a player like Alex Mack is on their radar. I’ve heard nothing disparaging regarding Jamaal Jackson, but it’s obvious the line is being overhauled, so no one seems safe at this point. Mack is a legit center prospect with size, strength and a nasty streak.
There are numerous questions yet to be answered. Can Shawn Andrews or Todd Herremans play left tackle? Can the Andrews Bros. be relied upon to be ready for 2009? Is Nick Cole prepared to be an every game starter? The offensive line is far from a finished product. It will be addressed in the draft. But it might not be in the first round.