2009 Expert NFL Football Picks: Philadelphia Eagles

Vernon CroyCorrespondent ISeptember 13, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 13:  A Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader performs during the game against the New England Patriots on August 13, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The 2008 season was a bit of an up and down year for the Eagles. They started off well, struggled during the middle of the season, and then made a dramatic run to the NFC Championship game.

Donovan McNabb managed to stay healthy for the entire season and it really paid off for the team.

Their ultra-talented runningback Brian Westbrook had a few injury problems, but he was available for most of the year. In addition to that, they found a talented receiver in the draft last year in DeSean Jackson. His speed helped to separate him from the rest of the receiving core.

While they had a good year overall, ultimately they came up short. Did they do enough in the offseason to make it to the promised land? If youโ€™re looking for free NFL football picks, look for the Eagles to be a very strong team this year.

The Good News: There is a lot to like about what the Eagles did in the offseason this year. One of the most important things they did was giving Donovan McNabb a new deal to reward him for his play.

Anytime you can keep a superstar quarterback happy, itโ€™s a good thing. They also went out and got a few more weapons for McNabb to use in the offense.

Their first round draft pick was one of the fastest and most prolific players in college football last year, Jeremy Maclin. At one point, it was rumored that he ran a 4.2 40 yard dash.

When you combine him with DeSean Jackson on the other side, that is going to be one scary wide receiving tandem. In addition to Maclin, they drafted runningback LeSean McCoy to provide depth when Westbrook gets injured again.

They also signed two offensive tackles to protect McNabb in Stacey Andrews and Jason Peters. McNabb has to be one happy quarterback with all of the moves they made for him this year.

In addition to weapons for McNabb, they added one of the most explosive players in the history of the NFL in Michael Vick. Fresh out of prison, Vick still has game-breaking ability and could share the field with McNabb from time to time. This offense has the potential to be special.

The Bad News: While they added a lot of good players, they also lost some good ones. Two fixtures in the defensive backfield for the last several years are now gone in Brian Dawkins and Lito Sheppard.

They have been part of one of the most successful defenses in recent years and their effect on the game will be felt. While they replaced him with some good offensive lineman, Tra Thomas has been a solid performer on the offensive line over the years as well.

Outlook: As far as free NFL picks go, I would pick them as one of the favorites to make the Super Bowl this year. McNabb is always solid as long as heโ€™s healthy and the investments on the offensive line should help that. They also added another dimension to the offense with Mike Vick. It should be a solid year for the Eagles.

Make sure you check out Vernon Croy's Expert NFL Football Picks this season.


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