Philadelphia Eagles News

Best Players Available: Offense

Below is a list of the three best available players at each position, with rankings courtesy of Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net, as well as a description of the team's current look at that position.

Quarterback1. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
2. Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
3. Andy Dalton, TCU

The Eagles signed Michael Vick to a one-year deal after he revived his career with Comeback Player of the Year honors in 2010. The team would like to lock him up to a long-term deal once the labor situation is resolved. The Eagles were fielding offers for backup quarterback Kevin Kolb is before the draft and it remains to be seen whether the team will shop his services now that most of the quarterback-needy teams drafted a signal caller Thursday night. Mike Kafka, the fourth-round pick in 2010, impressed the coaches but would the team make him the primary backup? There is the slight chance that the team could draft a quarterback for the future.

Running Back1. Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State
2. Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech
3. Mikel Leshoure, Illinois

Running back LeSean McCoy established himself as a virtual clone of Brian Westbrook with a brilliant 2010 season. McCoy, who is only 22 years old, rushed for 1,080 yards and seven touchdowns and caught 78 passes. He showed tremendous toughness as he played through a broken rib midseason without missing a game. Backup Jerome Harrison averaged 6.0 yards a carry with the Eagles last season, but the five-year veteran is a restricted free agent and could earn a starting job somewhere in 2011. After all, he did have over 800 yards, including a 286-yard rushing game, in just seven starts in 2009. Could the Eagles draft a big third-down back, like Mikel Leshoure, to complement McCoy and take some of the pressure of Vick?

Fullback1. Anthony Sherman, Connecticut
2. Owen Marecic, Stanford
3. Charles Clay, Tulsa

Following a Pro Bowl season in 2009 in which he established himself as arguably the best fullback in the National Football League, Leonard Weaver tore his ACL in the season-opening loss to the Green Bay Packers. Weaver is trying to work his way back for the 2011 season. Owen Schmitt filled in for Weaver and quickly became a fan favorite in Philly with his bruising style of play. He had a solid season and is certainly in the mix to remain the team's starter in 2011. If the Eagles did draft a fullback, it would likely be Charles Clay, who played fullback, running back, split receiver, and tight end in college. He is also skilled on special teams.

Wide Receiver1. Leonard Hankerson, Miami
2. Randall Cobb, Kentucky
3. Torrey Smith, Maryland

Wide receiver might be the strongest position on the Eagles. DeSean Jackson is arguably the best deep threat in the NFL, averaging 22.5 yards per catch last season, with six receiving touchdowns. Jeremy Maclin is the team's most complete receiver, and pulled in 10 touchdowns on 70 catches last season. Jason Avant is the team's possession receiver and has the best hands on the team. His catch total has increased from 23 to 51 over the last four seasons. The team also believes that Riley Cooper and Chad Hall, both rookies in 2010, have strong potential and can make a bigger impact next season. Michael Vick could always use another target, however, and a player like Torrey Smith could serve as an additional deep threat, not to mention a kick returner.

Tight End1. Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame
2. Lance Kendricks, Wisconsin
3. Rob Housler, Florida Atlantic

Following a breakout season in 2009 that saw him catch 76 passes for 971 yards and eight touchdowns, tight end Brent Celek saw a dramatic decrease in production in 2010, catching just 42 balls for 511 yards and four scores. Then again, Celek's decline in production was largely a result of the big tight end being asked to block for Vick more. With the drafting of guard Danny Watkins, Celek will likely be asked to catch more passes next year. He is joined on the roster by Clay Harbor, who caught nine passes for 72 yards and a touchdown as a rookie last season. Harbor impressed the Eagles at the end of the year and could earn more playing time next season. Although the Eagles have two solid tight ends, they could look to add a player like Lance Kendricks or Rob Housler if he falls to the fourth or fifth round.

Offensive Tackle1. Marcus Gilbert, Florida
2. James Brewer, Indiana
3. Clint Boling, Georgia

Jason Peters missed a trio of games due to arthroscopic knee surgery but still played well enough to earn his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl selection. Winston Justice played well protecting Michael Vick's blindside, but he was benched in the wild card loss to the Green Bay Packers. Backup King Dunlap made five starts, filling in for Peters and Justice and showed promise. Austin Howard made the transition from a small school in Northern Iowa to the NFL. It will be interesting to see what legendary offensive line coach Howard Mudd can do with an established player like Peters, a solid starter like Justice, and up-and-coming players like Dunlap and Howard.

Offensive Guard1. Marcus Cannon, TCU
2. Orlando Franklin, Miami
3. Ben Ijalana, Villanova

Todd Herremans had a solid season for the Eagles at left guard, making 15 starts. He teamed with Peters to give the Eagles one of the better left sides of the offensive line in the NFL. The problem occurred at right guard, as Max Jean-Gilles and Nick Cole basically rotated starts last season. Both are free agents, and while Jean-Gilles will probably return, Cole will likely not. Neither will backup Reggie Wells, who was a disappointment for the Eagles in 2010. Upgrading their starting right guard was the team's most important positional need on offense, and the Eagles believe that they solved the problem by drafting guard Danny Watkins with their first-round pick. The Eagles could still draft another guard but it likely wouldn't be until one of the later rounds.

Center1. Stefen Wisniewski, Penn State
2. Tim Barnes, Missouri
3. Jason Kelce, Cincinnati

The Eagles spent virtually the entire 2010 season without starting center Jamaal Jackson, who suffered a torn triceps in the first game against Green Bay. Jackson is a player who has been referred to in the past as the most important player on offense. Filling in for Jackson was versatile lineman Mike McGlynn, who will compete with Jackson for the starting job next season. McGlynn is also a possibility to start at guard.

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