With the NFL draft being only several days away, we take a look at the potential approach the Philadelphia Eagles may have this Thursday night.
Since Howie Roseman made such an incredible move for Jordan Howard, the need or urgency to draft a back isn’t quite what it once was. There is no longer a reason to even consider drafting one in the first round. Now, that doesn’t mean that they can’t or won’t consider drafting a complementary running back in the later rounds. A name that comes to mind is Justice Hill of Oklahoma State University. Justice Hill isn’t projected to be an every-down style of running back; so drafting a player as talented as he is, may not be required until the second or third round.
The Philadelphia Eagles did not re-sign good but unreliable former Linebacker Jordan Hicks. With Hicks moving on to the Cardinals, there is certainly a need to address that hole. Under Howie Roseman, the Eagles have not drafted a linebacker in the earlier parts of the draft. Such philosophy may change with many talented names being available in the first two rounds. Devin Bush of Michigan may end up falling into the Eagles lap on day one. If such is the case, don’t be surprised if Howie pulls the trigger this time around.
The Eagles still have Nigel Bradham and Kamu Grugier-Hill; who are both still very capable starting linebackers. However, Nigel Bradham is more of an outside linebacker, and special teamer/back-up linebacker Kamu may very well be on the outside as well, but it can still be argued whether or not Kamu is a capable starting linebacker. With that being said, the Eagles may look to draft a long term linebacker early in this year’s draft.
The second most important position in football is the offensive tackle. A position that is responsible for protecting a franchise quarterback from some of the leagues best pass rushers. Lane Johnson was the last tackle taken early in the draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He is one of the premier tackles in the league, and well worth his high draft position.
With Jason Peters being on the final year of his contract and most likely career, the Eagles will have a need at that position. That need couldn’t be any larger with the young quarterback Carson Wentz coming back from yet another injury. Jordan Mailata, a young raw prospect entering his second year of professional football, was taken in the 7th round of last years draft. Many still believe he doesn’t have the technique or experience just yet to replace Peters at left tackle. Therefore; don’t be surprised if Howie Roseman drafts an offensive tackle in one of the early rounds.
Best Player Available
The term best player available gets thrown around a lot when it comes to the NFL Draft. It is often the easiest approach when drafting in the early rounds. Especially, when a team doesn’t have many holes to fill. Or, when a certain draft has loads of talent at specific positions.
This draft has loads of talent on the defensive line. So much talent that the Eagles may not risk drafting another position. The Eagles arguably have one of the best defensive lines in the league. But, that doesn’t mean they won’t consider adding one of these young studs to the mix. In fact, the Eagles defensive line is rather old. With most of the players being in their late 20’s to early 30’s.
With that being said, the Philadelphia Eagles may select a young interior defensive lineman. Or possibly an edge rusher. The edge rusher is more likely, considering the only trustworthy edge rushers on the roster are Brandan Graham and Derek Barnett; who is returning from injury.
These draft choices are some of the more obvious routes that the Eagles could go in the draft this Thursday night, but this is Howie Roseman we are talking about. Don’t be surprised if he decides to make a blockbuster trade, or do the more conservative approach: trading back and acquiring more draft picks.
Stay tuned this Thursday night Eagles fans. Before you know it, football season will be here!