The calendar is flipping to April in under 24 hours and it’s officially time for the Eagles to get ready for the NFL Draft. While Philadelphia has remained busy since the start of free agency, there is still plenty of ways general manager Howie Roseman can improve on his current roster.
For a team that had 20 pending free agents when March began, and an average amount of cap space, the defending NFC Champions have done a solid job of retaining players at valuable positions well under the market value. From James Bradberry to Rashaad Penny and even players like Darius Slay, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Terrell Edmunds.
That being said, there’s work to be done.
Here are five positions of need that the Eagles still need to address whether it be via the draft, or the free agency pool.
Easily the biggest need on the Eagles’ roster to date. Fletcher Cox, Milton Williams, and Jordan Davis are a solid trio of defenders, but Philadelphia needs more consistent bodies to both rush the passer and stuff the run. Kansas City was able to exploit the edge because the tackles did a poor job of sustaining gap discipline in Super Bowl LVII – that means the position needs to be addressed by more than just Kentavius Street. Jeffrey Simmons come on down? Or dare I say, Jalen Carter?
The need for defensive tackle is, at this current moment, slightly larger than the need at safety….but not by much. Terrell Edmunds is a very good starter and Reed Blankenship deserves an opportunity to show he can be an everyday player, but the team lacks competent depth and a truly top player in the back end. Whether it’s Kevin Byard or a top draft prospect, this position group needs help if the Eagles are going to contend against the elite passers that are on their 2023 schedule.
Everyone, including the Eagles coaching staff, has been quick to say that Cam Jurgens is expected to replace the absence of Isaac Seumalo. While it’ll be interesting to see if the former Nebraska product can handle a new position, it might be better for the team to look at a more plausible long-term answer for the position. Trust in Jeff Stoutland is high, and rightfully so. Whether it’s Jack Driscoll or Jurgens, the team could use an additional lineman on the interior to have ready in case something happens to either.
I mentioned Driscoll but there is a serious need for a backup tackle for the Eagles. After Andre Dillard left for Tennessee, the Eagles don’t have a set plan in place should Lane Johnson or Jordan Mailata go down for an injury. It would make a lot of sense to also prepare for Johnson’s inevitable retirement in a few years. The backup tackle spot is an underrated need for this franchise but it’s certainly a significant one heading into the draft.
The Arryn Siposs experiment has clearly failed in Philadelphia. After two years of inconsistent play late in the year, and injuries, it’s time for the Eagles to find a better punter than they have had to deal with recently. Whether it’s the draft, or free agency, the Eagles cannot keep having their special teams fail them in key spots like it did throughout the 2022-23 season.
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