2010 NFL Draft: Philadelphia Eagles Team Needs
After all, with the passing of long-time defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, Brian Dawkins leaving for Denver, and MLB Stewart Bradley being lost for the season, things were already way too interesting for everyone involved with the organization.
Add the "dog-killing" Michael Vick to the equation, and you've got yourself a big bowl of "wrong".
Still, the Eagles fought there way through a still reasonably difficult NFC East, earning an 11-5 record and a trip to the playoffs.
Yet, after all of their troubles entering the season, fans weren't satisfied with just another playoff appearance (as they shouldn't be). However, the calls for Donovan McNabb to be traded have writers' heads' spinning.
And as for anyone trying to figure out Philadelphia's offseason plans without knowing their stance on any of their three quarterbacks, well, forget about it.
But even the non-Philly faithful have to try, right?
Here's an honest look at the Eagles' needs for the draft and onward:
Biggest Needs: OT, C, RB, TE
The big issue all offseason will be what happens with the three capable quarterbacks on Philly's roster, and if trades are made, what they get in return could have a huge impact on their draft strategy.
Another interesting aspect will be what happens with aging and injury-riddled running back, Brian Westbrook, who intends on playing in 2010, but is unlikely to be back with the team.
True, the Eagles just drafted LeSean McCoy, and Leonard Weaver proved to be serviceable, but if Westbrook is indeed on his way out, adding depth to the backfield is a must.
As far as the first round goes, however, it's unlikely the Eagles go for offense that early, as they have elite options at receiver and tight end, and one way or another, will have the quarterback position taken care of.
Left tackle appeared to be take care of when the Eagles acquired Jason Peters from the Bills last year, but after he got eaten alive by DeMarcus Ware late in the season, the Eagles may be worried if he's the elite tackle they want blocking their quarterback's blindside.
Adding insurance at the position is a strong possibility in the middle rounds, and possibly even as early as the second. The Eagles could even opt to reach for the best enter prospect in the draft (which they could use), and grab Florida's Maurkice Pouncey.
Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown are candidates to get traded or cut by now, and Jason Avant isn't a lock to return, either, so looking at some receiver depth in the middle (or end) of the draft is another option.
Biggest Needs: DE, S, OLB
The Eagles could stand to add depth to their cornerback position, but their main holes are on the defensive line, linebacker, and at safety.
The fact is, Philly only has one elite pass rusher, and Trent Cole can't do it all by himself. If they can snag a guy like Carlos Dunlap with their first pick, they'd be getting a steal, while they could even reach for Everson Griffin if Dunlap is gone.
Brian Dawkins' exit last season left a void in the back of the secondary, so Philadelphia needs to start thinking about a long-term replacement. If Earl Thomas falls far enough, he would be a possibility, although it's likely the Eagles will have to wait and pull the trigger on a safety in the second or third round.
They can't wait until the later rounds, though, as the safety position is a clear weakness is an otherwise solid secondary.
Another position that could really use a major upgrade would be strong outside linebacker, as Chris Gocong just isn't the elite performer the Eagles thought he was when they drafted him.
Even middle linebacker is a worrisome spot, as Stewart Bradley is coming off of ACL surgery, and Jeremiah Trotter struggled immensely in coverage last season.
Their linebacking corps isn't bad as a whole, but they could definitely use some re-tooling. Grabbing an OLB in the first round may be a bit of a reach, but Sean Weatherspoon would be a nice value pick.
It's probably best that the Eagles wait until the middle rounds, though, where they could easily snag Iowa's A.J. Edds, a sure-tackler who can play all over the field.
Ultimately, what happens with the Eagles in 2010 will hang largely on what happens at quarterback. Until we know who is lining up under center, we just won't know a lot about this team.
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