One pick is in the books and now the Eagles turn their full attention to Rounds 2 and 3 of the 2015 NFL Draft. Tonight is an important one for a team that still has some areas to address.
Where do the Eagles go in these rounds? They stayed true to their draft board on Thursday night and selected USC wide receiver Nelson Agholor, whom they studied extensively prior to the draft and then pounced on at No. 20 in the first round. More on Agholor in a bit, and how he rounds out the wide receiver group.
After staying in their slot in Round 1, what tact do the Eagles take tonight? Will Chip Kelly be in wheeler-dealer mode trying to get up in the rounds? Will he put together some packages involving current Eagles veterans in the conversations to be had with the 31 other NFL teams? Is there a player who absolutely jumps off the Eagles' board right now?
If you want a guess, here you go: The Eagles could add to a secondary that has some question marks at both safety and cornerback. They could bring in some young talent for an offensive line that has some age. Is there an edge rusher the Eagles like? Is there a talented inside linebacker the Eagles might want to add to a position that was ravaged by injuries last season?
Keeping in mind that this is a seven-round draft and that it's only fair to consider the draft class after all of picks have been made and, truth be told, years down the line, the Eagles have plenty of options. Kelly and vice president of player personnel Ed Marynowitz let Round 1 come to them, resisted some offers to move out of No. 20 and selected Agholor.
What are the needs on this roster? Kelly wants to improve every position, of course, and the Eagles will hit every corner of the roster between the remaining picks and the post-draft signings. But you could fairly ask who is the starting right guard along the offensive line, and who starts opposite Byron Maxwell at cornerback and who is the safety next to Malcolm Jenkins. Those are three critical positions on this team and two of them could be addressed tonight or early on Saturday.
How has Agholor's addition resonated with you? He's an exciting addition who the Eagles think can be a valuable piece of the offense when he's ready to contribute. How early that is depends on how quickly he picks up the NFL game and learns the offense and earns playing time. There is no determination yet on whether Agholor will open as an inside receiver or an outside threat, but that will come soon enough. Agholor defines smoooooth when you watch him from his USC action, the same kind of smoooooth that Mike Quick exhibited as an Eagle in the 1980s.
Good hands, excellent route running, a love for the game, a high football IQ -- these are some of the attributes Agholor brings to the Eagles. Can't wait to see him in action.
First, though, we've got six more rounds to enjoy with the critical Night 2 ahead.
- It's way too early to think about the depth chart at wide receiver, but we've got some time today, right? Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff and Agholor are the youngsters added in the most recent two drafts -- Matthews and Huff in Rounds 2 and 3 last year, respectively, and Agholor on Thursday night. Riley Cooper is the returning veteran. Miles Austin is here on a one-year contract as an unrestricted free agent. Seyi Ajirotutu will have a chance to impress at wide receiver in addition to his excellent special teams game. That's six receivers. There is going to be strong competition with that group, and the Eagles will continue to explore ways to add to the mix. Jeff Maehl, Will Murphy and Quron Pratt will push for roster spots as well. The Eagles are likely to add a receiver or two or three, very possibly after the draft.
- Hope you didn't miss this in the midst of all of the trademania chatter on Thursday night: Quarterback Sam Bradford is making very positive strides with his rehabilitation on the knee that was injured last season. Kelly is pleased, and if he's pleased, we're pleased. "He's on schedule from talking to our doctors and our trainers," Kelly said. "I think when we traded for him the following Sunday, he was in this building, and he's been here every day since. I think he's gone home one weekend. He's working extremely hard. Really progressing out there. Monday will be the first day for us where we actually go on the field with him as coaches. So the last two weeks of the offseason program is what's called Phase 1. So we had meetings with the players and they were with our strength and conditioning coaches. So we'll actually get on the field with all of our players on Monday for the first time. So it's our first look at what he is and where he is and what he can do."
- After a quiet Day 1 on the trade front, why do I get the feeling that tonight might be a lot more active? Not just for the Eagles, but for the entire league. I anticipate veterans being traded, future draft picks dealt and heads spinning.
- Kelly has not been shy about maneuvering his roster, even if that means some productive and popular veterans moving on. Will there be some movement in Days 2 and 3 of the draft? Will there be a market in the league for veterans?
- More on the quarterback position. Kelly spoke after Round 1 for the first time about the addition of Tim Tebow and also shed some light on the group as a whole. "We worked Tim out; we had him in for a private workout. We wanted to get another guy in here. G.J. Kinne wants to try to make the team as a special teams player, maybe a receiver or running back, kind of a multi‑purpose player on the offensive side of the ball. Allowing G.J. to move around a little bit means we need to get a fourth quarterback in here and we felt he (Tebow) was the best guy available." Will the Eagles use a draft pick on a quarterback? I say it's unlikely, but that's a guess based on the numbers the Eagles have on the roster now.