Philadelphia Eagles: 2015 NFL Draft is Imperative
By Jacob Brooks
January 1, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan State Spartans cornerback Trae Waynes (15) celebrates after he intercepts a pass against the Stanford Cardinal during the second half at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
It seems like a long time ago that the Philadelphia Eagles were looking like one of the better teams in the National Football League. A few really, really bad games and the Philadelphia Eagles season ended in bitter disappointment. This team finished 10-6 again, but this year the Eagles will be watching the Playoffs from the outside and after some venting, I have realized that this team was missing some critical skilled players.
Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach, Chip Kelly, needs to lick his wounds and then set an offseason plan and keep his eyes on the NFL Draft.
I wanted to see how the full season panned out for the Philadelphia Eagles 2014 1st round pick linebacker Marcus Smith, but after spending most of the season on the sidelines, I think its safe to say that was a blown draft choice. Outside linebacker was an area of need but with the emergence of former 1st round pick, Brandon Graham, the Philadelphia Eagles might not need to use another 1st round pick on that position.
The beauty of the NFL Draft is that there are diamonds in the rough. Any player from any round (or undrafted) could become the next hall of fame player in the NFL. The ugly side of the NFL Draft is that there are no guarantees. Top rated players are not exempt from becoming bench warmers.
As if it didn’t sting enough that the Philadelphia Eagles had a “swing and miss” with Marcus Smith, safety Deone Bucannon, cornerback Bradley Roby and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater were all still available. Say what you want about Teddy Bridgewater but he quietly had a decent season on a bad Minnesota Vikings team.
The importance of the Philadelphia Eagles 1st round 2015 NFL Draft pick can not be understated. I’ve said it many times and stand by the fact that I HIGHLY doubt the Philadelphia Eagles send multiple 1st round picks to move up to the draft Marcus Mariota. If you wanted to give it a read I wrote a post about Why the Philadelphia Eagles Will NOT Draft Marcus Mariota. So if the Philadelphia Eagles stay around the 2oth draft choice range, what position should be their focus?
I stand very firm in the belief that the Philadelphia Eagles need to use their first couple of picks in the 2015 NFL Draft on the defensive side of the ball. Cornerback stands out as my most concerning position after reviewing this year. It seemed like every week the Eagles corners were giving up huge play after huge play.
Some of that is the scheme the Eagles play, lots of man coverage with a single high safety and if you can’t be physical at the line, your chances of getting burnt are exponentially higher. That being said, if the Philadelphia Eagles want to continue to run the same scheme, they absolutely must find some top caliber cornerback talent.
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In my early NFL Mock Draft series I looked at some potential defensive 1st round draft picks the Philadelphia Eagles could target.
2015 Philadelphia Eagles Mock Draft Series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5.
*shameless plug, I would like to point out that I was calling for the Eagles to draft cornerback Trae Waynes way before Mel Kiper Jr.*
The safety position looks like another serious area of need. Unlike most teams, the Philadelphia Eagles safety needs to be able to cover the whole field, playing as more of a ball hawk than a hard hitter. The Eagles linebacker group could use some depth and depending on what happens with DeMeco Ryans and Trent Cole, linebacker could become a very pressing need.
What position would you like to see the Philadelphia Eagles use their 2015 1st round draft pick on? One thing is for certain, the Philadelphia Eagles can not miss out on this pick like they did last season. It is time the Eagles get the defensive play maker the team has been missing for years.
The off-season is starting earlier than I had hoped it would but that should give the Philadelphia Eagles plenty of time to get ready for the 2015 NFL Draft.