With three rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft in the books, the Philadelphia Eagles draft has been widely discussed amongst fans and media pundits, due in large part to the selection of Louisville defensive end Marcus Smith. Day two of the Eagles draft however resulted in the recent vacancies of former wide receivers Jason Avant and DeSean Jackson being supplanted by Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews and Oregon receiver Josh Huff. Both receivers selected on Friday night are expected to contribute significantly in areas of the Eagles offense that DeSean Jackson could not, particularly in run blocking (Huff) and the red zone (Matthews’ height listed at 6′ 3″). As the fourth round of the NFL draft begins, the Philadelphia Eagles find themselves in the same position as last year, selecting first in the fourth round after acquiring the 101st pick from the Houston Texans. With four remaining picks, the Philadelphia Eagles still can address team needs as well as potentially stockpile picks for next season.
While the offensive line remained intact a season ago, age along with potential contract issues (Evan Mathis) could propel the Eagles to make offensive line depth a priority Saturday. A player that stands out is Stanford offensive tackle Cameron Fleming. A junior entering the draft early, Fleming has experience at both guard as well as right tackle. While he struggled at times against elite pass rushers, he was an elite run blocker and could potentially be set up as the next right tackle for the Eagles after Jason Peters‘ career in Philadelphia is over. This scenario would also depend heavily on current right tackle Lane Johnson successfully manning the left side. While not the most pressing need, entering the fourth round the Eagles draft selections need to become more centered on talent rather than immediate pressing needs. With a talent such as Fleming available at a modest cost, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the Eagles shore up their offensive line depth and maintain focus on a run-oriented offensive line.