NFL free agency will be here before you know it. In the meantime, we'll continue to look at potential free agent options for the Philadelphia Eagles. We already came up with four suggestions based on the team's biggest needs. Now we'll take a look at three players that Pro Football Focus thinks the Eagles should sign.
Wide receiver Marvin Jones
"The Eagles saw poor production at receiver last season, and no one in the group finished with a positive cumulative receiving grade. Best case scenario would be adding Alshon Jeffery, but it seems unlikely that he’ll leave Chicago. Alternatively, they should consider the 25-year-old Jones, who’s coming off of career-highs in both receptions (69) and yards (848) with the Bengals. He also posted the eighth-highest receiving grade in 2013, and would add ability after the catch—Jones has forced 32 missed tackles in 149 career receptions, including 12 last season (ranked 16th)."
There's no doubt the Eagles need help at receiver. Jordan Matthews is the only proven option on Philadelphia's roster. 2015 first round pick Nelson Agholor was the worst wide receiver in the NFL last season by PFF's grading. Josh Huff has shown flashes but he's far from reliable. Therefore adding a proven guy like Jones make some sense.
The problem with Jones is that he's probably going to have big market. This year's group of free agent pass catchers is awful. Jones is one of the best options, so a lot of teams will be chasing after him. The Eagles shouldn't be spending big money on him because he's probably primed to be overpaid.
Offensive guard Brandon Books
"This year’s group of free agent guards is a good one, and it coincides with a big need for the Eagles. Brooks would be an upgrade over Matt Tobin and Allen Barbre in pass protection, where he’s graded above average all four years of his career, improving in that facet each season. He fell off slightly against the run game in 2015, but ranked in the top-five at the position there in both 2013 and 2014. At 27 and having played at least 93 percent of Houston’s offensive snaps over three seasons, Brooks would be a good long-term option. The team might also consider Chiefs free agent Jeff Allen, given his familiarity with Pederson, but he’s played just 633 snaps over the last two years, and 2015 was the only season he’s graded above average overall."
The Eagles need two new starting guards. Brooks ranked 7th out of all guards in 2013, 8th in 2014, and 34th in 2015. He could come in right away and give the Eagles a good starter at right guard between Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson. He's started 44 out of 48 possible games over the last three seasons so he's been a reliable player. If not Brooks, the Eagles could sign Allen, as PFF suggests. The Eagles pretty much need to walk away from free agency with a new guard. There are too many good options to pick from to not get at least one new starter.
Linebacker Danny Trevathan
"Trevathan is just 26 years old and collected 65 stops last season, ranking fifth among ILBs in both run-stop percentage and tackling efficiency (eight missed tackles). He’s also graded among the 10 best linebackers in coverage, an area where the current Philadelphia LBs have particularly struggled."
This is a new you probably didn't expect, and for good reason. I don't think the Eagles are going to look to spend heavy at inside linebacker. Jordan Hicks, Mychal Kendricks, and Kiko Alonso project to be starters in 2016. DeMeco Ryans is also still around (for now). Kendricks and Alonso struggled in 2015 but the team might give them a chance to rebound.
Elsewhere in that PFF post, they also suggest the Eagles should re-sign Walter Thurmond but not Sam Bradford. Read the entire thing here.