Many people think the Eagles have a huge need in the secondary. I agree with that—they do. However, I disagree with the notion that the Eagles should spend a high draft pick on a cornerback or safety. There are many reasons why I do not think it is a good idea.
So join me as I give you my top five reasons why the Eagles should not spend an early draft pick on a player for the secondary. I do believe the Eagles should draft a CB or safety, but not until the second day of the draft. The first day should be used for bigger needs.
I know, Nate Allen got hurt. However, the Eagles drafted Allen in the second round last year, plus they took Trevard Lindley in the fourth round, and Kurt Coleman in the seventh round. Allen and Coleman both played pretty well last year, and I think Lindley has potential.
That gives you three young secondary players to go alongside Asante Samuel and Quintin Mikell and any other veteran you may bring back or sign.
I don't see the point in wasting a high pick on a cornerback, as I think there are better options. The Eagles need major help on the offensive line and in the linebacking corps, and I think a first-round pick should be spent on one of those spots.
We have youth in the secondary already and you combine the fact that the three guys mentioned above, plus a second-day pick or two this year, and you will have four or five secondary players in their first two seasons. That's more than enough for me.
This is a spinoff of the last point, but the Eagles have a huge need at linebacker. Jamar Chaney showed some promise last season, but other than him, their LBs are pathetic. Ernie Sims took a step back and the combination of Foku/Jordan are enough to make you want to bash your head into a brick wall.
We also have Stewart Bradley, who is the biggest waste of space in the NFL. I can only hope he gets cut this season, or traded, or both. At the very least, I hope he is a backup next year, but we all know better.
Stewart Bradley is the present-day version of Todd Pinkston for Reid. He is a guy that Andy Reid loves for some unknown reason. He is a guy that no team will want once the Eagles get rid of him. He will start here for a couple more years, just like Pinkston did, and just like Pinkston, once the Eagles finally cut him, no one will want him.
Anyways, we desperately need linebacking help, and honestly, the draft is a good place to get multiple linebackers. I'd like to see one or maybe two of their first three picks on a linebacker.
The other one has to be offensive line. They need help at guard, tackle and at center. Their first-day draft picks should be all offensive line and linebackers, unless some guy with huge value falls to you and you can't pass him up.
If they get a crack at a stud defensive lineman who falls to them, then maybe they will take him, but their plan should be for the first-, second- and third-round picks to all be OL and LB.
For the most part, when you pick a guy in the first or second round, you expect him to start or play a significant role. I don't see that happening if they take a guy in the secondary.
Asante Samuel is a definite starter, as is Quintin Mikell (assuming they re-sign him). You have to think if Nate Allen is healthy, he starts as well, and I am hoping the other starter is a free agent or will be a battle between anyone they would draft and the guys they bring back.
Still, there is no guarantee that a draft pick would start, whereas if you took a linebacker, he would almost be guaranteed a starting job, as he would have no real competition.
Remember that guy in the suit? That's Troy Vincent, who combined with Bobby Taylor to give us two elite cornerbacks. Then we had Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown, then Brown and Samuel. Since Andy Reid has been head coach, we have always had two shutdown cornerbacks that were great players.
I am not that excited about any cornerback in the draft to come in and be that shutdown guy right away. Therefore, we need to address cornerback elsewhere.
The key to addressing the cornerback spot lies in free agency. There will be several choices most likely, but I don't need several choices. There is already one I like and one I want the Eagles to sign, and honestly, I think they are going to.
Reid knows he needs a good cornerback. Reid has spent money on cornerbacks in the past via free agency (Asante Samuel) and I think the Eagles will sign Nnamdi Asomugha.
If they don't, I hope they bring in another high-caliber veteran cornerback, but honestly, my money is on Asomugha being an Eagle in 2011. Therefore, there will be no reason to draft a cornerback in the first day of the draft. A starting four of Mikell, Asomugha, Samuel and Allen is pretty solid with Coleman, Lindley, and probably one of Patterson/Hanson, plus a rookie as a backup will be more than sufficient for 2011.
So the Eagles have a need at cornerback and they should address it, but not through the draft, only through free agency.