The Philadelphia Eagles had one of the worst defenses in the league last season, and with their offense as productive as it was, it is easy to blame the defense for the team’s failures in the playoffs. This offseason the Eagles staff knew that they needed to get some immediate help for their defense. They were linked to some game changers on the defensive side of the ball like former Buffalo Bill and current New Orleans Saints safety Jairus Byrd, or former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and current New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis. However the Eagles opted to not make a serious push for any of the big name defensive players on the market because they were seriously burned last time they made a commitment to a big name defensive player (cough, cough, Nnamdi Asomugha). They instead went for less risk cheaper players like former New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins and former Miami Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll. Were these additions along with others enough to turn the Eagles defense around?
I wish that I could say yes, I really do, and I could have said yes if the Eagles had an efficient draft defensively. The Eagles had a great draft in almost every round, except for the most important one of them all, the first round. The Eagles drafted former Louisville defense end/outside linebacker Marcus Smith, obviously you have heard all about him by now. He wasn’t supposed to go in the first round, but he has a tremendous amount of sacks, and the Eagles could not have gotten him if they waited until the second round. The bottom line is that Smith could be a great player for many years, but everything he has done in the preseason has shown me he is not at all ready for the NFL. The problem with drafting a player in the first round that needs time to develop is that you need to be able to wait on him without needing him. The Eagles do not have that luxury, they needed a player that can help them right now, and there was one sitting their at the 22nd pick overall who has looked fantastic in the preseason, but the Eagles traded down and passed on this man. Of course I’m talking about former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, just kidding. That would have interesting though. I’m actually talking about former Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard, who looks like the next elite cornerback in football. But those lucky Cincinnati Bengals got him when the Eagles traded down and the Kansas City Chiefs opted for a defensive end. The Eagles are going to regret passing on Dennard, mark my words.
The bottom line is that due to a first round pick that can’t help much this year along with defensive players that are not the most impactful