Philadelphia Eagles 2013 NFL Draft Wish List
Despite all the attention being given to the Super Bowl contestants, diehard fans of the other 30 NFL teams in a way can't wait for the 2012 season to come to an end.
Once it's over, their team will once again become relevant, as free agency and the draft open up a whole new world of possibilities. Once the offseason begins, everyone is undefeated again.
The Eagles are no exception; their fans are some of the most passionate in the NFL. And with all the changes that have come about in the past few weeks, primarily the blockbuster signing of an innovative college coach, the Eagles are going to be one of the most watched teams in the NFL next season.
Chip Kelly has already begun building his own coaching staff. It remains to be seen how he decides to build his new team through the draft. The following acquisitions would provide even more optimism for Eagles fans about the new era.
1. Acquire an O-Lineman in the First Round
With all the controversy surrounding Manti Te'o, barring a spectacular combine performance, it looks like Te'o will likely fall to the middle or the end of the first round. With that in mind, Luke Joeckel, a potential franchise player at offensive tackle, could fall into the Eagles' hands.
For this to happen, Reid would have to select Geno Smith as his franchise quarterback first overall. Then Star Lotulelei would be selected by Jacksonville second overall. If the Raiders selected Jarvis Jones, the Eagles would almost certainly take Joeckel.
However, if Joeckel is selected before then, perhaps by Reid, who likes O-Linemen, then the Eagles should select Eric Fisher, possibly trading down if they think they could. Or they should trade down for Barrett Jones, but the O-line play and depth was much too poor in 2012 to justify not taking a first-round talent to address the O-line.
2. Draft a Difference Maker on Defense
The Eagles seem to be completely devoid of playmakers on defense. The Nnamdi Asomugha signing was a huge bust, and DRC and Jason Babin have been disappointing.
Answers came in the form of the draft, as Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox both played well, though they are still far from the difference makers the Eagles are hoping they will someday become.
Kelly must continue to tap young talent and try to develop them under his system. In the second round, T.J. McDonald would be an excellent selection.
The safety play in 2012 was atrocious, but McDonald has all the tools to be a great player. He is fast, instinctive and a hard hitter. He is one of the best safeties in the draft and could be one of the best the Eagles could get their hands on.
If not him, the Eagles must find a way to acquire a player with a similar capability of making an immediate impact.
3. Bring in a Young Quarterback to Back Up and Compete with the Starter
Just like the Redskins selected Kirk Cousins in the fourth round despite drafting Robert Griffin III, or the 49ers selected Colin Kaepernick in the second round despite having a relatively young Alex Smith, the Eagles should not hesitate from taking a quarterback.
Of course, with all the holes on the team, it would be foolhardy to take one in the first or second round. But taking one in the third or the fourth round could potentially pay off.
It's unclear if Nick Foles is the future. With a new coach, Kelly may even decide to retain Michael Vick. No matter who the option is, another young quarterback should be brought in to compete and push the starter to improve.
Who knows? The Eagles might even strike gold just like the 49ers did (no pun intended). The Eagles could select E.J. Manuel or Landry Jones in the fourth round. Both players possess good athleticism, especially Manuel. Jones is a bit slower but possesses the superior passing ability.
Kelly likes mobile quarterbacks. The problem with Foles is he lacks any form of mobility whatsoever, and Vick is far too injury-prone to be a long-term solution. There would be no harm in bringing another young signal-caller into the mix.
4. Select Red-Zone Options on Offense
Part of the reason the Eagles were so turnover prone in 2012 was because they struggled in the red zone. Their O-line was too weak to open up large holes within the 10-yard line, and they also do not possess a physical back to pound it in. The quarterback also never had a big body at wide receiver to throw to.
To aid the quarterback in 2013, the Eagles need to bring in some red-zone help. This could come in the form of Aaron Mellette or Brandon Kaufman. Both players are big athletic bodies who are underrated due to the competition they faced and would fall to the fifth and sixth rounds.
Or, the Eagles could elect to take a bruising back, someone who could be used in short-yardage and goal-line situations, such as the physical Rex Burkhead. But the team cannot only focus on explosive, speedy players. Good teams have a variety of talent and are not one-dimensional.