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What is the Eagles biggest draft need?

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It’s going to be a fun draft

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles won Super Bowl LII in part because of their incredible roster depth, triumphing despite the loss of several key starters including their MVP candidate quarterback. In some areas, they look to be even better: they’ve improved at wide receiver, defensive tackle, defensive end, and cornerback. While they have some roster holes from free agents and releases, they enter the draft with so few needs that it’s hard to determine what their biggest one is.

QB: Uh yeah, the Eagles are set at QB. Priority: None.

RB: The Eagles never really filled the pass catching void since Darren Sproles went down. Corey Clement sort of took it over, but that’s not really his forte. The hope is that Donnel Pumphrey will take that role, but even if he does the Eagles aren’t afraid to carry a bunch of running backs on the roster. Priority: Medium.

OT: When injury struck Jason Peters, the Eagles turned to converted defensive tackle Taylor Hart, then plucked Will Beatty off the street. Having a prospect to groom instead of relying on an in-season free agent would be nice. Priority: Medium.

G/C: Stefen Wisniewski, Jason Kelce, and Brandon Brooks form one of the best interiors, and Isaac Seumalo and Chance Warmack are young and cheap backups. Priority: None.

TE: The newly signed Richard Rodgers gives the Eagles a depth chart that isn’t empty behind Zach Ertz. But he’s only on a one year deal, and they need blocker to replace Brent Celek. Blocking tight end is a role that can be filled through a late round pick or UDFA, or a veteran free agent, but another pass catcher could go any time. Priority: High.

WR: The Eagles are deep on the outside with Alshon Jeffery, Mike Wallace, Mack Hollins, along with Shelton Gibson. But they don’t have anyone behind Nelson Agholor in the slot. They also need a punt returner, which are almost always wide receivers or defensive backs, so a receiver who can play the slot and return punts would work. Priority: Low.

DE: The Eagles defensive line is absurdly deep, but they do have a draft need. Not only are Brandon Graham, Michael Bennett, and Chris Long in their 30s, but Graham is in the last year of his contract and at this point nobody would be surprised if 2018 is Long’s final season. So adding more youth alongside Derek Barnett makes sense. On the other hand, it would take an injury for a rookie to make the active game day roster, is that really the best use of a pick this year? Priority: Low.

DT: Fletcher Cox, Tim Jernigan, and Haloti Ngata give the Eagles a great trio in the middle, but there’s a fourth spot up for grabs for this year and with Ngata on a one year deal, grabbing a developmental guy works. Priority: Medium.

LB: The Eagles have approximately 28 linebackers. That said, Nigel Bradham is the only one you can count on to be both on the roster in 2019 and healthy. Priority: Medium.

CB: The Eagles have three corners who are 24 or younger and were starters last year in Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills and Daryl Worley, along with Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones. They’re well stocked… except at slot. With Patrick Robinson taking a pay day in New Orleans, the Eagles don’t have anyone who is a true slot corner, and you can never have enough corners. With Ronald Darby entering the last year of his contract—and thus possible trade bait—plus a need for a punt returner, drafting a corner who can play slot and return punts makes sense. They’ve had a few players who fit that description in for visits. Priority: High.

S: The Eagles’ third safety in 2017 was Corey Graham, who will be 33 when the season starts and is a free agent. The Eagles pretty much have to draft a safety this year. There’s always a handful of corner/safety tweeners in the draft, or they could look to convert one on the roster, which fits in with the Eagles roster: Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, and Graham are all converted cornerbacks. Additionally, the Eagles could get significant cap savings on both Jenkins and McLeod next year, and the Eagles might be limited in the moves they can make, so having a young and cheap option would be a tough but necessary pill to swallow. Priority: High.

Specialists: Donnie Jones “retired”, and as noted they’re looking for a punt returner. Drafting a punter would be phenomenally stupid, but it’s a safe bet that whoever returns punts in 2018 is getting his name called from the podium.

Every team has draft needs, but the few holes the Eagles have further illustrates how deep the team is. Tight end, slot corner and safety seem like safe bets. The Eagles are in a weird spot: the positions that are valued high in the draft: QB, DE, OT and WR, are not priority needs for them. That means they really can go best player in the draft (other than QB).

That, along with being scheduled to draft 32nd after winning the Super Bowl, means that the 2018 draft is going to be a stress free one for Eagles fans.

Poll

What is the Eagles biggest draft need?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Quarterback
    (17 votes)
  • 4%
    Running back
    (127 votes)
  • 18%
    Offensive tackle
    (539 votes)
  • 0%
    Guard/center
    (10 votes)
  • 20%
    Tight end
    (590 votes)
  • 0%
    Wide receiver
    (22 votes)
  • 0%
    Defensive end
    (25 votes)
  • 0%
    Defensive tackle
    (18 votes)
  • 20%
    Linebacker
    (603 votes)
  • 8%
    Cornerback
    (238 votes)
  • 25%
    Safety
    (742 votes)
2931 votes total Vote Now