Eagles’ Top Needs Heading Into the Draft
It’s pretty clear to most Eagles fans that the emphasis in next week’s draft will be on the secondary. Although the Eagles have other needs, they only have five cornerbacks on their roster, none of which started last season for the team.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the positions the Eagles should emphasize in the draft.
It wouldn’t surprise anyone if the Eagles end up drafting two corners. The Eagles landed Jalen Mills in the seventh round, and they think he is an eventual starter. Finding someone to pair with him isn’t going to be easy, unless they focus on finding someone in this deep corner class.
Names like Marlon Humphrey of Alabama, Kevin King of Washington, Gareon Conley of Ohio State and Teez Tabor of Florida are all guys who should be available for the Eagles at pick No. 14, and should start immediately.
If Humphrey or Conley are there at No. 14, it would be hard for the Eagles to pass on either player. If some of the others are still available there, the Eagles might be tempted to trade down and grab one in the second round.
This is one of the better drafts for running back. You have a few big names at the top, but running back is typically a position teams don't value as much in the earlier rounds of the draft.
The Eagles have a lot of questions about the three guys who shared the load last season: Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles and 2016 fifth-round pick, Wendell Smallwood. This might be the year they look for an eventual full-time starter.
Even though he could play wide receiver, Christian McCaffery would be a perfect first-round pick to develop along with Carson Wentz. He’s more of a slot receiver who can also carry the ball, he has tremendous versatility. He reminds people a lot like former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook, with the ability to run and catch the ball out of-the-backfield. Doug Pederson would find ways to make it work for McCaffery.
Joe Mixon of Oklahoma would have to be a consideration if he was still available to the Eagles with pick No. 43 in the second round. Mixon might be a consideration at No. 14 if not for an ugly off-the-field incident from his past. D'onta Foreman of Texas, Alvin Kamara of Tennessee, Wayne Gallman of Clemson, Marlon Mack of South Florida, and Jamaal Williams of BYU would also be second or third round considerations.
The Eagles need someone to line up on the opposite side of Brandon Graham. There are a couple of guys in this draft, that should be on the board at No. 14 with good explosion. They also should be looking for a defensive tackle to provide some pass-rush with the loss of Bennie Logan and injury to Beau Allen.
Some potential early-round names to remember: Derek Barnett of Tennessee, Takkarist McKinley of UCLA, Charles Harris of Missouri and Taco Charlton of Michigan
The Eagles don’t have to draft a wide out now, but if one falls to them in the first round, it would still be a consideration.
The most interesting names are Corey Davis of Western Michigan, Mike WIlliams of Clemson, and John Ross of Washington. Ross ran a 4.22 40 at the combine and enhanced his stock, to the point where the Eagles would have to consider him at No. 14. After these three names, there is a bit of a dip, but the Eagles could look at a player like JuJu Smith-Schuster in round two.
If the Eagles are going to bring in a tight end to compete against Zach Ertz, Trey Burton and Brent Celek for playing time, it’s probably going to be O.J. Howard of Alabama.
If he fell to the Eagles at No. 14, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if they use the pick on a talent like Howard, if he falls that far.