5 Biggest Needs Eagles Have Yet to Address This Offseason
Free agency is technically not over, but the best bet now will be the draft. Here are five positions of need that Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman still need to prioritize going forward.
1. Outside Linebacker
The Eagles have yet to secure a dynamic pass-rushing linebacker to fit their 3-4 defense. Trent Cole, while having had spurts of production last season, is past his prime. His stats were largely padded by three sacks against Jay Cutler in Week 16.
Now that the Eagles have secured two safeties in free agency, it is likely that they will select a pass-rusher within the top two rounds, especially because they are desperate to improve their last-ranked pass defense and pass rush does wonders for secondary play.
2. Right Guard
The Eagles offensive line is shaping up rather nicely, with three Pro Bowl-caliber players in Jason Peters, Evan Mathis and Jason Kelce, as well as a rising talent in Lane Johnson. But they have a glaring hole at right guard.
Todd Herremans never quite recaptured the magic at right guard he had on the left side. His pass protection has ranged from average to poor. To make matters worse, he's aging, being 31 years old already.
Selecting a right guard in the draft is essential, at least for depth purposes.
3. Nose Tackle
Bennie Logan filled in nicely after Isaac Sopoaga was traded. But he's still not an every-down player at the nose tackle position.
The Eagles will need to select a dominant force at NT in the draft. The defensive line last season was extremely underwhelming. If the Eagles want to improve their pass defense, they must improve their ability to contend at the line of scrimmage.
Bradley Fletcher is a good corner, but not at all a dominant one. Cary Williams played well at the end of the season, but was more or less extremely inconsistent.
Pass rush would greatly improve the secondary's play, but the Eagles also need a playmaker at cornerback. Currently, there are no corners on the roster that really cause problems for the offense, except Brandon Boykin, who only plays the nickel.
More talent at corner is essential. Currently, the Eagles give up far too many big plays through the air. Nolan Carroll was a great addition this offseason, being an underrated corner in Miami who was overshadowed by Brent Grimes. But the Eagles need to continue to add depth to their secondary.
5. Backup Quarterback
It's probably too early to give up on Matt Barkley, but he did play pretty poorly against Dallas and the Giants. He's young, but Barkley also does not look like the polished NFL-ready prospect that many saw him as.
With a weak arm, do the Eagles trust Barkley can improve enough to be a reliable backup? More likely, they will at least bring in competition. If Michael Vick chooses to re-sign with Philly, they will hand the second-string position to him on a silver platter. But if the Eagles select a QB within the top five rounds, it will likely be an interesting training camp matchup to watch.