2011 NFL Draft: Why The Philadelphia Eagles Should Trade Up in The First Round

Jason KarlAnalyst IIIFebruary 5, 2011

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 26: Prince Amukamara #21 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers misses a chance at an interception from Scotty McKnight #21 of the Colorado Buffaloes during the second half of their game at Memorial Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Colorado 45-17. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

The Eagles are legitimate Super Bowl contenders next season, and anyone that tells you otherwise is lying.

In fact, if the Eagles would have beaten the Packers in the Wild Card Game, I don't think there was another NFC team capable of defeating the Eagles.

A glaring weakness on this defense especially, are the lack of playmakers and elite players. Look at the Super Bowl teams this year.

The Packers have 6: B.J. Raji, Cullen Jenkins, Clay Matthews III, Tramon Williams, Charles Woodson, and Nick Collins.

The Steelers have 6 as well: Casey Hampton, James Harrison, James Farrior, Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley, and Troy Polamalu.

How many playmakers do the Eagles have on defense? They have two: Asante Samuel and a half season of Trent Cole.

I fully expect the Eagles to upgrade personnel on defense this upcoming free agency, with many impressive players looking for new homes.

The lack of talent on defense is concerning, and this offseason must be devoted to acquiring elite talents, otherwise look for new defensive coordinator Juan Castillo to be run out of town.

In the draft, the drop-off from elite players is around pick 12-13.

That leads me to the discussion of why the Eagles need to trade up.

At 24, they will get a solid player, maybe a corner or defensive end, they can plug in the starting lineup, but the defense needs elite players.

Trading into the top 13 would net the Eagles the best talent the draft offers.

Who are the elite players the Eagles can trade up for?


Prince Amukamara

If the Eagles miss out on Nnamdi Asomugha, they can trade up to draft Amukamara, who some call the next Asomugha. He would be an elite shut down corner that would complement the ball hawk Asante Samuel.


Marcell Dareus

He could be a great fit on the defensive line, and provide the Eagles with a dominating defensive tackle for the first time in many years.


Robert Quinn

Pass rushers are key to every defense. Look at the Giants, they have one of the best rotations at defensive ends with Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and Jason Pierre-Paul.

Quinn could possibly be the best talent in the entire draft, so he could be a great complement to Trent Cole.


Akeem Ayers

The Eagles have lacked a playmaking linebacker for a long time. Ayers is the best 4-3 linebacker prospect in the draft, and could be a significant upgrade over any player the Eagles put at strongside linebacker.

Ayers is athletic and fast and can cover, but is also a great pass-rusher and solid run-defender.


So, the Eagles should definitely consider trading up and grabbing an elite defensive player in this draft.