NFL Draft 2011: Position the Eagles Need to Address Most in 1st Round

NIcholas WaughContributor IIApril 28, 2011

Eagles Pass defense getting beat for touchdown against Giants
Eagles Pass defense getting beat for touchdown against GiantsAl Bello/Getty Images

The NFL is still in disarray from trying to compromise on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and there are so many questions still concerning whether current NFL players can be traded.

Therefore the Philadelphia Eagles may have to miss drafting the best player for them and stay put with the 23rd pick in the draft.

Before the lockout, many teams were in need of a quality quarterback and Kevin Kolb would have been a great fit for many teams with the top 10 picks in the draft.

The Eagles have an immediate need for a good cornerback to solidify the cornerback unit and come in to be Asante Samuels’ counterpart, so a trade could have been in the works to ship Kolb away to move up to steal Nebraska’s cornerback Prince Amukamara.

According to, Amukamara is 6'0", 205 pounds and has the mix of strength and speed to be a top 10 pick.

Dimitri Patterson stepped up last year and did a pretty good job as the number two cornerback, compiling 52 tackles and four interceptions, but he got beat in coverage too often.

In addition, Samuels missed much of the 2010 season with injuries and since the common theme with the Eagles is to release players after 30 years of age, Amukamara would have been the best choice, as he would have been able to step in as the number one starter at corner if needed.

Since it seems like the Eagles won’t be able to maneuver too much, the next best fit for the Eagles would be Colorado’s cornerback Jimmy Smith.

Smith comes equipped with unbelievable talent and the 6'2" height that is needed to cover receivers such as the New York Giants’ dynamic duo of Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham.

His repertoire consists of playing tight press-coverage, top speed (4.37) and a long reach (77 inches). In contrast, Smith brings with him a lot of character and off-the-field issues that the Eagles may look at and could be the deciding factor of them going another direction.

Andy Reid and the Eagles customarily shy away from acquiring players with such issues, but Smith’s abilities would help strengthen the pass defense that gave up 31 passing touchdowns in 2010, so the Eagles may take a chance on him.