*edit* [what should we draft first]
I’m going to start off by saying that I don’t know the answer to this question. As of today (12/5) the Eagles have the 8th pick in the draft. I’m not saying we’re going to stay there but we will probably finish in between the 7th and 13th pick in upcoming draft.
The Eagles big needs in my mind are WR, LB, and a QB for the future. This class has so many talented QBs that I think now would be a good time to invest in one (see Packers: Aaron Rodgers). But what position is most important, and should be addressed first? I’m going off the assumption that Steve Smith and DeSean Jackson will not be wearing midnight green next year. If that is the case, WR is something the Eagles will target in the draft.
Some big name wide receivers coming are Justin Blackmon and Alshon Jeffery. Justin Blackmon is a playmaker, who has 35 TDs in the last 2 years I believe. Jeffery is big (6’4") which is desperately what the Eagles need – a big receiver who can catch that fade in the red zone that the Giants run so perfectly. I highly doubt both of these guys are available when the Eagles are on the clock, but if one has slipped down, do we take a shot?
No explanation needed here, LB is a huge hole in this defense that must be addressed in the offseason. There have been many names tossed around including Luke Kuechly, Zach Brown, Manti Te’o, and Vontaze Burfict. I don’t watch all these players play but I’m able to get an understanding of what each of them brings to the table. Kuechly just won the Butkus Award, which has proven to display high quality linebackers; he got 197 tackles this past year and has set many tackling records. The Eagles definitely need a linebacker who can tackle, because we all know how many missed tackles there has been this year. Now, most people want nothing to do with Vontaze Burfict, but he may be the perfect fit for this defense. The Arizona State prospect has a lot to prove as far as his on and off the field maturity goes, but no one can question his raw ability. He is a physical freak and covers a ton of ground at 6'3" and 250 pounds and he is a punishing hitter. Then there is Te’o who has been a starter at Notre Dame since the day he stepped on the field. That leadership is something that could blossom as an Eagle. Is tackling has room for improvement but besides that, he looks like a stud to be in the NFL. The Eagles historically don’t draft a LB in the first round, and I think the question here becomes, do any of these guys have the possibility of slipping to the 2nd round? If so, the Eagles may address other needs first.
Onto QB. Jeff McLane noted earlier today that the Eagles are only on the hook for Vick’s contract for one more year, if they decided to let him go they would only be taking a cap hit of about $3-4 million for 2013 and 2014. I’m not saying the Eagles should dump Vick, but there’s no denying he hasn’t been nearly as good as he was last year. I’m not jumping ship yet, still, it’s always smart to be planning ahead, and I don’t believe in Kafka as a franchise type QB. Robert Griffin III is a truly gifted athlete who will change some team very significantly. I’m not sure I’m convinced he is an NFL caliber QB, but he has great pocket presence, accuracy, and mobility. I have no idea where he could go in the draft, but he could be groomed for the future. There are some real talented QBs in the draft this year but the only other one I’m going to talk about is Matt Barkley. He’s had a great year for USC and I definitely see him succeeding in the NFL he is just a true franchise QB.
I have no idea where these players will go, and I have no idea what should be our priority. So please, BGN, what are your thoughts? What position do you feel needs to be addressed first and foremost? We’ll all debate over who it should be, but I think we can all agree if Reid drafts an o-linemen or a defensive end with our first pick we will all cry.