As the days wind down before the NFL Draft becomes live, we’re going to be inundated with rumors and guesses and everything that makes the pre-draft process so much fun. But when it boils down to the nuts and bolts, the Eagles need to come out of next week’s draft with players around whom they can build in 2017 and many years to come.
Everyone wants to know who the Eagles are targeting at No. 14 overall. In the end, the answer is that they’re going to have a handful of players to choose from at 14, and they will decide on the best of that list as well as consider all of the trade possibilities that the draft weekend presents.
Which side of the ball, as the Eagles look at “the best players on the board who fit our needs,” is primed for the most help?
It seems clear that the defensive side of the line of scrimmage has more areas of need after the Eagles upgraded their wide receivers and furnished their offensive line in free agency, and then re-arranged and fortified the quarterback depth chart in the last month.
This offense appears to be largely set, with the exception of a running back group that lost Kenjon Barner in free agency (he signed with the Chargers) and has a lead back in
Otherwise, the Eagles have three experienced and talented quarterbacks (
So the defense could very well be the focus for the Eagles, who have eight draft picks from Thursday-Saturday in the seven rounds. Where on defense? Pick your position.
At linebacker, the Eagles are very pleased with the progress made by
In the secondary, the Eagles are strong at safety with starters
Same with cornerback, although the needs are more obvious. In a cornerback-heavy draft, the Eagles will consider their options from rounds one through seven.
So this isn’t necessarily a revolutionary thought, but it bears some consideration a week away from the start of the draft: While the Eagles will absolutely look to add to every position, the defense has more front-line needs than the offense. And the thing is, those needs are across the board on that side of the football.
The teams that draft well don’t draft for a “need.” They take the “best player at a position of need” unless there is someone so significantly better on their draft board that they can’t ignore the name.
But for the Eagles, the theme for next weekend could very well be “defense,” as the team dips into a deep pool of players on that side of the football.