The Philadelphia Eagles are a team that has left fans scratching their heads the last couple of years. They have a roster that is loaded with talent. They are relatively young, fast, athletic and had a dynamic offensive system to produce from. Many of the same players that on the roster where there when Vince Young referred to them as the "dream team". They have certainly been knocked down a notch or two since those days, but they can turn it around at any time. Coming off of last season's horrible 4-12 record the Eagles decided to part ways with long time head coach Andy Reid and installed Chip Kelly, head coach from Oregon, as his replacement. This will be Kelly's first draft as an NFL head coach and he looks to work together closely with general manager Howie Roseman to build a foundation for success. Going in to the 2013 draft, the Eagles have some specific needs that have to be addressed.
Chip Kelly is a coach that made his name on offense when he coached on Saturdays. He runs an up-tempo offense that requires his players to be fast and have a tremendous amount of endurance. They may have some serious issues at left tackle, depending on how fast Jason Peters recovers, but they know they are in trouble on the right side. They need a lineman who is more athletic and has a great amount of lateral quickness to excel in the new scheme. The coaching staff thinks Todd Herremans can stop in and be effective at either the guard or tackle spot on the right side, which means they only have to draft for one spot.
There was a time when the safety position in Philadelphia was dominated by one man...Brian Dawkins. Even though there were two safeties on the field, not many people made much mention of the other guy. The safety position has been a let-down since those days, and the team will need to do something in the draft if they hope to turn it around. With a new coaching staff in place the Eagles will likely begin to focus on how they can add two new starting caliber safeties to the roster. At times Nate Allen has shown flashes of the potential he has, but he is just not consistent enough.
It would be nice to not have to name so many positions as a need, but it's the truth. Other than Demeco Ryans at middle linebacker, no one on the defense stood out. Coach Kelly prefers to go with a 3-4 base look, but he has said that personnel will decide what they go with. Defensive coordinator Bill Davis will likely pair Mychal Kendricks with Ryans on the inside and have Trent Cole playing outside linebacker. Even if the players adapt well to their new coaches and positions, the team still needs depth at the positions.
The Eagles lost what they were hoping was going to be their star cornerback, Namdi Asomugha. The way he performed and the money he was due finalized his plane ticket out of Philadelphia. On the other side of the field they have Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a guy who hasn't lived up to what they thought he would be when they acquired him from San Diego. The Eagles will need to begin to draft and develop corners through the draft instead of going through the free agent market.
The Eagles find themselves in an unenviable position...they have a lot of needs to fill. However, one thing we know for sure is nothing good is going to happen in Philadelphia if the Eagles don't get the quarterback situation under control. Michael Vick is not going to be the answer that they need, even the most optimistic admit that. This means that they could very easily use their 4th overall pick to take a player they think can really make a difference at the position, Geno Smith. Even though some scouts have reservations about him, Kelly thinks he can really put Smith in a position to succeed in his offense. He is a fast, talented quarterback who has always shown the ability to learn well. If they believe he has the ability to be the guy they see as the future of the franchise, it will be awfully hard to pass him up.