I would just like to say that first and foremost NOBODY knows what Chip Kelly is going to do, the best NFL analysts on ESPN and NFL NETWORK are guessing and speculating just as good as we are. With that said I do believe that Kelly has brought in a good couching staff and so far good players to build a foundation for the future of this football team.
Foundation for competition: In my opinion I think Kelly has recognized the areas where the Eagles lacked the most last season and that is OL, LB, and S; and the Front Office has brought in a few guys to compete in all 3 positions for solid depth and possibly a starting role.
OL: The Eagles Front Office has brought in a few guys to compete for depth along the O-line, specifically at the tackle position. Tackles Ed Wang and Allen Barbre were signed earlier this year, neither really have a chance to crack the starting line up as I HOPE Kelly will draft a tackle early, and will compete against Dennis Kelly, Matt Kopa, and Matt Reynolds for reserve roles. Guard is an area where improvement is needed but not necessarily emergent. Jake Scott filled in well, Mathis was our saving grace on the line and we are all still praying that Danny Watkins stops bullshitting and pans out to be the solid RG that we thought he would be. At Center we have a need for depth as well as we only have Dallas Reynolds and Jason Kelce returning from injury, depth here is needed as well, again not emergent.
LB: It continues to be bolstered as we just added Emmanuel Acho to the LB mix. That doesn't say much except that the Eagles are serious about competition at the LB position and don't feel strongly about the current LB's on the roster. Connor Barwin, Jason Phillips, and Everette Brown are our newest additions at LB as well and should add some competition for reserve roles. Barwin I expect to start as an OLB, everybody else will compete for depth.
S: Patrick Chung and Kenny Phillips were both added to strengthen the Safety unit. The only problem with that is that Phillips hasn't started a full 16 Games since 2010 and Chung never did, both due to injuries. Nate Allen can't seem to stay on the field but has the skill-set to be a good NFL Safety and Coleman is flat out a liability in coverage. Colt Anderson for starter...anybody? I would think that the FO and Kelly are well aware of the injury bug that has plagued our current Safeties on the roster and will bolster this unit relatively early to mid rounds in the draft. I say early to mid because If Phillips and Chung stay healthy and Allen finds his grove then we will be set, not only set but dangerous. There is serious potential at this position.
I've warmed up with the Idea of trading back and I think we should to acquire more picks to fill a few more needs. Quick 3 round mock, lets just say we trade back to #9 with the Jets and grab their 1st and a 2nd rounder in exchange for the number 4...Good rip me later... I'm stealing analysis' from Walter Football since I'm not too well versed with draft prospects.
1 - Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma: Needed to step in at RT and allow Todd Herremans to move back to the Guard position. At 6"6 303 LB's Johnson has been on the riz
2a - Margus Hunt DE SMU: Since we don't really have anybody else who could play the end position opposite Cox, besides Thorton, Hunt makes sense here. Hunt adds the element of size that Kelly has been emphasizing at 6"8 277 LB's, he would be an absolute terror coming off of the line and would be a good fit opposite Cox on the other end. Walter Football reads: Hunt's technique in run defense and executing pass-rushing moves has really improved, but he is still extremely raw. Hunt flashed at times at the Senior Bowl, yet needs some more development for the next level. He could turn into a perfect 3-4 defensive end in the mold of Justin Smith. Hunt may be best as a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense for the NFL.
2b - Johnathan Hankins NT Ohio State: Issac Sopoaga isn't a 3 down player and we aren't sure if Dixon is a sure candidate to be our NT of the future, Hankins will definitely compete for the starting job. Great size for a stop gap player in the middle at 6"3 320 LB's. Walter Football reads: He has played all over the defensive line. Hankins has lined up as a three-technique, on the outside shoulder of the guard; a two-gap defensive tackle technique; a defensive end; and the zero-technique - as a nose tackle above the center. Hankins got good penetration into the pocket to hurry quarterbacks and take away space for them to step up in the pocket. He has serious quickness that he uses to fire into his gap and disrupt plays.
3 - Phillip Thomas S Fresno State: With a draft littered with Safety talent, I believe Thomas should be the pick here to sure up the Safety position. As I stated before Chung and Phillips aren't locks to make it through the entire season and we can't wait for Allen to reach his full potential any more. Walter Football reads: Thomas led the nation with eight interceptions in 2012. He had three picks against Colorado, returning two of them for touchdowns. Thomas also recorded 82 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, four passes broken up and four forced fumbles. He really put himself on the map with his big plays and made up for lost time.The kid is a ballhawk and has great size at 6"1 208 LBS.
Other needs that should get addressed in the draft are: CB, G, DE again, OLB, late round WR. I thought this years CB class was fairly deep with talent and I feel as though we could grab some quality in the 4th round maybe David Amerson from NC State, assuming he falls that late. I'm also a fan of adding a late round WR prospect because we have plenty of WR's on this roster right now and it seems that we will have a decent starting 4-5 each game. No need to go in the early rounds and add a WR when we have plenty of other areas of NEED to fill.
Please let me know what you guys think.