The Philadelphia Eagles have been busy thus far in the offseason, agreeing to contract extensions with Jason Peters and Jason Kelce, while locking up free-agent wide receivers Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin.
Most mock drafts recently have had Philly targeting a wide receiver in the first round, but the team’s decision to retain both Cooper and Maclin should sway the momentum more to the defensive side of the ball. Defensive coordinator Billy Davis coaxed fine seasons out of his 11 starters in 2013, but he needs a superstar to build his unit around, and this would be a good time to get one.
The Eagles pick 22nd overall in the first round. The ideal scenario is that the team picks a safety to upgrade a positional group that rated among the league’s worst a year ago. If Philly signs a playmaker like Buffalo’s Jairus Byrd or Cleveland’s T.J. Ward, this isn’t as much of a pressing need.
Regardless though, general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Chip Kelly would be wise to look on the defensive side of the ball.
The defense overachieved in 2013 under Davis, actually ranking in the top half of teams for points allowed. Davis has a handful of future stars on his roster in defensive end Fletcher Cox, linebacker Mychal Kendricks and cornerback Brandon Boykin. Adding another top-quality defensive player would certainly put Philly on the right track heading into ’14, and that’s who the team will assuredly target early in the upcoming draft.
All combine results courtesy of NFL.com's results tracker.