With the signing of safety Sean Jones from the Cleveland Browns, the Eagles' defense just got better on paper. He is younger, faster, and a better ballhawk than Brian Dawkins, RIGHT NOW.
(Calm down. I know Wolverine is the greatest free safety ever to play for the Eagles, great guy, blah blah, yackety schmackety. He was, last year, a situational player who could no longer cover elite receivers. And there are a lot of those in our division. I love him, but he is old and slow. Move on.)
The Eagles' defense will be solid to great this year. The rest of the offseason should, and will, be focused on finishing the offense.
The Eagles have 12, count 'em, 12 draft picks this year. They have needs on the offensive line, tight end, running back, and, as usual, wide receiver. Here is how I see them addressing those needs:
OFFENSIVE LINE: Michael Oher is a left tackle from Ole Miss. The Eagles love him, so much so that they may trade up to get him. Some mock drafts have him being available when the Eagles come up the first time in the first round.
If he is there at 21, I will be shocked. This guy is the real deal. Think Tony Mandarich with ability. His technique is flawless. He is angry all the time. He fights like a rabid moose. He is a monster. He is ready to step in and start from day one for the next ten years.
I believe he is the guy the Eagles want, and they will do whatever it takes to get him, short of trading the 28th pick this year, which they are saving for a new tight end, or Anquan Boldin. They could also make a play for future hall of famer Orlando Pace. The clamor for him is fairly loud in Eagles nation.
If the Eagles sign him, it will be for one year to train Oher how to be an all pro.
TIGHT END: Brandon Pettigrew is a tight end from Oklahoma State. Think Jason Witten with blocking ability. A lot of blocking ability. He is not as fast as Witten (Pettigrew ran a 4.8 40 at the combine), but he is what the Eagles have lacked at TE for a long, long time: a tight end that is not afraid to mix it up.
Not since John Spagnola have they had a guy like this. He is not quite as good a receiver as Keith Jackson was, but he will be a significant upgrade L.J. "I Got Hands Like Feet, They Stink" Smith.
At 24, he is ready to play now. The reason he will be there at 28 is because he was arrested for assaulting a police officer in January of 2008. Now, that is going to scare off a lot of people, but for me, I want that guy on my side on the goal line.
RUNNING BACK: Here is where things start to get interesting. The clamor is loud for Chris "Beanie" Wells out of Ohio State. I have one word: sssssllllloooowwww. My grandmother is faster than him, and she's dead.
Also, he can't catch a cold, and he, uh, lacks the, uh, football acumen to pick up Andy Reid's system. The Eagles will select Donald Brown from the University of Connecticut. He fits the system.
I gotta be honest, I don't really have a feel for what the Birds are gonna do here, except that I am pretty confident that they will not be taking one in the first round. They may go for a mid-tier free agent, say, Michael Pittman. We shall see.
WIDE RECEIVER: Options are wide open here, believe it or not. They will draft a wideout, maybe Brian Robiskie out of Ohio State. But I stand by my earlier prediction of Braylon Edwards.
The Giants are unwilling to part with Mathias Kiwanuka plus draft picks, which is what Cleveland is asking from them. The Eagles have tons of draft picks to trade. They just traded Greg Lewis, an Andy Reid favorite wideout. They have the room to add a wideout. I say it will be Braylon Edwards.
They have stated that they have no interest in Torry Holt, which is insane, but fits their pattern of not bringing in older skill players. The Anquan Boldin rumors are getting stronger by the day. Peter King of SI says that the Eagles are the most likely team to land Anquan Boldin before July.
Profootballtalk.com says that the Cardinals are definitely shopping Boldin. The Giants are not in the mix according to New York Newsday and the Newark Star-Ledger. I hope that is true. Buy your Super Bowl tickets if it is.
That's the plan. Is it the Eagles' plan? Who knows?