SB Nation's Mocking the Draft released their latest 2014 NFL Mock Draft on Monday. Let's take a look at who they have the Eagles taking this time.
22. Philadelphia Eagles - Odell Beckham Jr., Wide Receiver, LSU
The Eagles need more playmakers in the passing game, and that will become an even bigger issue if Jeremy Maclin leaves in free agency. Odell Beckham Jr. has reliable hands, great body control and plenty of speed. He's beginning to look more and more like a first-round lock.
This is a bit of a change. In recent SBN mocks, they typically had the Eagles going defense. At the same time, Beckham isn't a new name to be mocked to the Eagles. Mel Kiper Jr. has the Eagles taking the LSU receiver in his second mock of the 2014 NFL draft season.
The Eagles drafting a wide receiver in the first round makes sense. Depending on what happens with Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper in free agency, the Eagles could potentially need a receiver. However, some might argue the Eagles offense isn't the side of the ball that needs the attention. The offense was great in 2013. The Eagles' defense is the squeaky wheel that needs the grease.
This brings up an interesting discussion: should the Eagles continue to make the offense better even though it already performed at a high level? Or should they focus on addressing needs? It's a classic discussion of luxury versus necessity.
The way I see it, it's not as simple about being offense or defense. "Need" is a relevant factor, and one that can mitigated through free agency, such as was evident in the Eagles' 2013 offseason approach. The Eagles needed a tight end, so they signed James Casey in free agency. That gave them the luxury to draft Zach Ertz, who they felt was too good of a talent to pass on. Therefore, it wouldn't be shocking to see the Eagles re-sign a receiver or two (Maclin and/or Cooper) but still look to add a talented receiver such as Beckham in the draft if they feel he's a difference maker who presents great value to the team.
That said, at some point the Eagles do need to address their team needs. Striking the balance is key.