Sal Pal: ‘They’ve Got to Find Somebody Opposite Darius Slay’
We’re just a few weeks away from the NFL Draft and Eagles fans are still all over the map when it comes to what the team should do with the No. 12 pick.
The Eagles are set to enter the 2021 draft with 11 draft picks, including two in the third, three in the sixth and two in the seventh. The team has a tremendous opportunity to fill the multiple holes they have on the current roster. However, their most important pick comes at No. 12 in the first-round.
So what will Philadelphia do with its first selection?
Will the Eagles look to fill their biggest need and target a cornerback to play opposite Darius Slay and be a starter Week 1? What about an offensive tackle to battle with Jordan Mailata and Andre Dillard to provide more depth to a position that was decimated by injuries? Will Philadelphia draft a wide receiver to give Jalen Hurts another weapon on the offense? How about a quarterback if one falls to No. 12? Maybe a linebacker if Micah Parsons in on the board when the Eagles pick.
According to ESPN NFL reporter Sal Paolantonio, the answer is clear. He shared what he thinks the Eagles should do on Friday’s edition of The Sports Bash on 97.3 ESPN.
Paolantonio explained the with new defensive coordinator Johnathan Gannon implementing a cover-2 defense, adding a starting level corner is paramount to that defense be effective.
"They've got to find somebody opposite Darius Slay," Paolantonio stated. "I think they need to get a blue chip corner prospect."
The Eagles boast one of the worst cornerback units in the NFL with Slay the only sure bet to get playing time in 2021. Behind him on the depth chart, there’s not a lot of options or experience, especially on the outside.
The team currently has Avonte Moddox, Craig James, Michael Jacquet, Kevon Seymour, and Grayland Arnold on the roster who played in 2020, hardly household names to play across from Slay.
Additionally, Philadelphia lost Jalen Mils, a very versatile player who could play both corner and safety, in free agency to the New England Patriots.
The 2021 NFL Draft boasts some high-end talent at the cornerback position, but unlike the wide receiver position, there isn't a lot of depth at the position.
So what if a top wide receiver and top cornerback are both on the board at No. 12 when its the Eagles turn to pick?
"I take the corner," Paolantonio answered. "Its a greater need."
While the Eagles do have other positions of need entering the draft, Paolantonio thinks Philadelphia’s focus with its first pick should be cornerback.
"I think the No. 1 need on this team right now is a corner," definitively stated Paolantonio.
So much so, that don't be surprised if the Eagles make a call on draft night to move up to get one.
"The natural spot is No. 8," explained Paolantonio. "Now that Carolina has Sam Darnold, if they don't like any of the quarterbacks that are dropping and the Eagles really want one of those corners and so do the Cowboys, than the Eagles and the Cowboys are on the phone with Carolina and let the bidding begin."
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