The NFL Draft is just a few short hours away and the Philadelphia Eagles are on the verge of ushering in a new era of Football. In order to do so successfully, there are five things they must accomplish.
Fixing the Eagles secondary
Many believe wide receiver to be the biggest need on the roster, but at least the Eagles have actual players there. Some were high draft picks, others have proven themselves at the NFL level, while a few are young guns who were selected last year. At cornerback, the Eagles have Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox (contract year) and…not much else.
Pass defense has been the bane of this Eagles team for years now and while a new scheme may change that, they need players who fit it to physically facilitate that.
The NFC East is brimming with WR talent right now and it’s only getting worse. Whether it’s a first-round pick, a double-dip, or a mid-rounder, it doesn’t matter. The Eagles need to bring in a player who can make an instant impact on the outside and add some developmental talent behind Maddox at the nickel spot.
Don’t be over-aggressive
We all remember the trade-up for Andre Dillard. We all look back on the move up for Donnel Pumphrey and absolutely cringe. Memories of drafting Shareef Miller in the fourth round are haunting. Howie gambled on Sidney Jones and ultimately lost the hand,=.
The Eagles have a trio of first-round picks next year and don’t need to be overly aggressive in drafting talent here. With 11 selections in this year’s draft, they are well positioned to take advantage of potential trade seekers, but unless there is a sure-fire hit that all parties are set on, there is no need to risk losing capital to take a gamble on someone who would likely fall to them anyway.
Rebuilding for the long-term should be the plan here and accumulation of players and picks is a big part of that…not giving them up for shots on players with red flags.
Eagles must show a clear direction
Over the past few years, it became inherently clear that the Eagles had a disconnect between their front office and coaching staff. Circle pegs were drafted to fill square holes and neither party wanted to budge. That has to be eradicated if the Eagles have any chance of taking a step forward this season.
Nick Sirianni has shown a willingness to mold his tendencies around talent which bodes extremely well for the talent that does end up being drafted by this weekend, but that doesn’t mean the front office should just do their own thing and expect the new staff to magically ‘make it work’. There has to be a synergy here and a clear direction should be visible throughout.
Start up the conveyor belt…quickly
Through a mix of what was mentioned in the last paragraph and some poor coaching and a never-ending carousel of positional coaches, the Eagles have blundered their last few drafts. They’re now running out of lifelines as the vets holding down starting roles are getting older, less durable, and more expensive.
From cornerback and defensive end, to the offensive front and even tight end, the Eagles have been unable to develop talent year-on-year. This Draft has to contain a package of prospects who can be molded into role players over the next 3 years or so in order to keep the engine rolling and ensure that the team don’t seize up and run out of both young talent and money.
Don’t get suckered in…
There are bound to be some aggressive trades this weekend, especially with the recent news of Aaron Rodgers wanting out of Green Bay. The one thing Howie Roseman cannot afford to do is fall victim to his old ways. No drafting players with red-flags, no drafting players that will undo all of the hard work that had been put in over the past few years, and no short-sighted moves that show a belief that the Super Bowl window is still alive.
Roseman needs to accept that the Eagles are rebuilding and commit to the cause as opposed to clinging on for dear life to a window that closed one season ago. The Draft has to reflect that.
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