It’s just under a month until the NFL Draft and the Philadelphia Eagles could use their first round pick on a wide selection of players. They have been linked with defensive positions such as safety (Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Louisville’s Calvin Pryor), defensive end (Missouri’s Kony Ealy or Auburn’s Dee Ford) and, on the offensive side of the ball, wide receivers (Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks and USC’s Marqise Lee).
While any of those players fit the bill at pick 22 in the first round, it looks like a gem may fall to the Philadelphia Eagles. That gem is UCLA’s linebacker Anthony Barr. He has been falling down draft boards recently, as teams above the Eagles start to look elsewhere and there is a real possibility that he may be on the board when the Philadelphia Eagles pick, or at least a few picks above. Trade talks may be a possibility if the Eagles see him available just a few slots above their pick, as the cost of moving up would be minimal.
Barr is rated as one of the draft’s top linebackers, a position which the Philadelphia Eagles will surely look to address in the offseason. The Eagles need to boost their pass rush and Barr, with 23.5 sacks over the last 2 seasons at UCLA adds a huge pass rush threat.
Adding Anthony Barr would allow the Eagles to have a natural linebacker playing as outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense, a slot that has generally been filled by converted defensive end Trent Cole. As Anthony Barr starts to slide down draft boards, the Philadelphia Eagles front office must be hoping desperately that Barr remains on the board when they’re on the clock on May 8th.