The Eagles have already been linked with a few impressive draft prospects this year. From the explosive Corey Davis, to a flurry of cornerbacks, the team have clear holes to fill and are approaching a draft where there is plenty of depth at those positions of need. The Birds are more than just one star player away from becoming a perennial contender in a dangerous NFC East. WR, CB, RB, DE, O-Line and LB could all use a helping hand in 2017. But with that in mind, should the team look to trade back in this year’s draft?
With the additions of Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Nigel Bradham, and Brandon Brooks in free agency, the Eagles have a strong core to build around. Building through the draft takes time, but is one of only two real ways to build a franchise. It’s easier said than done, but the Eagles are in a very good spot to pursue that direction.
Howie Roseman’s track record in the draft hasn’t been overly consistent. But one thing that has gone almost unnoticed, is the amazing job he did in the 2016 draft and offseason. If you factor in the addition of new Vice President of Player Personnel, Joe Douglas, the consensus seems to be that the Eagles are ensuring history doesn’t repeat itself.
The addition of Douglas might be as big as the finding the franchise QB last year. Known for his eye for talent, Douglas’ hand-print can already be seen with the addition of UDFA Destiny Vaeo and 2nd year Safety, Terrence Brooks. Both are players whom have had an impact on the defense and special teams units. Most of Douglas’ career had been spent building a super-bowl championship roster in Baltimore, learning under Ozzie Newsome.
In the 2016 NFL Draft , Howie Roseman hit on almost every pick. Carson Wentz, Isaac Seumalo, Wendell Smallwood, Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Jalen Mills all played big parts in the 2016 season. If not for a late pre-season injury, LB Joe Walker might have had a big hand on defense as well, while DE Alex McCalister has all the tools to be a playmaker.
That’s 7 of 8 players drafted last year that quite possibly have a bright future ahead of them. Not counting the UDFA talent found that made either the 53 man roster or the practice squad. Howie did a great job in 2016 of adding depth to a roster that lacked it and with the addition of Douglas, the possibilities are intriguing.
Another thing that works in the Eagles favor this coming draft, is the depth at both positions of dire need. A new low-risk, high-reward mentality saw the Eagles place a lot of emphasis on mid-round picks..and it’s easy to see why. Arguably the “best” WR’s in the draft last year, Laquon Treadwell (1st Rd.) and Josh Doctson(1st Rd.), combined for 3 receptions and 81 yards in 11 games played. If you compare that against Paul Turners (UDFA) 9 receptions for 126 yards in 6 games played (only one special teams play against packers) and you see how fine that line in immediate impact truly is.
The Eagles could move back in this draft a few spots, collect other picks and still get a “stud” in the first round. The depth at both the WR and CB position, go all the way into the 7th round. The same round that the Eagles found Jalen Mills, Joe Walker, and Alex McCalister. The depth of talent in this years draft is said to be so abundant, that the possibility of finding 1st round talent in the fourth isn’t impossible.
With the depth of this years draft, the scouting talent onboard and the ability to develop those players over the course of a year, the Eagles are officially on the road to finding dominance again. We just need to find patience, and truly trust the process.
Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports