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.
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.
Let's take a look at a 7 round mock for the Eagles:
Judge Susan Nelson is not expected to order a stay on the lockout. It will then head over to the Eight Court of Appeals, where they will decide if there will be a stay.
For now, I am giving the benefit of the doubt to the Eagles and their ability to trade Kevin Kolb.
Eagles Receive: Vikings first round pick (#12 overall)
Vikings Receive: Quarterback Kevin Kolb
The Vikings desperately need a quarterback and Leslie Frazier is close with Andy Reid.
The Eagles front office will have to hurry up and strike a deal trading Kolb, so I could see them trying to work with someone they trust.
I predict the Eagles to go strong after a veteran strong safety to replace Quintin Mikell. Eric Weddle is a top 6-7 safety in the game, and could be huge for the secondary.
I think the Eagles will go after one offensive lineman, considering they have multiple positions to fill. Expect the Eagles to go after a tackle like Jared Gaither or Tyson Clabo. Both have the ability to play guard as well.
As for Nnamdi Asomugha, I think the Eagles have a great option in the draft.
NOTE: Most free agents will probably sign after the draft because of the short amount of time left until the draft. That being said, if the Eagles can target these two-three players, then they could be looking good on draft day.
Eagles Receive: Browns first round pick (#6 overall) Value: 1600 points
Browns Receive: Eagles first round pick (#12 overall), third round pick (#85 overall), and fourth round picks (#103 and #119 overall). Value: 1509 points
The Eagles trade up for arguably the best player in the draft in cornerback Patrick Peterson. Peterson is scheme versatile and can do it all at corner.
He possesses a unique blend of size, speed, and talent, and could be the best corner in the league by next year.
There is a possibility Peterson falls a bit, and the Eagles would be wise to trade ahead of the 49ers.
Eagles Receive: Bills second round pick (#34 overall), third round pick (#64 overall) Value: 810 points
Bills Receive: Eagles first round pick (#23 overall) Value: 760 points
The Bills may want a quarterback so they will have to trade up in the twenties to get one, considering there are many teams looking for a quarterback that are willing to trade back in the first.
Howie Roseman indicated in an interview that he wants to draft defensive line early in the draft.
I rated Austin as the 15th prospect on my mock Eagles draft board, so there could be value here.
Here is what I said about him:
There was talk of Austin being a top ten pick before the season, but he was suspended due to receiving improper benefits from his agent.
Austin though has great potential. Though he took plays off on his junior tape, Austin was disruptive when he tried.
He is quick and is very explosive as a pass rusher.
Austin could be a perfect fit in the Eagles new defensive system.
Hudson is quick and get move laterally. The Eagles like their offensive lineman sometimes to pull, so Hudson could be a nice fit on the offensive line at guard.
He also brings added versatility, as he can kick out to center.
Hudson has long been regarded as one of the better offensive linemen in college football. However, he played at only around 280 pounds for most of his career. He needed to add more weight to prove that he could be effective at the next level, which he did. Hudson measured in at 6’2″, 299 pounds at the combine, to improve his stock.
He plays with good awareness and technique, and rarely gets beat on bull rushes.
I have Carter rated 28th on my mock Eagles draft board, so they will be getting a steal with him.
Carter may be the best weakside linebacker prospect in this draft, even though he did not play most of last season.
He is a fluid athlete that can cover sideline to sideline, making him one of the better fits for the Eagles' quick, aggressive defense.
Carter would have been a first round pick, had he played this season.
Carter's instincts are great and he is able to read and react quicker than most linebackers in the draft.
His injury may scare a few teams off, but he could be a second-round steal for the Eagles, who desperately need a playmaking linebacker.
Eagles Receive: Seahawks fourth round pick (#99 overall)
Seahawks Receive: Eagles fifth round picks (#146 and #150 overall) and seventh round pick (#227 overall)
The Eagles may need a defensive end if Brandon Graham does not come back healthy next season.
This would be a huge fall for Acho who is expected to go in the early third round, but some teams are not enamored with him.
Last year, Eversen Griffin was expected to be an early second round pick, but was drafted 100th overall by the Vikings, so defensive ends with question marks could drop.
Acho recorded 60 tackles, eight sacks and two forced fumbles in his senior season at Texas.
Acho's consistency and effort have been questioned, but his production is there.
He even had a sack in the Senior Bowl, beating the one of the top tackle prospects in the draft, Nate Solder.
Acho could provide the 'Niners a legitimate pass rushing linebacker.
He has the speed to move around as well, as he ran a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash.
Eagles Receive: Browns Sixth round pick (#170 overall)
Brows Receive: Eagles 2012 Fifth round pick
Alex Green is a bigger running back at 225 pounds, but he has reliable hands out of the backfield.
He may not have great speed, but he has nice cutting ability, and can also block very well.
He could be a great backup to LeSean McCoy, and the Eagles have even showed interest in him.
Though senior Deunta Williams out of UNC did not have as good of a senior year as his junior year, he is still a solid safety with great potential.
Williams has fantastic size for the safety position, at 6'2", 215 pounds, and he is a defensive play maker and ballhawk.
He is not as great as a tackler as you would like, but he certainly has the potential to grow into a defensive star.
While Greg Jones gets all the hype, Gordon may have been Michigan State's most consistent linebacker.
Gordon is 6'0'' 233 pounds and could be a nice depth pick for the Eagles linebacking core. Gordon played all three linebacking positions at MSU, so he provides versatility.
At worst, Gordon becomes a special teams star.
Gordon recorded 92 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 1 interception in his senior campaign.