The Philadelphia Eagles have, once again, a massive hole at the #2 receiver position and all signs point to a wideout being taken early for a third straight year. Unlike the Detroit Lions, however, the team will not, and should not be vilified for the move.
From 2003-05, the Detroit Lions were the first team in NFL History to select a wide receiver in the first round in three consecutive drafts. They were laughed at for years after as the overabundance of receivers ultimately led to the first 0-16 season in NFL History.
While the Lions during that time were considered a dysfunctional mess because of their poor drafting, by the team the 2022 draft rolls around, they might not be the only team to hold that distinction anymore.
If anything, it highlights exactly what the team has done right now for over two decades.
The Eagles following suit?
Over the last decade, the Eagles have been rightfully called out due to their draft misses, especially in the early rounds. But as a whole, the value the Eagles have gotten in the draft has actually been one of the strongest in the NFL.
It’s not hard to think why. Jason Kelce and Jordan Mailata were late-round finds that are either HOF bound or All-Pro bound. Add in the likes of Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, and even Milton Williams, and it’s clear that the trenches are STILL a position of strength for the Philadelphia Eagles.
When a team is loaded with excellent players on the offensive and defensive line, it allows them to double-dip or even triple-dip at skill positions of need.
This isn’t to say the Eagles draft record is perfect, or that their only need on draft day is at receiver. The team needs a safety, #2 corner and linebacker. But with how successful the team has been in the trenches, it alleviates some of the added pressure to get the next great mauler in the draft.
The Eagles are far from a perfect roster. But talent on the team is clearly close enough to taking the next step from playoff hopeful, to NFC Contender. When the Lions took three wide receivers in three straight first rounds, they were laughed at throughout the league. The franchise had tons of holes and not enough talent on the roster.
For the Philadelphia Eagles, the talent is already there. It’s just about finding the finishing touches to put them over the top.
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