Top 3 Needs for the Eagles to Address in the Draft: Opinion PieceApr 07, 2022 02:00PM ● By Mac Johnson
(Image Source: All Pro Reels via Wikimedia Commons)
On April 28th, the Detroit Lions are on the clock in the 2022 NFL draft. Names will be called, lives will be changed, and franchisees will have another opportunity to reshape their future. As for the Philadelphia Eagles, most fans wouldn’t call last year’s playoff birth coupled with an early exit a success. However, with 3 first-round picks (15, 16, and 19), and a few young players finally coming into their own, the future looks bright for the Birds. But there are some areas that need to be addressed if the team wants to continue building off of last season’s positives. Here are the three biggest position groups the Eagles should target early in the draft.
The Philadelphia Eagles had the number one rushing offense in the regular season last year. The rushing attack was probably the only intimidating part of the Eagles’ offense. That’s not all on Jalen Hurts. He also had an inexperienced wide receiving core that lacked overall playmaking ability, but I digress. The success on the ground was built from the ground up. At full strength, last year’s offensive line had 3 pro bowlers in Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce, and Brandon Brooks. We’re going into this season with just two of them and Jason Kelce is in the twilight of his career. It’s time to reinforce one of the most formidable position groups on the team and in the NFC. Jack Driscoll can be an asset but has ended the last two seasons on IR. The same can be said for Landon Dickerson and Isaac Seumalo who have both dealt with availability issues. Drafting the best available OL as a plug-and-play starter is the type of move that pays off come playoff time.
Just take a look at the current Eagles roster. There are only three DTs on the team who are true NFL-caliber players, and one of them (Fletcher Cox) appears to be on the decline of his Pro Bowl career. Targeting an interior defensive lineman early in the draft is within the realm of possibility for the Birds. Howie Roseman has a history of drafting DTs early and often. Milton Williams flashed his potential over the course of the season, but the team ultimately needs someone to step in and keep Fletcher Cox’s snap count low. He would also serve as a security blanket just in case the injury bug hits Javon Hargrave again. There are more than enough prospects in the trenches worthy of a 1st round pick.
This problem has plagued the Eagles for years now. Who starts opposite Darius Slay? Is it Avonte Maddox, second-year player Zech McPhearson or someone totally different? If the eagles aren’t going to spend money on a high-profile veteran like Stephon Gilmore, and I don’t think they should, then the team should focus on selecting a top-tier prospect in the first round. Draft a prospect with prototypical size, great recovery speed, elite ball skills, and someone that will be a sure tackler. Draft someone that tickles Mel Kiper’s fancy and will finally give Eagles fans a set of cornerbacks that won’t give them a heart attack every time the ball is in the air. An upgrade at cornerback will work wonders for the pass rush and the entire defense as a whole.
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