The best way for an NFL team to manage the salary cap efficiently is to hit on draft picks. That allows an organization to recycle its players frequently, as opposed to being forced into long-term contracts with players.
The Philadelphia Eagles are in an excellent salary-cap position, checking in at over $20 million under the cap. There are no glaring needs this offseason—although safety is pretty close to being one—and the Eagles have all their draft picks.
Undoubtedly the first-round pick will be vital, and general manager Howie Roseman has done an excellent job the past two seasons, hitting with defensive end Fletcher Cox and offensive tackle Lane Johnson. This year, the Eagles should look at a player for the secondary or a pass-rushing outside linebacker. But the team needs to be wise with its late-round pick as well.
Center Jason Kelce was formerly a sixth-round pick, and he’s playing at a very high level now. Outside linebacker Trent Cole was a fifth-round pick, and he’s anchored the defense for eight seasons now. Here are a handful of players coming out in this year’s NFL draft who could provide a positive impact for Philadelphia in the near future.