The Eagles ended last season with way more questions than answers. They answered one of them by trading Carson Wentz to the Colts, but pertinent questions still remain. The Eagles roster is older and bereft of talent, oh and they’re significantly over the cap. The only way to fix all of these issues is to nail the draft. Over the past few years, Howie Roseman has struggled drafting the right players. He often addresses the issue at need, but just fails to get the right guy. For example, two years ago he took JJ Arcega-Whiteside over DK Metcalf, a couple drafts before that he took Donnell Pumphrey in the deepest RB draft in NFL history. Last year he took Jalen Reagor over talented studs Patrick Queen, Kenneth Murray, and Justin Jefferson, oh and not to mention he took a QB in the second round instead of addressing a more pressing positional need.
Free agency hasn’t started yet, but I don’t believe the Eagles will be signing any significant player. Without openly admitting it, the Eagles are in a full rebuild. Every draft we need to make sure they add the best player available when our pick comes around. The Eagles currently have 8 picks in this draft, 4 in the first three rounds.
What are the Eagles lacking?
When you watch the Eagles play it’s pretty evident the lack of playmaking on both sides of the ball. Whether it was Wentz or Hurts under center, they were limited in who they could throw the ball to. One of the main priorities in this draft should be adding playmakers around the QB. While it might be too early to call Reagor or Arcega-Whiteside a bust, the Eagles should know neither of them are go to receivers in this league. Zach Ertz probably won’t be back next year, leaving Dallas Goedert as the main TE. Miles Sanders also should, finally, get more touches if Sirianni runs a similar offense to IND.
On the opposite side of the ball, the Eagles probably have 1 true playmaker on the roster in Darius Slay. The rest of the Eagles defense is lacking in the playmaking department. Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham are still here but outside of pressuring the QB their playmaking ability is limited. Despite the emergence from Alex Singleton at the LB position, the Eagles still don’t have a legit 3 down linebacker. They passed on LSU LB Patrick Queen a year ago and because they’re in the midst of a rebuild, they might not add many reinforcements this off-season either. They let Malcolm Jenkins go a year ago and tried addressing the void by signing Will Parks (later cut mid season) and drafting K’von Wallace in the 4th round out of Clemson.
Adding playmakers needs to be the main focus of the draft for the Eagles. 2021 is ultimately going to be a rebuilding year for the Birds so the main issue they’ll likely have to grapple with is the BPA strategy or highest upside. Personally I think BPA is always the right way to go, especially when you’re picking 6th overall. Fortunately, the Eagles needs will be meant no matter what player they select at 6, and yes while Ja’Marr Chase, Pennei Sewell, Devonta Smith, Micah Parsons will all be impact players at the next level, the Eagles need to make sure the get the best one.
Are the Eagles solid at any one position?
The offensive line for the Eagles on paper looks solid, the only issue is the game isn’t played on paper. The Eagles have always done an excellent job addressing the offensive line. Whether it be drafting Lane Johnson, trading for Jason Peters, or finding a late round stud in Jason Kelce. Even in recent years they have done a good job grabbing solid lineman when they felt necessary. A couple seasons ago they moved up to select Andre Dillard, and this past year they selected Jack Driscoll and Prince Tega Wanogho in rounds 4 and 6 respectfully. During their Super Bowl run, Halapoulivaati Vaitai stepped in and played exceptionally well. This draft is very tackle heavy, especially in the early rounds, highlighted by Oregon stud Pennei Sewell, but also has great second tier players in Rawshawn Slater for Northwestern and Christian Darrisaw from Virginia Tech.
Another area I think the Eagles are set at is the running back position. Miles Sanders production would flutter week to week, but I attribute that to poor coaching and game planning rather than individual performance. He struggled with fumbles occasionally but he’s a smart player and I think he’ll take care of it in the future. Coming out of Penn State, Sanders was looked at as a potential three down back but between an ankle injury and poor play calling, never got the opportunity his first couple seasons in Philly. Sanders, along with backup Boston Scott, should be a formidable duo going forward. I could also see the Eagles signing Marlon Mack on a prove it deal in FA, but anything outside that or a late day three pick, the running back position seems to be solid.
So what do we need?
RIght now, the Eagles have 8 picks. Their needs are WR,CB, LB, TE, and Safety. That’s five pressing needs with 8 picks. Wide Receiver would be the top priority followed by CB as a close second. We talked about needing playmakers on the outside on both sides so attacking one of these needs in the first round is a must. Wide Receivers Ja’Marr Chase, Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle and cornerbacks Caleb Farely and Patrick Surtain III will all likely be on the board when the Eagles pick in the first round, borrowing a steep trade back (outside pick 15). The Eagles absolutely need a LB and Micah Parsons is perfect, the Eagles just don’t value the position highly enough.
Going through both Eagles targets and overall NFL draft fits, this draft especially in the early rounds should be perfect for the Eagles.
Mock draft and player rankings will be released in the coming weeks.