Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
The Philadelphia Eagles will make their first pick in the NFL draft in less than four weeks. The Eagles did not fill all their needs in free agency and they will have to find some day one starters or rotational players in this years draft. Whilst a lot of fans will want the Eagles to take the best player available, I am not sure any team does that.
If the best player available does not fit your scheme then you should not take him.
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Even if the best player available does fit your scheme well, you should not take him if you already have a lot of good young talent at that position unless he is an incredible talent. I don’t think the Eagles should consider taking an inside linebacker, a running back or a defensive lineman in the first round if you look at the current state of their roster. You can always trade down if you do not need the best player available at pick 20.
Here are the Eagles three biggest needs currently as they head into the draft:
The Eagles desperately need a safety. How many times have you heard that? The Eagles had no choice but to let Nate Allen leave after the Raiders gave him a big contract but the Eagles now have a glaring hole at starting safety alongside Malcolm Jenkins. I go in-depth on the Eagles need at safety here.
If the Eagles try and fill the safety position internally they do have a number of options, although none of them are very appealing. It looks like they will try to move Jaylen Watkins to safety and they do have Earl Wolff coming back from injury. I hope the Eagles find a safety they really like in the draft and make sure they get him, even if that means taking him a round earlier.
Signing Miles Austin doesn’t change anything. Assuming that Jordan Matthews stays in the slot, the Eagles badly need a number one receiver. I think that Josh Huff has a lot of potential but assuming he can just replace Maclin is insane. The Eagles do need someone who can stretch the defense and I really hope Huff can play that role.
If Huff can’t stretch the defense, I would still rather draft a receiver who can stretch the defense but also be a number 1 receiver. Someone such as Jaelen Strong or Nelson Agholor. I would not be opposed to a one dimensional deep threat in the second round, someone like Devin Smith, Phillip Dorsett or Rashad Greene but then we would still then need a number 1 receiver.
The Eagles offensive line is crucial to their success. Chip Kelly’s no-huddle offense requires tremendous athletes along the offensive line and those kind of players normally go early in the draft. The Eagles should definitely not trade Evan Mathis and I really hope he is here next year.
Even if Mathis is here next season, the Eagles still need a starting right guard. I think the position can be filled internally but we should start thinking about grooming Mathis’ replacement regardless. If Jake Fisher is there at 20, I think Chip will have a hard time saying no. He could immediately start at right guard and then move to right tackle in a couple of years.
Other positions with a need: The Eagles arguably need a starting cornerback opposite Byron Maxwell, I would not be opposed to drafting a cornerback in the first round. Outside linebacker is a position of need too, whilst Brandon Graham and Connor Barwin are the clear starters, there is very little depth behind them.
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