Let me first say that the acquisition of left tackle is a great one. The Philadelphia Eagles now have a 27 yr old with great size(6’4”, 340 lbs) and skill (Two Pro Bowl appearances) at probably their biggest position of need. But, this doesn’t just stop at adding a player. It helps the team’s current roster and it helps narrow down scenarios for next weeks draft.
How it helps the current roster
There were some rumors/discussions about possibly moving either Todd Herremans or Shawn Andrews from their respective guard positions out to play left tackle.
While either guy would’ve been productive, it would’ve caused either Nick Cole(who may compete to start at center) or Max Jean-Giles(great size, but he’s still suspect in pass protection) to start at one of the guard positions.
Stability on the offensive line is a key to any team’s success, so it’s best not to have to shuffle players around and/or tamper with the depth chart. It’s already going to be enough of a transition with the departures of Jon Runyan and William(Tra) Thomas. The Eagles are fortunate to replace these two former staples with two quality starters still in their 20s.
With Peters and Stacy Andrews at tackle plus the interior offensive line returning intact, the Eagles should be well equipped to contest the divisional threats of DeMarcus Ware, Osi Umenyiora and Albert Haynesworth.
How it helps on draft day
The stats don’t lie. The Eagles last four 1st round picks were linemen. As a matter of fact, eight of the last ten first draft picks of the Andy Reid era were either a quarterback or an offensive/defensive lineman. The chances are very high that won’t be the case next week now.
Adding Peters to the roster pretty much dispels any rumors about the Eagles moving up into the top 10 of the draft for Jason Smith, Eugene Monroe or even staying at pick No. 21 and taking a huge risk if Andre Smith was still available.
The defensive line could be tweaked a little, but it’s not a huge priority. Truth be told, the defensive line is still pretty young and hasn’t reached its collective peak yet. It can improve simply by good health and hard work from the guys we have(especially Victor Abiamiri).
With both lines in good condition, the Eagles can focus mainly on adding better talent at the skill positions. The main three positions of need for the ten remaining 2009 picks are running back, tight end, and wide receiver. How the Eagles address them depends on who’s available and which one is the most important.
- Running Back-Rd 1: Knowshon Moreno? Rd 2: Rashad Jennings? Rd 3: Ramses Barden?
- Tight End-Rd 1: Brandon Pettigrew? Rd 2: Hakeem Nicks? Rd 3: Javon Ringer?
- Wide Receiver-Rd 1: Kenny Britt? Rd 2: LeSean McCoy? 3: Chase Coffman?
Adding Jason Peters is definitely the Eagles best move this offseason and one of the biggest transactions this year in the entire NFL.
While Donovan McNabb is petitioning for more weapons, it’s more important to ensure his blindside is protected so he can stay vertical long enough to throw to them. The Eagles have addressed that and you have to give credit when it is due.