Only 24 hours after head coach Andy Reid stated that ex-defensive coordinator Sean McDermott would be retained, he was fired.
This is somewhat surprising because, though the defense was weak this year, there were not a lot of big names on that side of the ball. Injuries to Stewart Bradley, Asante Samuel, Brandon Graham and Nate Allen didn't help.
Also, since McDermott was the hand chosen heir to the late Jim Johnson, it's surprising that he was only given two seasons.
The Eagles were most likely to draft a cornerback, offensive lineman or linebacker in the early rounds of the draft. With new defensive personnel coming in, the draft day focus may be dominated by defensive picks.
Miami's Brandon Harris is a possible selection in the first round because he can start across from Asante Samuel and Dimitri "Toast" Patterson would be on the field a lot less, which is good news for Eagles fans.
In the second round, Michigan State's Greg Jones would be a good selection because he would fill the hole in the linebackers' core. Ernie Sims was brought in from Detroit via trade, but was a big disappointment. It has been reported that the Eagles may consider releasing him after just one season. Jones is a similar player to Sims, though unlike Sims, who has been criticized for "lacking instinct," Jones can make some of the big plays that defenses thrive off of.
What Should the Eagles Focus The 2011 Draft on Improving?
The third round will likely be used to address the offensive line. However, if the Eagles fail to re-sign starting safety Quintin Mikell, Florida's Will Hill could be a potential pick.
LSU's Joseph Barksdale has seen his stock drop all season, and the Eagles may be able to get him in the fourth round.
If the Eagles can make these picks, Jim Mora Jr.—or whoever is the defensive coordinator in 2011—will have filled the roster with even more young talent that Philly has focused their team around over the last couple of offseasons.