The Eagles love to build their team through the draft. 12 of their 13 draft picks last year are with the team and only one of the 12 (Ricky Sapp) did not contribute. Especially if there is no CBA, the Eagles possibly cannot count on free agency or trades, so their draft is crucial.
On offense, the main need is offensive line, especially the right side of the line. The right guard position was manned by Max Jean-Gilles and Nick Cole, both below average starters. Winston Justice started at right tackle, but regressed considerably towards the end of this season. An upgrade will be necessary.
Defensively, the Eagles have needs all across the board. They barely have a pass rush, which especially hurts the average secondary. Dmitri Patterson is a solid special teams and dime corner, but showed he should not be starting. Eagles fans are calling for Nnamdi Asomugha, but Eagles do not love giving big contracts to players who are 30 or older.
So, with that, let's get this article started, (in no particular order):
Derek Sherrod is the best offensive lineman in this draft and is rising on many draft boards. He can come in and play right away at right tackle and dominate. He stands at 6'5 and weighs 312 pounds, and can fit right away protecting the blind side of Micheal Vick.
Sherrod is a much better pass blocker than run blocker, so he should fit right in on the offensive line. The Eagles need an upgrade over Winston Justice.
Carimi was highly touted coming into this college season, but has not played up to par. He struggled early on, but came on late towards the end of the season.
Gabe Carimi also played left tackle, but can be moved over to the right side or even play inside at guard. He comes in at 6'7, 325 pounds, so it is more of Andy Reid-type pick because of his love of big offensive lineman.
Carimi fits into this scheme and if he can be coached well by offensive line coach Juan Castillo, look out.
Marcus Cannon is a mammoth guard at 6'5, 360 pounds. He is a dominant run blocker with unlimited potential. I would not be surprised if he ends up being a top five guard in the NFL after a couple of seasons.
The Eagles have a glaring hole at Right Guard, and I'm sure Andy Reid will see Shawn Andrews in Cannon (without the depression and back problems). Reid is not scared of taking a guard in the first round.
I fully do not expect the Eagles to re-sign starter and leader Quintin Mikell. That being said, his best attribute is coming up to play the run, even though he is pretty average there.
Nate Allen is a solid player and will be a mainstay at safety for the Eagles for the next decade. He does everything well, but nothing great.
That being said, the Eagles will need a playmaker next to Allen next season. Rahim Moore definitely fits the bill, even though he regressed from his spectacular sophomore year.
In that year, he had 10 interceptions, but this year he only has one. Moore, though, is still very good in coverage and he dropped a few picks this year. He could be a poor man's Earl Thomas playing in this aggressive defense. Moore stands in at 6'1 and 205 pounds.
Though Burton can be a little bit inconsistent, he can be a great complement to Asante Samuel. He is physical and has the speed to stay with every receiver in the league.
Burton is one cornerback prospect no one is talking about, but he is definitely the third best CB in the draft behind elite talents like Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara.
Burton could start right away across Samuel and could be this year's Devin McCourty. He stands in at 6'0, 185 pounds, so he gives the Eagles size in the secondary.
People call Kerrigan this year's Brandon Graham, and I can definitely see the comparison. Both have relentless motors and are undersized for the 4-3 end position.
The Eagles cannot count on Graham next year but need a pass rusher across Trent Cole.
Eagles fans do not understand that no matter how great your corners are, with no pass rush, a good enough quarterback can slice up the secondary.
Kerrigan can be a great complement to Cole.
If Clayborn played up to potential, he would be a top three pick. Even though he had an average season, most teams still considers him a first round prospect. That should tell you a lot about Clayborn's talent.
Even though he is bigger than most 4-3 ends, he stands in at 285 pounds, he has the speed and moves to play defensive for the Eagles.
Eagles have to consider spending another first round pick on the defensive line to finally generate a pass rush.
If the Eagles do decide to trade Kolb, I expect a team like Miami to give up their first round pick for him.