Philadelphia Eagles: Take The Best Player Available?
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
The Philadelphia Eagles will face a number of tough choices come draft day. The odds are that in the first few rounds (assuming they don’t somehow trade up for Mariota) the Eagles will have a number of players graded similarly. They will then face a tough decision. Draft to improve a position or just take the best player available.
Everyone wants the Eagles to draft players in the early rounds to improve the secondary.
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However, the draft should never be used to fill immediate needs, it should be used to select the best player available who can help your team in years to come. The Eagles have to draft the best player available regardless of position. The Eagles should be looking to make positions of strength, even stronger in the draft. If they draft a cornerback just because they need a cornerback, the Eagles are simply doing it wrong.
The Eagles strength under Chip Kelly is their offense, it always will be. Chip is an offense centred coach, the Eagles best chance of winning a super bowl under Chip is having an elite offense and a mediocre defense. If the highest rated player on the board when the Eagles are drafting in the first or second round is a running back, a wide receiver or an offensive lineman then the Eagles should take him.
This works both ways too. The Eagles strength on defense is their defensive line and their weakness is clearly the secondary. But, if the Eagles highest rated player by a distance is a stud defensive lineman then take him! Imagine having Fletcher Cox and another stud as your 3-4 defensive ends, or Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton and an elite nose tackle. This would improve the Eagles defense.
Also, let’s say the Eagles sign Byron Maxwell and another good cornerback in free agency. Then when we’re picking at 20, Trae Waynes is still available. You still draft him! It doesn’t matter that he won’t start year 1, that’s probably a good thing. The odds are, someone will get injured and Waynes will get time to develop. Even after signing two free agent cornerbacks, If Waynes is available and is the best player available, draft him!
A recent example of talent before need is the drafting of tight end Zach Ertz. The Eagles had a ton of weapons on offense: DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy and others. They had just signed tight end James Casey to a decent contract and they already had Brent Celek under contract. Yet they still drafted Ertz because he was an extremely talented player who fits Chips scheme perfectly. Now two years later, Ertz is developing into a stud on offense.
An example of drafting for need, look no further than last year. The drafting of Marcus Smith II was a huge mistake. Smith was taken because the Eagles needed a pass rusher and an outside linebacker, he was not the most talented player available.
Regardless if you are a Super Bowl contender or a team rebuilding, unless the best player available is a quarterback and you already have one, just take the best player available. Hopefully the Eagles draft the best player available in this years draft, the roster will look better in a few years if they do.
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