We are officially one week away from the 2014 NFL Draft and the discussion about who the Philadelphia Eagles should pick in the first round is heating up. The main question seems to be if they will pick a defensive or an offensive player. Or will they pick the best player available, regardless of position?
We all share different opinions and Howie Roseman didn’t help make things clearer in his pre-draft press conference. He said he liked the depth at wide receiver and that he is not impressed with the safety class (more on Philly.com). He also said that there is a debate at NovaCare center whether there are three or four first-round quarterbacks in this draft:
Howie Roseman said there was some debate among the #Eagles on whether there are 3 or 4 first round QBs in this draft.
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) May 1, 2014
All of them could very well be smoke screens. We really have no evidence on what the Eagles will do in the first round.
However, there are some positions I don’t expect them to look at next Thursday. These are:
Cornerback: The Birds kept Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher, their 2013 starting corners and signed Nolan Carroll in free agency. They also have Brandon Boykin, arguably the best nickel cornerback of the NFL. They would definitely like to upgrade over Williams and Fletcher, but I am not sold on any of these rookie cornerbacks to be an instant upgrade. The Eagles could either pick one in the later rounds or decide to address that next year.
Offensive lineman: Unless one of Jake Matthews or Greg Robinson perform a skydive during the first round, the Eagles won’t draft an offensive lineman. There is a lot of football left in Jason Peters and Evan Mathis and Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson are still young. Todd Herremans wasn’t at his best in 2013, but he can bounce back this season. But even if Philadelphia feels the need to add talent at guard, there will be plenty of options in the middle rounds (eg. Trai Turner, Brandon Thomas).
Running back: No surprise here. The trio of LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown and Chris Polk is one of the best, if not the best in the league. Furthermore, no running back is considered a first-round prospect this year, so no need to elaborate more on this one.
Tight end: The Eagles are happy with Brent Celek and Zach Ertz and James Casey has been a solid contributor in special teams. They have a lot of money tied up in tight end and other, much more glaring needs. Not to mention that the top prospect at the position, Eric Ebron, will probably be gone by the time the Eagles pick in the first round.