The 2014 NFL Draft is only a few short days away and soon the Philadelphia Eagles will be on the clock. Fans will finally get a glimpse of what General Manager Howie Roseman and head coach Chip Kelly plan to do with the 22nd pick. There has been talk about the Philadelphia Eagles drafting a wide receiver after the team ousted Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson. I can see that happening. I think the Philadelphia Eagles have more pressing needs to address with the 22nd pick.
Last season, the problems that plagued the Eagles season became blatantly obvious during the team’s loss to the New Orleans Saints at Lincoln Financial Field. The offense had trouble moving the ball in the first half, but the defense was able to bail them out, which was surprising to most considering the Eagles 32nd ranked pass defense was facing the high octane offense of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and company. However, the defense would eventually give way to the potent Saints Offense. The Eagles lost that game because the team could not get that one stop which would have made them victorious.
The Eagles should address the entire team as a whole during the draft. If the player the organization covets is available, the Eagles will obviously take that player. I would take the best available player instead of “reaching” for a player to fill a need. The Eagles should not try to trade up for any players. The Eagles only have six picks and the organization should not waste one moving up for a player. The Eagles have needs across the board and should not waste a pick to move up for a player.
The Eagles only have six picks in the 2014 draft so the organization has to realize some options might not be available to the team. The Eagles can make some moves by trading back, but I would stick with the best player available strategy. Keep the picks that the team has or trade back in the first round and draft a wide receiver such as Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks. The need is there for the Eagles, and Cooks could also help replace some of the production of the departed Jackson.
If I were in the Philadelphia Eagles War Room, I would try to attack the safety position in the second round. Lets not forget the horrid draft selections of past Philadelphia Eagles drafts such as New York Jets safety Jaiquawn Jarrett. The organization clearly reached on that pick and does not need to let that happen in this draft. I would try to select Louisville safety Calvin Pryor if he slips into the second round. Unlikely, but anything could happen. It just depends on how each team values a certain player.
The Eagles also could use an outside linebacker to pair with Philadelphia Eagles outside linebackers Connor Barwin and groom as Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Trent Cole’s eventual replacement. Cole made great strides last year switching from defensive end to outside linebacker, but an upgrade at the position would not hurt. Considering Cole is getting up there in age a replacement for him could be found in the upcoming draft. Part of the Eagles’ problems on defense was not being able to generate enough pass rush. The Eagles should address this in the draft.
I am satisfied with the off season acquisitions the Eagles made during free agency. The organization needs a strong draft like they had in 2012 and 2013. If that happens the Eagles will be continue to be a force the rest of the league will fear.