More than the need to improve the secondary, linebackers and defensive line, the Eagles have a need to get healthy on defense, mature on the whole and also get younger in the secondary.
Opportunities to upgrade and play well are not mutually exclusive.
The pool of talent that will fall to the Eagles at the 24th overall pick is a bit more speculative than one would like. Players like Taylors Mays, Jason Pierre-Paul and Carlos Dunlap are the top tier of what may be available. However, they are further bathed in uncertainty regarding their skill, motivation and size.
These guys are moving up and down draft boards because talent scouts can't get a handle on what they will bring to the game at the NFL level.
Andy Reid could quite logically fashion a deal that would net a second round pick and something else of significance in exchange for their first round position. The Eagles have a myriad of veterans to bundle in such a deal.
Such a deal could also encourage a team to help the Eagles fill a veteran void at a needed position. At this point, a deal would become very complicated and require further consideration, most likely a player like Kevin Curtis or Reggie Brown.
Oshiomogho Atogwe, would be a great player to target.
At first glance that may appear as too great a sacrifice, but it only moves the Eagles selection back 10 to 20 picks and nets a third round selection for Mike Vick where I assume he would otherwise seem to be garnering interest at a fifth round value.
Don't be surprised or disappointed.
The Eagles already have two picks in rounds three and four. Two picks in the second round would be very attractive as would an additional third, fourth or fifth round pick.
An additional second round pick could net the Eagles a stud cornerback like Kyle Wilson of Boise State or a free safety like Nate Allen who would be of near equal value to anything we could select in the first round (even though judging Macho Harris by his rookie season alone is a bit premature).
A player like Jahvid Best, Vladamir Ducasse, Corey Wootton or Sean Weatherspoon could be available in the early second round as well as a Carlos Dunlap or Brandon Spikes. If we are speculating on a player, the second round would be better.
An additional third, fourth or fifth round selection could net a Joe McKnight, a stud linebacker like A.J. Edds or Micah Johnson, a safety like Myron Rolle, a defensive end like Alex Carrington, or every Eagles fans' dream, a power back like LeGarrette Blount or Toby Gerhart.
The possibilities are endless, and Eagles fans should feel confident if they make a move like this. Andy Reid has been able to manipulate the draft to give the Eagles more young talent while addressing the needs and wants of the current squad: it's a function that Reid is mastering.