Philadelphia Eagles Draft Keys On Cornerback

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Jan 28, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago Bears linebacker

Lance Briggs

speaks at a 2015 Draft celebratory reception at Sheraton Phoenix Downtown. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

But lost in that shuffle is the 2015 NFL draft. In this draft, there are likely no 2015 starting quarterbacks available to the Eagles without shattering any hopes of using the draft in the future to build a champion team. Committing to a quarterback this year is truly a “go for broke” move.

There are also no true quality safeties in this draft either. There are prospects, and each has merits in their own right. But the Eagles need a safety who is strong in pass coverage, but can become the eighth big body in the box on a clear running play. The draft is not well stocked in the position, so if the Eagles do not luck out miraculously with a starter and if one of five remaining on the current roster cannot step up to assume the role, the only realistic option would be for the team to convert a cornerback to a safety position – most likely Nolan Carroll.

The draft IS loaded with wide receivers, and that is certainly an area that needs to be addressed this offseason.  But the wide receiver position is awfully difficult to draft when looking for an immediate impact starter.  Teams that have historically gone for the biggest baddest body have been relatively undazzled by the production that comes with a rookie on the end.  Each rule has its exception, but the wide receiver position is a crap shoot.  Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr was the third receiver taken in the 2014 draft, and was rated as the fourth best.  But his 2014 production led all rookies with 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns, despite only playing in 12 regular season games.  He had the benefit of a passing offense and starting wide reciever Victor Cruz falling to injury.

In spite of two wide receivers on the offense ahead of him, wide receiver Jordan Matthews finished the season with 872 yards and 8 touchdowns.  He will be well positioned to step up into a primary receiver role in 2015.  So do the Eagles want to place a top wide receiver into the mix to compete for a starting wide receiver role?  Or are they better served by drafting a wide reciever on the second and third days, and allowing them to grow into the role on the offense?

Whichever way the Eagles play the hand dealt to them, they have new faces on the team and less depth at cornerback than is ideal.   Considering the team faces some of the best wide receivers in the national football league twice a year, the team would do well to invest in players who can compete at that level.