As all the Eagles talk shifts toward offseason acquisitions and the draft in hopes of improving the squad, don't go overlooking 2008 draft picks Bryan Smith and Jack Ikegwuonu.
The value of Smith could be stepping in for Jaqua Parker. Parker was an early season stud again, but unfortunately—like the '07-08 season—Parker disappeared in the second half of the season. In the Eagles' final 13 games, Parker had .5 sacks. Yikes! In his final 13 games of the '07-'08 season, Parker had 2 sacks. Yikes!
Smith was drafted to be a pass rush specialist. Though undersized for a DE, the Eagles are counting on his speed to create havoc off the edge. Abiamiri can play the end on rushing downs and then Smith and Clemons can bring the heat on 3rd down.
The drafting of Ikegwuonu raised a lot of eyebrows last year. The kid had a torn ACL and his 2008 season would be lost. But maybe credit the Eagles for thinking ahead with this former All-American.
This offseason Sheppard will likely be shown the exit. Hanson is an UFA; with his recent strong play he should be able to secure himself a nice contract and starting role elsewhere. CB, a position of strength and depth in 2008, suddenly becomes weak. Ikegwuono could find himself third on the CB depth chart before ever playing a down.