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Two Weeks Out From The NFL Draft And I Think …

This feature is a weekly piece on titled From The Eagles, featuring Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro. The intention is to provide a perspective directly from the Philadelphia Eagles in this forum for the great fans who visit BGN.

The trade-up-for-Marcus-Mariota rhetoric seems to have calmed down just a bit - thank goodness! - and now we can focus just a bit more on the reality of the Philadelphia Eagles and what might or might not happen on April 30 when the NFL draft begins. Some thoughts ...

  • Names need not apply, but I think the Eagles have some pretty defined areas they can improve in the seven-round draft. In no particular order, and this is just my perspective, I could see the Eagles drafting a cornerback, wide receiver and offensive lineman (or two) early in the draft. Where to go first? I don't know, but from what every analyst is saying, the wide receiver group is so deep that quality should still be on the board in the third round. That doesn't mean the Eagles should ignore the wide receiver position in the first round, but it's something for them to consider. Go wide receiver early or late? How much of a difference in quality will there be between rounds one and three?

  • Safety is perhaps the most obvious hole on this team as far as a starter goes. And just because Alabama's Landon Collins is the top-rated safety and could very well be there at No. 20 overall doesn't mean the Eagles should draft him. I spoke with NFL Network's Mike Mayock the other day and he described Collins as a "really good in-the-box" safety. Well, the Eagles need their safeties more in coverage than they need them "in the box," so I'm not sure that adding that kind of player is what is the best fit here. Of course, Collins could be much more than that, but the book on him from the analysts suggests that he's best suited as a "dime linebacker" kind of player.

  • I wouldn't be shocked if the Eagles bypass safety in the draft. I think they want to give second-year man Jaylen Watkins a long look. They want to see E.J. Biggers at the position. They want to see where Earl Wolff is from a health standpoint. Mayock said that Arizona State's Damarious Randall is a "fast riser" among NFL front offices as a "pure cover safety" so maybe he fits. Maybe the Eagles draft a cornerback whom they project to safety. I just don't know if that's a first-round draft pick.

  • You're going to love wide receiver Seyi Ajirotutu. He's going to have a chance to get some reps at wide receiver, but where he will really have a chance to make an impact is on special teams as a gunner who gets down the field and engulfs return men. He will be a top, top player for coordinator Dave Fipp.

  • If you're looking for a profile on the kind of cornerback the Eagles want, understand Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond. They are long and strong, with length and the ability to play press coverage and jam at the line of scrimmage. They need to run and recover. They need to tackle. Playing inside and outside helps. Byron Jones? He fits the profile. Marcus Peters? Certainly. Trae Waynes? Of course. There are 5-6 in this draft. Will the Eagles make cornerback a priority in a couple of weeks?

  • I say the Eagles will not draft a quarterback. That's just what my gut says. I also say the Eagles won't trade up and give up draft picks. My guess is that, if anything, they want to accumulate draft picks.

  • Allen Barbre, Matt Tobin and Andrew Gardner are players the Eagles are counting on for 2015, but don't rule out the team taking a college tackle who can move inside and play guard early in the draft. The Eagles need to be better up front than they were a season ago. We see what a dominating offensive line meant for Dallas in 2014. That the Eagles still scored points and moved the ball so well using seven different starting offensive line combinations and their second-string quarterback for half of the season was rather remarkable. The offensive line took a hit with injuries. Todd Herremans is Indianapolis. Evan Mathis and Jason Peters have age on them. Time for an infusion here.

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