Predicting which position the Eagles will target in round one of the NFL Draft

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It’s become an almost impossible task to predict the way the NFL Draft will shake out. Certain teams are in obvious positions to draft for need, while others have a history of drafting the best player available. Even still, every year there are teams that break their routine and shock the draft community by pulling a name out of a hat. The possibilities have become endless. Instead of narrowing it down to one name, a task that is nearly futile, let’s rank the positions in order of fit for the Eagles.

Defensive Tackle

Likelihood: 9/10

The only way the Eagles don’t draft a defensive tackle is if a top 10 talent falls on their lap or there’s a run on the position from picks 14-24. It fills a major void on the defensive side of the football and follows Howie Roseman’s formula of building through the trenches. A defensive tackle is also likely to be the best player available in this absolutely stacked class of defensive linemen. A first place ranking doesn’t even take into account the possibility of trading up for Ed Oliver, which should be getting more traction than it is.

Options: Christian Wilkins, Jeffery Simmons, Dexter Lawrence, Charles Omenihu, Dre’Mont Jones

Defensive End

Likelihood: 8/10

You may expect to see safety or running back at number two, but the talent in this year’s defensive end and edge rusher crop will make it a hard position to pass up. Howie Roseman has mentioned more than once his affinity for this year’s defensive line class and the Eagles have a history of pursuing pass rush specialists early in the draft. There are a ton of options in 2019.

Options: Brian Burns, Clelin Ferrell, Jachai Polite, Jaylon Ferguson

Offensive Tackle

Likelihood: 7/10

Josh Jacobs aficionados take another tumble. This may burst some bubbles, but the Eagles drafting a successor to Jason Peters is a real possibility this year. The gaping hole that could be left in the wake of the longtime Eagle’s retirement is not lost on Howie. Is Jordan Mailata the future? Can Halapoulivaati Vaitai survive another six to ten game season in relief? There are a few impressive talents that fit right into the Eagles’ window at 25, and it might be too late to scramble for a tackle in 2020. It is unlike the staff to force themselves to draft for need, which is the situation they may find themselves in if they neglect the left tackle position this year. Minnesota and Houston will pluck the top talent off the board, but at least one starting calibre player will still be available.

Options: Andre Dillard, Dalton Risner, Yodny Cajuste, Greg Little

Safety

Likelihood: 7/10

The team managed to work out Rodney McLeod’s contract that loomed large on the books for 2020, however there’s still a real chance he becomes a free agent after this season. His beloved counterpart Malcolm Jenkins isn’t getting any younger and the back end of the Eagles defence could look a lot different in a year’s time. Tre Sullivan was much improved in his playoff role with the team, but he is only a small piece of the puzzle. With a top heavy defensive line draft, 25 is a great place to be to snag the draft’s top safety — whoever the Eagles think that may be.

Options: Nassir Adderly, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Deionte Thompson, Johnathan Abram

Wide Receiver

Likelihood: 7/10

Wide receiver could quickly become a needy position for the Eagles if you’re to believe the rumours surrounding Nelson Agholor’s possible eschewing. Those speculations have been circulating every off-season since he was drafted, but it’s hard to pay them no mind. What makes this such an alluring possibility is the amount of special talent that should be available in the late first round. The Eagles may have their pick of the wide receiver crop at 25, although D.K. Metcalf will probably be long gone.

Options: Kelvin Harmon, Marquise Brown, Deebo Samuel, N’Keal Harry, A.J. Brown, Riley Ridley

Corner Back

Likelihood: 6/10

There’s no question Philadelphia’s secondary was in disarray last season. A change at corner is definitely on the horizon. Is it pressing enough to garner interest in the first round? Jim Schwartz and company got some good return out of some young up-and-coming talent and will welcome back CB #1 Jalen Mills from injury for at least one more season. As it stands, Ronald Darby will not be back with the team in 2020. Will that open the door for Avonte Maddox, Sidney Jones or Rasul Douglas to finally capture the starting position across from Mills? It will also be intriguing to see where Cre’Von LeBlanc fits in.

Options: Byron Murphy, Greedy Williams, DeAndre Baker, Trayvon Mullen

Linebacker

Likelihood: 5/10

With Jordan Hicks testing free agency, the linebacker corps consists of Nigel Bradham, Paul Worrilow, Kamu Grugier-Hill and Nathan Gerry. Therefore, Bradham and a group of possible starters. Jim Schwartz can’t feel too content with that. The Eagles are certain to address the position in one way, shape or form. Will it be through the draft? There are a good selection of free agent linebackers hitting the market that could fit the bill. Also, the Eagles do not have a history of spending high draft picks on linebackers. Nevertheless, there is a fair chance that one of the draft’s top three backers are still available at 25.

Options: Devin White, Devin Bush, Mack Wilson, Vosean Joseph

Running Back

Likelihood: 5/10

Is this finally the year that the Eagles use a top draft pick to take a number one back? There’s no arguing the seamless fit Josh Jacobs presents for the Eagles offence. However, Doug Pederson has all but confirmed the team’s plan to stick to a committee in the upcoming season. There are ample options for Philadelphia to add to their rotation in free agency and by way of trade. There are also plenty of capable backs available in later rounds of the draft. No prospect outside of Jacobs in this year’s class is worth a first round selection.

Options: Joshua Jacobs

Offensive Guard

Likelihood: 4/10

This position really should be higher. The problem in 2019, as with many years, is that there aren’t many available options that are worth a first round pick; outside of Cody Ford. Many of the top guards in this class will be converted tackles and some teams may still see them as short-armed tackles, making their draft stock higher than it should be; i.e. Cody Ford. There are some big question marks at guard following Brandon Brooks’ injury and the revolving door at right guard. Isaac Seumalo got himself a nice new extension, but left a lot to be desired in his time as a starter. Maybe he’s ready to take the leap, who knows. You should expect the Eagles to take an interior offensive lineman at some point this year — probably round two or four.

Options: Cody Ford, Chris Lindstrom, Garrett Bradbury, Dru Samia

Tight End

Likelihood: 1/10

It’s not impossible, but after using last year’s highest pick on TE Dallas Goedert it’s unlikely the Eagles swing at the position again. The possibility of a three tight end set of Zach Ertz, Goedert and either Noah Fant, T.J. Hockenson or Irv Smith Jr. is just enough to make the mind wander.

Options: Noah Fant, T.J. Hockenson, Irv Smith Jr.

Quarterback

Likelihood: 1/10

For those that think Carson Wentz is not the future, this blurb is for you. The Eagles could steal away one of 2019’s top QB prospects and stash him for a rainy day or another ill-timed injury. It would also make for ideal trade bait. Philadelphia is without a proven backup, but it’s unlikely a rookie is the answer.

Options: Drew Lock, Daniel Jones, Will Grier

Kicker/Punter

Likelihood: 0/10

All love to you for scrolling this far, but come off it.

Options: None.

Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

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