After a long drawn out process, the 2014 NFL Draft is finally approaching for the Philadelphia Eagles. It has been widely reported the list of team needs for Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Chip Kelly to fill. The team has continually reiterated that they will follow the best player available format. So, here is some free advice for the organization to look at before Thursday night:
1. DO NOT TRADE UP IN THE FIRST ROUND
Though there may be temptations to move up and snag a player they covet, the Eagles should avoid dealing towards the middle of the first round. There are plenty of prospects in the this draft that fit the needs of the roster, as it is proclaimed one of the deepest drafts in the past decade. Picks are at a premium and the team is already lacking a 5th rounder in the trade for now Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles. This is the type of draft to load up on talent to build upon the young core for the future.
2. USE THE AVAILABLE RESOURCES TO ACQUIRE EXTRA PICKS
As already mentioned, this is an extremely deep talent pool, especially at key positions the Eagles may consider (cornerback, wide receiver, defensive lineman, outside linebacker). They have the opportunity to replenish that 5th round pick, while also adding some valuable mid-round selections. Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce Brown and defensive end Brandon Graham can be deemed expendable, both of which can haul in a couple extra picks. Add in the 22nd overall pick may be hot commodity for teams looking to move up to either take a wide receiver or quarterback, Roseman can acquire several extra selections in the top 100.
3. DO NOT WASTE PICKS ON QUARTERBACK OR RUNNING BACK
Many draft analysts have mentioned the Eagles considering selecting a quarterback and/or running back. Right now the team does not have enough carries for everyone in their backfield, even if they do end up trading away Brown. They also currently have three quarterbacks on their roster; most teams do not carry more than two on game days. If the organization really needs to add players at either position, plan to sign some undrafted free agents and stash them away on the practice squad. There is simply too many other needs on the roster to pick players that would otherwise be a luxury.
4. BE PATIENT WHEN PICKING A WIDE RECEIVER
The talent gap between pass catchers that will be available at the 22nd pick and the following rounds is not significant. Many of the wide receivers that are selected on the second day could be first round picks in any other year. There are plenty of options to find a replacement for departed players, such as now Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson and Carolina Panthers wide receiver Jason Avant. Plus, the organization has been rather successful over the past decade at picking pass catchers after the first round. So wait on the next weapon for the passing game because there will be someone just as good 32 picks later.