Setting the Philadelphia Eagles' Draft Board: Post-Free-Agency Edition

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistApril 3, 2014

Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks makes a catch during a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy

With free agency all but over, we've had a chance to revise the draft board we set for the Philadelphia Eagles ahead of the 2014 NFL combine. With the draft exactly five weeks away, here's who we think Howie Roseman and Co. should be favoring with that No. 22 overall pick.

Philadelphia Eagles: Suggested post-free-agency draft board
ProspectPositionSchool
1. Mike EvansWRTexas A&M
2. Brandin CooksWROregon State
3. Odell Beckham Jr.WRLSU
4. Kelvin BenjaminWRFlorida State
5. Ha Ha Clinton-DixFSAlabama
6. Calvin PryorFSLouisville
7. Anthony BarrOLBUCLA
8. Dee FordOLBAuburn
9. Marqise LeeWRUSC
10. Allen RobinsonWRPenn State
Brad Gagnon/Bleacher Report

— With DeSean Jackson gone, wide receiver went from being something they could ignore to their top need. It’s obvious the Eagles are enamored with the deep group of wideouts in this draft, and they could have many choices in that No. 22 spot. Evans leads the list because Sammy Watkins is sure to be gone, but I’m guessing this pick comes down to Cooks, Beckham or Benjamin, all of whom have the ability to become No. 1-caliber wide receivers at the NFL level.

— Evans is every bit as good as Watkins, from my perspective, but if he’s gone they’ll have a real tough time. Benjamin might be the best athlete but also could have the highest bust potential. Cooks is probably faster than Beckham, which is why we’re giving him an edge.

— I don’t think Malcolm Jenkins is a quality long-term option at free safety, and the jury is still out on Earl Wolff. If they don’t go wide receiver in Round 1, I’d fully expect the Eagles to draft one of the two first-round-caliber safeties, Clinton-Dix or Pryor. Clinton-Dix is stronger in coverage, and the Eagles pass defense has been horrendous for far too long, so that’s a priority.

— Philly’s sack rate of 5.2 was tied for the lowest in the league last year, and Trent Cole is in his 30s. They’d be crazy not to look for pass-rush help early. That’s why Barr and Ford are there. Barr is versatile and strong in coverage, which I think Bill Davis would really appreciate. But I doubt Barr falls to them.

— Lee and Robinson are consolation-prize receivers. I’d grab either late in Round 1 or early in Round 2 in the event of a trade back.