Post 529 – NFL Draft Needs: Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles have the twenty-first pick and come off a 9-7 season and will now be three seasons removed from their Super Bowl win.  They still have a talented roster in most places, but there are questions in a few areas. As long as Carson Wentz is healthy, they will be a good team. 

The Birds have eight picks in the draft: a first, second, third, three fourths, a fifth, and sixth. The third round is compensatory, as are their two extra fourth round picks. Their fifth and sixth round picks come in separate deals.  

I list the needs below, including major, for depth, and areas they are unlikely to look at. I may add categories for a particular situation. 

Major Needs (No Particular Order): 

Wide Receiver: This was a banged up group of players and Carson Wentz became the first quarterback to pass for 4,000 yards without a single wide receiver gaining 500 yards. At times, it seemed all three starters were out of the lineup. The returning starters are Alshon Jeffreys and DeSean Jackson, both of whom were bothered with injuries last year. Nelson Agholor left for Vegas in free agency. The most reliable receiver down the stretch was Greg Ward and JJ Arcega-Whiteside, their second-round pick, contributed little. The others on the roster are Deontay Burnett, Shelton Gibson, Marcus Green, and Robert Davis. This is a big need and it will be addressed within the first three rounds, possibly in the first.

Linebacker: This is not high on the Eagles radar, one rarely sees three on the field, and only five are presently on the roster. Nathan Gerry had 12 starts and TJ Edwards had 4 – that’s it on the roster. Competing for time are Duke Riley, Alex Singleton, and free agent signing Jatavis Brown. Kamu Grugier-Hill signed with Miami after Jordan Hicks fled to Arizona the year before. Nigel Bradham was a cap casualty. Help is needed here, but doesn’t mean the Eagles will pick here. Maybe a hybrid safety/linebacker like Jeremy Chinn could be picked. 

Cornerback: The trade acquisition of Darius Slay from the Lions has lessened the need, but there is still a need, nonetheless. The other corner is unsettled, with Avonte Maddox, Rasul Douglas, Sidney Jones, and Cre’Von LeBlanc all in the running. Nickell Robey-Coleman was signed from the Rams to most likely play the slot. Ronald Darby signed with Washington in free agency. This is a troublesome area and it needs to be addressed. 

Safety: Rodney McLeod is one incumbent and the departure of Malcolm Jenkins will hurt this year. Possibly taking his place is Jalen Mills, who moves from cornerback. The only holdovers on the roster are Marcus Epps and Rudy Ford, while Will Parks signed in free agency. This is another area that needs addressing in the draft.


Quarterback: Carson Wentz had a good, but not great year playing a full, 16-game season. Backups are Nate Sudfield and Kyle Lauletta, while Josh McCown is unsigned. The backup situation is unknown and a pick here is not out of the question. 

Running Back: Miles Sanders had a good rookie year, both running and receiving. Boston Scott came on late in the year and Elijah Holyfield is also on the roster. Jordan Howard was traded to Miami and Glassboro alum Corey Clement is unsigned. Scott played well late in the year, but someone could be picked here for depth and for potential carries. 

Tight End: The production of Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert offset some of the problems the Eagles had at wide receiver. Ertz is one of the better tight ends in the game and Goedert is very talented, making it arguably the best tight end duo in the NFL. Joshua Perkins came up from the practice squad to get playing time and Alex Ellis is also on the roster. Since they run a lot of two-tight end packages, more depth never hurts. 

Offensive Line: 

The Eagles are outstanding from center to right tackle: center Travis Kelce, guard Brandon Brooks and tackle Lane Johnson. Andre Dillard steps in at left tackle for Jason Peters, who is unsigned, while Isaac Seumalo is at left guard. On the roster are young, unproven players such as Matt Pryor, Nate Herbig, Jason Mailata, Sua Opeta, and Keegan Render. Halapoulivaati Vaitai left for Detroit in free agency. There is always the chance the Eagles draft for some depth. 

Defensive Line: Everything starts with tackle Fletcher Cox, one of the game’s best. The other tackle may have some kind of rotation and Javon Hargrave signed as a free agent from Pittsburgh. He will team with Malik Jackson and probably Hassan Ridgeway. Tim Jernigan left for Houston in free agency. The ends are Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett. Josh Sweat is the top reserve with Neptune alum Vinny Curry being unsigned. More depth is needed on the outside and their Super Bowl year is proof. It may be addressed in the draft. 

*Information from various sources, including Pro-Football Reference, Sportac, and ESPN. 

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