The NFL Draft is quickly approaching… the first round will take place in prime time this year, April 22nd. The Eagles currently hold the 24th overall pick in the first round. Unfortunately, they enter this offseason with more needs than I can remember in a while, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
The Eagles ended last season with their defense as bad as I can remember it in a while. It is only fair that you give Sean McDermott some time to fully take over the defense and turn it back into the elite defense it was under the late, great Jim Johnson. The Eagles appear to be trying to get younger on defense, getting rid of veteran fan favorite Sheldon Brown, when they don’t really have an alternative who is on the same level as Brown right now.
The Eagles have holes in basically every area of the defense. The Eagles need a safety, as Macho Harris and Quintin Demps were not able to get the job done there last season. They also need a cornerback since the aforementioned Sheldon Brown is now a Cleveland Brown. Ellis Hobbs can play, but isn’t as good as Brown. The Eagles could also use some help at the linebacker position. Stewart Bradley will be back in the middle, but I’m not sure how confident we should feel in Akeem Jordan and Moses Fokou on the outsides. Up front, the Eagles also need some help. The tackles are solid, but can’t play entire games. Trevor Laws, former 2nd round draft pick couldn’t even get on the field last year. Trent Cole also has no help at the other end position, and the Eagles are going to have to sure the left end position up at some point soon. This is a lot of positions to address; too many to address in one offseason, which is why I don’t think the defense will be up to par next season.
On offense, the Eagles are pretty solid, and young at most positions. We will see this season what we have in Kevin Kolb. If Kolb is solid, the Eagles have a solid group of young skill position players in Kolb, Shady McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin to built off of for the next decade. Brent Celek has become a solid starting tight end in this league. The offensive line is the weak part of this offense. This is amazing considering the fact that genius Andy Reid spends so much time and money and picks to make sure the offensive line is solid. Shawn Andrews was cut, and Stacy Andrews was horrible and couldn’t get on the field last season. Jason Peters was average when he played, and when he was injured, Todd Herramans would play tackle, and looked terrible there. The rest of the line in Cole, Jean-Gilles, and Jackson played poorly in my opinion. McNabb was not protected well, and none of the running backs had much room to maneuver. The offensive line will need to improve this offseason for Kevin Kolb to feel comfortable behind them.
The Eagles will be on the clock shortly, and need to make something happen in the draft. Right now, this roster might not even be a playoff team right now, and they certainly are not ready to seriously contend. Andy Reid loves to brag about how awesome he is for having so many picks going into every draft... hopefully he uses them wisely.