How Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman Can Win the 2014 NFL Draft for the Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles had enough holes before they decided to jettison DeSean Jackson. With Jackson gone, the birds must now fill holes at pass-rusher, cornerback, safety, right guard, kicker and wide receiver.
It won't be an easy task. The Eagles have only six draft picks this season and have six holes to fill. It's never realistic to expect a team to fill every hole in just one offseason, but the loss of Jackson could delay the process by another year.
Regardless, this is a draft filled with talent at certain positions of need for Philly. If Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman play their cards right, the Eagles could become title contenders.
The draft would be a success if it went something like this.
1. Calvin Pryor at 22nd Overall
The 2014 NFL draft is stacked with wide receivers, so the Eagles should wait until the second round to select one. They have a ton of holes on defense and should get some much-needed secondary help while they still can.
Texas A&M wideout Mike Evans is a popular pick with fans, but he will not be available at 22nd overall, and the Eagles don't have enough draft picks to trade up.
Let's not forget that Jeremy Maclin put up 10 touchdowns in 2010, either. If he is healthy, he is certainly capable of putting up star-receiver numbers.
Pryor would be an excellent addition to the Eagles. He is the hardest hitter in the draft and would make receivers think twice when running routes.
Although he's not the best in coverage, he would be well-suited at the strong safety spot. Malcolm Jenkins could then be moved to free safety to form one of the better safety tandems in the NFC.
2. Allen Robinson at 54th Overall
If Marqise Lee falls to the 54th overall pick, the Eagles would be getting a steal. Lee was once regarded as a top-10 selection, but injuries and an average pro day have hurt his draft stock.
In any case, Lee will most likely be off the board based on his reputation and dominant sophomore season.
Meanwhile, Allen Robinson could prove to be an excellent option for Philly.
Robinson is a big target, standing 6'3" and 220 pounds. He has been criticised for his lack of speed, but straight-line speed is one of the more overrated traits in wideouts. Acceleration and agility are far more important in getting separation.
In both categories, Robinson is superb, especially for a player of his size. He also has great hands and plays with physicality. He would be the perfect complement to Jeremy Maclin. While Maclin is a speedster, Robinson is a physical playmaker with deceptive agility.
If selected, Robinson could instantly challenge Riley Cooper for the outside receiver spot and force Cooper to the slot.
3. Telvin Smith at 86th Overall
Due to the lack of pass rush last season, the Eagles can't exactly go three rounds without selecting a pass-rusher.
At 86th overall, Telvin Smith would be an excellent pick.
Smith does not possess elite strength, but he is an explosive athlete with the speed to get around blockers. He could have a ton of upside and the right coaching staff could maximize his potential.
He also has a great deal of experience on special teams—another area of need for the Eagles.
4. Loucheiz Purifoy at 122nd Overall
Purifoy didn't impress at his pro day or at the combine, but to acquire a player of his athleticism in the fourth round would be a huge steal.
He has played safety and wide receiver in addition to cornerback. Purifoy is an incredibly raw player who needs development, but there is no denying his athleticism.
He's had an inconsistent career, but if he can improve his technique, he can become a starting-caliber player.
Follow Yueh Ho on Twitter @YuehHo_BR
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