The Eagles enter tonight’s draft at Radio City Music Hall in a position that they really haven’t found themselves in over a decade. The mass exodus of veterans has left them with numerous holes on both sides of the ball and a lack of depth throughout the roster. Here’s how I think new gm Howie Roseman and the actual gm Andy Reid should handle the first round tonight.
Personally, I think the biggest need on the Birds roster is in the defensive secondary. The team never fully recovered from the loss of Brian Dawkins and now with the departure of Sheldon Brown the depth and leadership is absolutely non-existent. Luckily for the Birds there are two big time players available at the safety spot and another couple of cornerbacks who could really be difference makers in the secondary.
The interior offensive line is another key position of need with the release of Shawn Andrews and the late season loss of Jamaal Jackson the current starters at center are natural guard Nick Cole and free agent disappointment Stacy Andrews. This is a spot that the Eagles will absolutely address early and often through the weekend.
A defensive end to play opposite Trent Cole is also a need but it’s my opinion that there are no ends in this years draft in the Eagles range that are worth the investment.
|1 (24)||Own Pick|
|2 (37)||Acquired from Washington for QB Donovan McNabb|
|2 (55)||Own Pick|
|3 (70)||Acquired from Seattle in 2009 draft day trade|
|3 (87)||Own Pick|
|4 (105)||Acquired from Cleveland along with LB Alex Hall for CB Sheldon Brown and LB Chris Gocong|
|4 (121)||Own Pick|
|6 (200)||Acquired from Indianapolis in 2009 draft day trade|
|7 (243)||Compensatory Pick|
|7 (244)||Compensatory Pick|
The Dream Scenario…
Eagles clearly have the ammunition to move up in the first round. They could easily enter into the teens without having to sacrifice too much and even into the top 10 if they were willing to touch picks for next year. The cost of getting into the top 10 is a little to rich for my blood but Eric Berry would be the perfect selection for this secondar, I just don’t believe sacrificing a number of high picks would be worth the difference between Berry and the #2 safety on the board. I would package the #24 along with a 3 and a 4 to get into the teens and secure my chance at selecting safety Earl Thomas from the University of Texas. The 5’10 208lb ball hawk is a certified playmaker with experience at safety and corner. He’s a big hitter and he’s got the smarts to be successful in the Eagles aggressive scheme.
The less sexy picks that I believe the Eagles could target in the first round are 6’5 330 lb giant guard Mike Iupati from Idaho and versatile center Maurkice Pouncey from the University of Florida.
Here’s how I see it…
If the Eagles trade up: Eric Berry, Earl Thomas, MLB Rolando McClain from Alabama or USF defensive end Jason Pierre Paul (I think he’s got bust written all over him. Purely a physical specimen think Mamula)
If the Eagles stand pat at 24: Mike Iaputi, Maurkice Pouncey, cornerback Kyle Wilson from Boise State or linebacker Sean Witherspoon from Missouri.
My pick: Earl Thomas