The Eagles have an abundance of holes to fill this offseason, and without much cap room to make any substantial moves in free agency, GM Howie Roseman will need to have a stellar draft this year.
Roseman doesn’t have a great track record in the draft — as we all know by now — but selecting in the top-10 should lower the chances of him screwing up the pick. He’ll more than likely have the opportunity to pick the best player at almost any position he chooses, outside of quarterback.
Here are the top three most likely positions that Roseman will target in this upcoming NFL Draft.
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The Eagles wide receiver group is a mess right now. Even after selecting Jalen Reagor in the first round of last year’s draft, the Birds still need a lot of help at the position.
Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson will likely be gone, leaving Reagor, Greg Ward, John Hightower, Travis Fulgham, Quez Watkins, and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Marquise Goodwin (remember him?) could still be back next season after opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19. He’s under contract for two more years.
Nonetheless, taking a wideout at No. 6 may be the most likely possibility. There are a handful of WRs entering this year’s draft who could translate into elite talents at the next level. Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, his teammate Jaylen Waddle, and LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase could all be the first receiver off the board.
At least one of them should be available at No. 6. Unless there’s another prospect at another position that steals Roseman’s heart, one of theses excellent wideouts could wind up in Philly.
While defensive end may not be the biggest need for the Eagles heading into next season, Roseman values defensive/offensive lineman above any other position outside of quarterback.
The Birds accumulated 49 sacks last season, good for third most in the NFL, but they didn’t have a single pass rusher record over eight sacks on the year. Outside of Brandon Graham’s eight sacks, only one other edge rusher tallied six or more, Josh Sweat.
2017 first rounder Derek Barnett could potentially be on his way out as well. The team picked up his fifth year option last offseason, which means they’ll either extend him to make his cap hit next year more manageable, or they may listen to trade offers for him this offseason. It’s hard to know which way they’re leaning right now.
Regardless, you can never have enough pass rushers in today’s NFL. And there’s a chance that the new head coach the team brings in could opt to switch up the defensive scheme a bit, making the need to draft an edge rusher who fits in line with what the Birds want to do more apparent.
The Eagles have a glaring weakness at the CB2 spot opposite of Darius Slay. Avonte Maddox has always been better suited as a nickel corner, and the team doesn’t even have another starting caliber corner on the roster.
They could fill that need if they want at No. 6. Patrick Surtain II from Alabama comes to mind right away. He’s the most NFL-ready corner in the draft — he has the best combination of size, length, and technique of any defensive back prospect entering the draft this year.
Roseman has struggled to get his defensive backfield right for his entire tenure as the GM. Acquiring Slay last offseason was a step in the right direction, drafting the best CB prospect the following year could finally give the Eagles a formidable cornerback group.