Ranking Eagles positional needs ahead of NFL free agency

Josh Sweat #94, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Josh Sweat #94, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Darius Slay #2, Philadelphia Eagles
Darius Slay #2, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) /

player. 54. . . . Cornerback. 5

The Eagles have to find a complement for Darius Slay.

How many of you thought that we’d be placing the cornerback position closer to the top of the list of team needs? No one would blame you if you had a list of your own and placed a higher need at the position, but unlike years past, this unit doesn’t appear to be in as dire straits as it has been during recent memory.

Pro Bowler Darius Slay is a big reason for that being the case. He’s a proven playmaker and as close to being a shutdown corner as you can find in today’s game. Avonte Maddox has found a home as the Eagles’ starting slot cornerback. He had what was, perhaps, his best season as a professional, and Philadelphia awarded him a three-year, $22.5 million contract extension on November 20th.

Philly also showed a commitment to adding young and talented developmental prospects at the position. Tay Gowan, Zech McPhearson, Josiah Scott, Andre Chachere, and Kary Vincent Jr. are the evidence of that.

The Eagles have a need for an outside cornerback to start opposite Darius Slay. That’s obvious, especially if Steven Nelson isn’t extended, but that could be satisfied with a signing or an early draft choice.

Philly may have driven a wedge in the revolving door. No one should be surprised if the Birds use one of those first-round draft choices on one, but in terms of need, there are a few other positions this team has that need immediate attention.