NFL Draft 2011: Philadelphia Eagles Draft Indicates Beginning of New Era

Mike BurkeCorrespondent IMay 2, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 20:  Quintin Mikell #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles Eagles lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at Lincoln Financial Field on December 20, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Ray Didinger wrote an interesting article yesterday for about the 2011 NFL draft signifying the end of an era for the Philadelphia Eagles. If you haven't read it, definitely check it out.  I found it to be quite interesting, and it seems like the Andy Reid Era 2.0 has begun.

There are two players left from the Eagles Super Bowl team from a few years back.  These players are Quintin Mikell and David Akers.  Both are scheduled to be free agents, and both were given the hint that they won't be returning to Philadelphia after this weekend's draft.

Nothing is set in stone just yet, and these guys may not know their fate for a little while due to the lockout.  However, it doesn't look likely that the Eagles will bring back either Mikell or Akers.

In the second round of the draft, the Eagles took safety Jaiquawn Jarrett.  He and Kurt Coleman will battle for the strong safety position, which will likely be up for grabs with Mikell leaving town.

In a very surprising move, the Eagles drafted Alex Henery in the fourth round, a kicker out of Nebraska.  Teams don't typically draft kickers that high, so with the Eagles doing that, it likely means that Akers' days are done as an Eagle.

If Mikell and Akers leave town, it won't be a new experience for Eagles fans.  We've seen Eagles icons like Brian Dawkins, Donovan McNabb and Brain Westbrook leave town recently.  We're starting to get used to it.

This team is getting younger and hasn't been afraid to part ways with longstanding veterans in order to do so.  It's a business, right?

As the Eagles roll into the 2011 season, they will again be considered a young team, especially defensively.  With 24 draft picks over the last two years, the Eagles have a lot of new faces. 

The new faces of the players will be paired with new faces in the coaching staff.  There were a lot of moves within the coaching staff.  A lot of people moved around internally.  Most notably, Juan Castillo made the switch from offensive line coach to defensive coordinator.

At the same time, the Eagles brought in two studs in Jim Washburn and Howard Mudd who won't have any problem whipping the young guys into shape.

The season is still a long ways off, but there's already a bit of a different feel to it.