Resetting the Philadelphia Eagles' Draft Board

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistMarch 26, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 24: Geno Smith of West Virginia throws during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 24, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles have been—and might very well continue to be—very busy in free agency. As a result, their draft board is constantly evolving. We're likely to make some dramatic changes between now and April 25, but with just one under month remaining until Round 1 of the 2013 NFL Draft, we're beginning to at least get a clearer picture of what might go down when the Eagles pick fourth overall. 

Because Philly holds the two picks in the top 35, we've got two draft boards updated for Chip Kelly's team. Here's what we had for them before free agency, and here's what we're thinking for Round 1 now that they've done some shopping...

I've touched on my rationale for having Geno Smith at the top, and it really has to do with the fact you can't win in this league without a star quarterback. Period. Now, that might not be Smith, but it could be him, and the Eagles never pick this high. Great players can be found all over the place; great quarterbacks can't. You have to roll the dice if he drops to you. Fortunately for those who fear Smith will be a disastrous bust, I don't think he's going to get past Oakland anyway. 

I tend to believe that, beyond that, it should be something along the lines of best player available. But I think Lotulelei, Floyd and Milliner are so tightly packed together in terms of talent level that you'd be better off going with a defensive lineman who could make a big impact immediately as a starter next to Isaac Sopoaga and Fletcher Cox. 

Beyond that, it's two offensive tackles who would have to gain value to jump someone else on the list. If something happens to one of those top four, I think you consider Joeckel or Fisher again. Jordan's there because he's a former Chip Kelly player at Oregon, but I can't see him, Mingo or Vaccaro gaining enough ground to become top-four picks. Still, they're strong possibilities if the Eagles trade down. 

As for Round 2...

Obviously what happens in the second round depends heavily on what happens the night prior. If the Eagles go with a defensive lineman, I think they have to take a shot at a quarterback. If they go quarterback, I think they have to go defensive lineman. Of course, things don't always align that perfectly, so the wild cards are the safeties and offensive tackles on both boards.