The Philadelphia Eagles will look to capitalize on a successful first year with Chip Kelly as the team's head coach by adding even more talent this off-season. After the dust settles from moves made in free agency, the Eagles will have a chance to bring in young talent through the 2014 NFL draft. In recent years, the Eagles have done a nice job of identifying and selecting players who have proven to be valuable to the team's success. Examples include: Fletcher Cox, Brandon Boykin, Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz, Nick Foles, and more.
What made life easier for the Eagles the past two years is that they were picking in the top half of the draft order. This year, due to their regular season success, they have been pushed to the second half with their first pick coming at No. 22 overall. But according to NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock, this shouldn't be a huge concern. In his annual pre-combine media conference call, Mayock had high praise for the depth of the 2014 NFL draft class:
From my perspective, this is the deepest and best draft class I've seen in probably ten years. That's been reinforced by most of the general managers and scouts I've talked to throughout the league. I had one GM tell me the other day that having a top 20 pick this year is very similar to having a Top 10 pick last year. So I think there's more depth. I think there are certain positions that are stacked this year and you can get a quality player through three or four rounds.
Part of the talent infusion could be due to the fact a record-breaking number of underclassmen have entered this year's draft class. In any case, this is good news for a team like the Eagles that has a number of needs. A deep draft class could mean the Eagles can focus on taking talented players and not having to rely on need-oriented picks.
One specific position where Mayock feels the draft is the deepest is at wide receiver. Mayock stated this year is the "best wide receiver draft [he's] seen in years." Depending on what happens with Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper in free agency, the Eagles could have a big need at receiver. It's possible it would be best for the Eagles to find one later in the draft as opposed to having to reach early on.
Mayock's tune about the 2014 NFL draft class is a lot more positive than his outlook towards last year's class. Mayock claimed last year's draft lacked true difference makers. But despite Mayock's skepticism, the Eagles found a way to add some good, young talent. If this year's class is truly better, the Eagles could experience even more draft success this time around.
- LolSkins Re-Sign DeAngelo Hall
- 2014 NFL Draft: Mike Mayock Likes Dee Ford for the Eagles
- Jason Avant On the Issues of Locker Room Culture
- On The Mend with Arrelious Benn: The Journey Back to the Field
- 2014 NFL Scouting Combine Preview: Chip Kelly's Shortlist
- Early Look: Eagles Project To Be One of the NFL's Best Teams in 2014