NFL Draft 2011: Top 5 Positions Eagles Still Must Address
Through the draft, the Philadelphia Eagles filled their need for a guard, safety and kicker.
Most of the other picks were spent on solid depth players who have potential, but will need some time to develop.
Andy Reid reiterates that the draft is only half of a bigger process, with the other half being free agency.
The Eagles will be major players to upgrade a roster that is close to a Super Bowl.
Here are five positions to address in free agency:
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Kevin Kolb will most likely be traded, potentially leaving Mike Kafka as the backup. Can Kafka take over as backup to such an injury prone quarterback like Michael Vick?
Kafka will be only 24 years old at the start of next season and will enter his second year in the NFL.
At Northwestern, Kafka ran a pro-style offense. The mobile quarterback was billed as a smart decision maker coming into the draft and excelled with his short accurate throws.
In the preseason, Kafka displayed his flaws, which were concerns coming out of Northwestern. He struggles to get the ball consistently down the field with accuracy and was overwhelmed by second and third-team defenses.
The Eagles would be wise to pursue a veteran backup quarterback.
1. Matt Hasselbeck (SEA)
2. Marc Bulger (BAL)
3. Billy Volek (SD)
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I was shocked the Eagles did not spend one of their 11 picks on the defensive line.
The Eagles have lacked a consistent inside pass rush for a while now. It is a definite need for a team trying to improve the overall pass rush.
Brodrick Bunkley still has not hit his ceiling yet and could tremendously improve with Jim Washburn. Mike Patterson is a solid defensive tackle, but will never be a major contributor to rushing the quarterback.
The defensive ends, especially Trent Cole would benefit greatly from an inside presence.
1. Brandon Mebane (SEA)
2. Cullen Jenkins (GB)
3. Aubrayo Franklin (SF)
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The Eagles have not had a playmaking linebacker for years. Linebacker is not a position the Eagles value, but they may have to take acquire a solid linebacker through free agency.
Reid spent three picks on linebacker, but all three could be long shots for actually starting at a linebacker spot. Matthews is a very smart, instinctual player, but will his lack of physical tools prevent him from being a three down linebacker? Brian Rolle is under 5'10'' and only 229 pounds. This lack of size could possibly mean he could not hold up for the longevity of the season. Greg Lloyd is coming off of major surgery so counting on him would be unrealistic.
Jamar Chaney figures to have at least the middle or weakside spot locked down.
1. Stephen Tulloch (TEN)
2. James Anderson (CAR)
3. Paul Posluszny (BUF)
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Brandon Graham is not expected to start the season, so the Eagles will have to find a defensive end to complement Trent Cole.
The Eagles pass rush wore down at the end of the season for the past couple of years.
Though they have a deep rotation, the Eagles lack a stud compliment to Trent Cole.
Cole especially struggled at the end of the year, after taking on so many double teams. He really benefited when Graham was healthy and starting. Though Graham struggled at first, all Eagle fans could see his development by mid-season, until the injury.
1. Jason Babin (TEN)
2. Ray Edwards (MIN)
3. Charles Johnson (CAR)
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The Eagles need a competent starter across from Asante Samuel. The lack of a right corner hurt the Eagles greatly down the stretch last season.
Teams are smart and do not throw at Samuel. Samuel was in fact one of the least targeted defensive backs in the league last season, and he still racked up seven interceptions.
While Dmitri Patterson had his moments, he is more of a nickel corner. Trevard Lindley is a talented, long corner, but may need another year before he is ready to contribute.
The Eagles spent a third-round pick on Curtis Marsh, but he is more of a developmental player.
1. Nnamdi Asomugha (OAK)
2. Jonathan Joseph (CIN)
3. Ike Taylor (PIT)