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Philadelphia Eagles News

What We Know, And Don't Know ...

On Thursday at approximately 8:15 PM, the Eagles will make the call: They will select one of two quarterbacks, Jared Goff or Carson Wentz, with the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Beyond that, the weekend is a guess. Let's catch up with what we know, and we what don't know, about the Eagles as they stand now ...

  • The Sam Bradford story is the one dominating the headlines and the sports-radio conversations now. Bradford has elected to step away from the team's voluntary workouts and, per his agent Tom Condon, has asked to be traded. The Eagles have reiterated their support for Bradford and continue to say that he is the starting quarterback for 2016. There have been no indications that the Eagles are attempting to trade, or will look to move, Bradford. As Howie Roseman indicated earlier in the week, the team is supporting Bradford and the Eagles "look forward to seeing Sam again in the near future." The Eagles have a mandatory minicamp in June. In the meantime, Chase Daniel and McLeod Bethel-Thompson are taking the reps in practice. That's what we know. What we don't know is how this is going to play out. The Eagles aren't going to overreact and, apparently, aren't going to deal Bradford. No doubt that both head coach Doug Pederson and Roseman will be asked about the Bradford situation on Thursday night after making the first-round draft pick.
  • What we don't know is how the rest of the draft is going to play out. The Eagles don't pick for 77 selections after that second pick. At No. 79 overall, you can expect the Eagles to take the best player on their board, and that could very well be an offensive lineman in what is said to be a deep draft at the line of scrimmage. How much of a need is the offensive line? Really, the Eagles have helped themselves a lot in free agency by adding right guard Brandon Brooks and Stefen Wisniewski, who figures to challenge Allen Barbre at left guard and provide depth behind starting center Jason Kelce. Wisniewski has 77 career NFL starts. The Eagles have some depth with Matt Tobin and Andrew Gardner. Jason Peters is here for the offseason program and intends to be a standout at left tackle. Still, the line is a need. The goal is to have as much competition as possible up front. The goal is to be great at the line of scrimmage.
  • We know the team has no pick in Round 2 and one in Round 3. Roseman told me that it's going to be very difficult to move up in the draft and secure picks in those rounds. Even with those two fifth-round draft picks, it's likely the only deal that might work would be to get into the fourth round, but that would mean giving up more draft selections this year.
  • Is there a running back in the draft who can help the Eagles more than Kenjon Barner, who showed some spark last season after a dominating preseason and who is in the best shape of his life? The Eagles are going to add a running back or two, but it's going to tough to push Barner aside. He looks great. We know there is a production void created with the trade of DeMarco Murray to Tennessee. What we don't know is how deep the Eagles believe they are with Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles and Barner.
  • I wonder if the cornerback position is fairly set. The Eagles added Leodis McKelvin and Ron Brooks in free agency. They retained Nolan Carroll. They get JaCorey Shepherd back after his missed his rookie season with a knee injury. They want to see youngsters Denzel Rice (active roster last season) and Randall Evans (practice squad in 2015) develop. Aaron Grymes is a former standout from the CFL. Eric Rowe, of course, hopes to take the next step toward becoming a full-season, on-the-rise starting cornerback. The thinking here is that if the Eagles can't get themselves a top-tier talent, they are better off seeing how this young group comes together.
  • It would not surprise me to see Jaylen Watkins get some reps at safety to see if he can challenge there. The Eagles are set with Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod as the starters and they've got Chris Maragos, Ed Reynolds and Jerome Couplin in reserve. We don't know if that's enough reliable depth.
  • Does the defense have enough at linebacker with a projected top four of Jordan Hicks, Mychal Kendricks, Nigel Bradham and Najee Goode? There are only six linebackers on the current roster. We know that. So they need more.
  • We know there is no update with defensive tackle Fletcher Cox's contract. We know the Eagles have every intention of getting a deal done with Cox, and so it's really a wait-and-see situation with the Eagles and Cox. It's going to get done, folks. It just can't get done soon enough, right? The good news is that Cox understands what new defensive line coach Chris Wilson teaches. The two worked together for two seasons at Mississippi State.
  • We know the Eagles added defensive tackle Mike Martin this week, signing him to a one-year contract. Martin played for four seasons with Tennessee and he's here to compete with Beau Allen, Taylor Hart and Travis Raciti for a roster spot and playing time. Martin was a third-round pick of Tennessee in 2012 and his production declined in his years there. Martin was hampered by a knee injury in 2015 and played in just five games, missing the final 11 contests.
  • Wide receiver … wide receiver … wide receiver … We know it's always going to be a position of conversation for Eagles fans. Is this draft deep enough at wide receiver to have one on the board for the Eagles to take? Rueben Randle says he has had a strong introduction to the offense. Nelson Agholor is confident that he's going to take a big leap in his second NFL season. Chris Givens wants to get down the field and make plays in the vertical passing game. Josh Huff is going to run shallow cross after shallow cross in this offense as the Eagles hope to unlock his consistency. Jordan Matthews will get looks outside as well as from the slot in the offense. So you wonder if the draft, which is not said to be chock full of talent at wide receiver, will offer any prospects in the late rounds for the Eagles. We just don't know, do we?
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