Here we are. The eve of the NFL Draft. With so much suspense and excitement surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles, I thought it was the perfect time to make some bold predictions ahead one of the most important day’s in the Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz era.
When it comes to the first round pick, there are a multitude of directions that the Eagles could go. But with the landscape changing so drastically over the last few weeks, it’s safe to say that nobody has a clue who sits atop the Eagles draft board, or who the team could take at 14. With that in mind, my first bold prediction would be that regardless of whether it is the 14th overall pick, or a pick-swap from a potential trade, I can see the Eagles double dipping at cornerback in the first two rounds of the draft.
It worked for the Eagles in 2002..a draft that still to this day is widely regarded as Andy Reid’s most successful yet. The team have such a dire need at cornerback and while there is a flurry of potential starting talent available throughout the draft, I can see the Eagles wanting to ensure that the two starters who will take the field in 2017 are among the highest on their board.
It’s entirely possible that due to the depth at corner, the Eagles decide to go elsewhere with the 14th overall pick..but they’re in such a spot of comfort, it’s hard not to look at the talent in the first two rounds and build a tandem that will scare offenses for years to come.
Building the fortress:
While the stars and signings of free agency steal the spotlight, there’s one thing we can take from the Eagles offseason. Solidifying the trenches is an absolute priority. Not just the offensive line, but the defensive front as well. From Chance Warmack and Chris Long, to Timmy Jernigan and the extension for Stefen Wisniewski, the Eagles want to build from the ball out..a mentality adapted by New England, Seattle, and most notably..Baltimore.
With this in mind, my second bold predictions is for the Eagles to draft at least three linemen. It could be any combination of DE/DT/OL, but I fully expect this draft to be so trenches-centric after the immediate needs have been filled, that adding an extra tackle to the Offense and bringing in depth behind Cox and Jernigan makes too much sense.
We may not see those picks until the later rounds, But I truly believe that the chances of fans ending up a little surprised that the team haven’t bought in a flurry of outside playmakers, instead deciding to further cement their new direction, are incredibly high.
Howie bout that?!
This one is certainly the most exciting prediction, but the Eagles will be involved in some kind of trade on Draft day. Whether that’s moving back in the first or potentially trying to recoup some assets for next years draft, I can see the Birds being more than open to trading back, especially in the first round.
There are a few notable quarterback hungry teams, with Houston of course being one of the most interesting. Could Howie Roseman have a few more aces up his sleeve by the time the 14th pick is on the clock? I think so. The Eagles are no strangers to trades in the days and hours leading up to the NFL Draft..and it would not surprise me in the slightest to see them spring yet another surprise of some kind.
No running back in the first four rounds:
The Eagles storied search for a running back this offseason could almost be put into a romance novel. From the love affair with Christian McCaffrey, to the sudden buzz surrounding Dalvin Cook, nobody really knows who the Eagles are hot on..and who they aren’t. But with such a deep running back class and the Eagles already having several questions over how to structure their current corps, there’s a strong possibility that they could actually be looking to pick up a late-round back.
From the likes of De’Veon Smith, Jeremy McNichols, Joe Williams, Matt Dayes, and Elijah Hood are just some of the names who could be available in round 5 and beyond for the Eagles..all of whom could be perfect compliments to a backfield that is already filled with versatility and explosiveness backs for at least the next year.
It’s probably going to be the most unpopular prediction and maybe the least likely..but I could see the Eagles evading adding to their backfield during the first half of the draft.
Completing the quarterback picture:
We all know by now that Doug Pederson wants a third quarterback to groom behind Carson Wentz and the newly acquired Nick Foles. After working out Pitt’s Nathan Peterman, I can see the Eagles adding a quarterback to their roster in the bottom of the draft. It would complete their structure and they do need an arm for Training Camp, regardless of if it’s the QB3 they envisioned or not. Newly signed former Raiders QB McGloin fills the void to a degree and the QB class isn’t anywhere near as deep as last years..which could bode very well for a team looking to add some extra talent behind the future of the franchise.
Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports