This draft is going to decide a lot about the future of the Philadelphia Eagles.¬† With five picks in the first 87, the Eagles need to come away from this draft with players that can come in and contribute to this team immediately. In the past two drafts, the Eagles selected picks with one goal in mind, getting weapons for the offense. They have been able to accomplish that, with players like DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy coming in and contributing immediately.
Their addition to the offense have taken the attack to another level, and it is now one of the most explosive in the league.
Now, the Eagles need to come into this draft focusing on one thing; drafting players on the defense that can come in, contribute immediately, and start filling the holes.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Eagles have holes at linebacker, cornerback, defensive end, and safety. With all of those question marks, there is no need for the Birds to even consider drafting a player for the offense with their first two picks, and probably not until the third round.
When the Eagles make their picks at 24 and 37, they need to do it with the secondary in mind. Last year, they were in the bottom half of the league in yards allowed in the air, and gave up 27 touchdown passes.
Quintin Mikell’s play suffered because he always had to help the player next to him, whether that was Macho Harris, Sean Jones or Quintin Demps.¬† Jones is gone and the organization has made it clear how they feel about Demps, benching him for most of the season. That leaves the Eagles with only Mikell and Harris at the safety positions.
For this reason, the Eagles need to draft a safety with their first pick. The top three safeties in the draft this year are Eric Berry, Earl Thomas and Taylor Mays. If Berry starts to drop, and the Eagles can package the 24th and 37th pick to get him, they should do it. Berry can come in and contribute immediately, with many comparing him to Ed Reed.
The chances of the Eagles landing Berry are slim however.¬† When the Eagles are on the clock, the only safety likely to be available will be Taylor Mays. If he is available the Eagles need to take him.
Mays is a hard hitting safety and would add toughness to an otherwise soft secondary.¬† The departure of Sheldon Brown emphasizes the point. Mays, who some thought could even be converted to linebacker, would fit the mold that the Eagles let go when Dawkins left last season. His size and play making ability would be ideal for the blitzing scheme that Sean McDermott loves to run.
The Eagles also need to address the cornerback position. The departure of Brown left them very thin on the outside. One player that would help them, whether it be with the 37th or 55th pick is Chris Cook from Virginia.
Cook stands at 6-2 and ran a faster 40 time then Joe Haden. While Haden might be a better cover corner, Cook has almost 4 inches on Haden. Height is something the Eagles need at corner, with Miles Austin, Roy Williams, Domenik Hixon and Devin Thomas all standing at 6-2 or better.
While the Eagles are also in need of a linebacker and defensive end, this draft is too important to mess up. They have shown the ability to draft well in the secondary, drafting Sheldon Brown, Lito Sheppard, and Michael Lewis. They have not, however, drafted well when it comes to defensive end and linebacker.
Safety was the biggest hole in the defense going into last season.¬† The situation remained the same during the season, and it still the case going into this draft.
That is why the Eagles must make it the number one priority in this draft, as well as improving the whole secondary.