2011 NFL Draft: Best Case Scenarios for the Philadelphia Eagles
With many draft picks (10), the Eagles have a great chance to make a major impact in the draft.
There are multiple needs across the defense and along the offensive line for Andy Reid, Howie Roseman, and the rest of the front office to answer.
Reid is one of the few coaches that has the final decision in draft rooms and by the look of his success, he usually makes the correct decision.
The Eagles had a youth infusion last year, with 12 of their 13 draft picks making the team. In that draft, the Eagles drafted a bunch of depth players, but the jury is still out on how many starters it will produce. A good draft usually produces three starters.
With that in mind, the Eagles will have to have another great draft to further solidify their Super Bowl chances.
Acquire an Extra First Round Pick
Kevin Kolb is just a valuable asset for the Eagles, and it would be a shame if the Eagles would not be able to trade Kolb because of the lack of a CBA.
According to multiple sources, there are many teams interested Kolb, and one team reportedly even offered a first round pick for him.
The Eagles could acquire multiple draft picks for Kolb if trading players were allowed.
Kolb would lose out on the situation also because it could mean he would have to spend another season as a backup, when it is obvious he is in the prime of his career and ready to start.
The Eagles could fill their needs or trade up with an extra first rounder.
Trade Up for Patrick Peterson
Peterson is the best player in the draft, and I would not be surprised if he was #1 on the Eagles draft board.
He possesses a unique blend of size, speed, and talent, and could be the best corner in the league by next year.
If the Eagles get a high enough first round pick for Kolb, like the 12th overall pick from the Vikings, expect the Eagles to trade a ransom to move up for Peterson.
Some even think the Arizona Cardinals would be willing to give up their #5 overall pick for Kolb, which would most likely mean the Eagles would not have to trade up for Peterson.
Peterson would automatically transform the defense from average to good.
His great ball and coverage skills could allow the Eagles to use complicated blitz schemes.
Right cornerback is the Eagles greatest need. Drafting Peterson to play opposite of Asante Samuel would ensure the Eagles of the top secondary in football.
Draft the Best Offensive or Defensive Lineman at #23 Overall
The Eagles will have some options with their first round pick.
The best case scenario would be that one of the top offensive lineman in this class falls to them at 23. Tyron Smith will be a top 15 pick, but Nate Solder, who is one of the best technicians could possibly fall based on his inexperience. Solder could be a solid player to plug on the right side of the line.
Offensive lineman tend to go higher than expected so guys like Anthony Castanzo and Gabe Carimi may not be available.
If the offensive lineman are not there, then the Eagles should not reach for a tackle like Derek Sherrod who scouts feel has major bust potential.
With no linebacker or safety worthy of the 23rd pick, the Eagles could take address the pass rush with defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson or even defensive end DaQuan Bowers if he falls that low.
Andy Reid recently said that defensive end Brandon Graham would be a "real stretch" for opening day, which would be a crushing blow for the already average pass rush.
Though fans might not agree with picking another defensive lineman in the first rounder, Reid usually stays true to his philosophy.
Draft a Playmaking Linebacker Between Rounds Two and Four
Though the Eagles do not value drafting a linebacker high, it is time for a playmaker in the second line of defense.
The Eagles need someone who could change the course of the game with a bone-crushing hit or an interception.
Some options could include the speedy Bruce Carter or Mason Foster in the 2nd round. Carter may be the best weakside linebacker in the draft. He is an aggressive player that can cover the entire football field. Foster is a versatile player whose instincts at linebacker may be the best in the draft.
In the third, the Eagles could look at Casey Matthews, who may not have elite physical tools, but could fit in as a disciplined linebacker who makes the smart play.
In the fourth round, the Eagles could target Ross Homan, an explosive athlete, who posted the fastest 10-yard split of all the linebackers (1.56 seconds)
Trade Mid-Round Picks for Higher Picks to Draft a Top Rated Guard
The Eagles have seven draft picks from rounds 4-7. The Eagles used 13 draft picks last year and 12 made the team, so the Eagles do not need more mid-round players who will probably end up as depth players.
If the package a fourth and two fifths for a high third round pick, the Eagles could draft a guard who could start right away.
Guard is one of their biggest needs on the football team and will need to be addressed.
Second round options include Marcus Cannon, the big mammoth guard/tackle who is quick on his feet and a mauler in both pass and run plays, and Rodney Hudson, a fluid player who moves well laterally.
Third round options are Clint Boling, who was recently mocked to the Eagles by Tommy Lawler in the second round, Marcus Gilbert, a versatile guard/tackle who excels in pass blocking, and Will Rackley, a small school local product who is flying up draft boards.
Draft Quintin Mikell's Successor
Mikell had 88 tackles and three interceptions this past season, solid numbers for a strong safety, but regressed considerably from the previous years.
He looked slow in coverage, many times was caught flat-footed, and though his strength was against the run, he sometimes was caught in traffic where he unable to make a tackle.
Mikell has lost most of his range and cannot cover the entire field.
The Eagles will have to spend a pick on drafting a successor to eventually play alongside last year's second round pick free safety Nate Allen.
In the third to fifth round the Eagles could look at DeAndre McDaniel, Robert Sands, or Jaiquawn Jarrett . McDaniel is a bigger safety at 6'1", 217 pounds and can play the run very well. His combination of size, athletic ability, and football IQ make him a very dangerous ballhawk at the safety position.
Robert Sands is 6'5'', 225 pounds and can hit and punish you. He could be a very capable complement to Nate Allen, who is more of a coverage safety. With his enormous size at safety, he has enough speed to cover tight ends as well.
Jaiquawn Jarrett is a local product from Temple University. He is fast enough to cover slot receivers and tight ends, but struggles in deep coverage. Jarrett is a big hitter, even though inconsistent, in the run game and could be a presence in the secondary.
Spend the Rest of the Picks on Role and Special Team Players
The Eagles did a great job last year selecting role players in the mid-rounds such as Keenan Clayton, Trevard Lindley, Kurt Coleman, and Riley Cooper.
They even struck gold in the seventh with the drafting of new middle linebacker Jamar Chaney, who has quickly ascended himself into one of the best middle linebackers in football.
The Eagles could also trade picks in this year's draft for next picks next year, considering this class is not considering that strong.