Howie Roseman has enlisted his new yes-man Doug Pederson. In other words the guy who actually spent time in the NFL, is beneath a guy with a law degree. My confidence for a turn around in 2016 is pretty minimal. Unless they get incredibly lucky, I cannot see how the same person who drafted Marcus Smith and Danny Watkins is capable of producing a winning team from one that was 6-10.
Expect the Eagles to make a splash, about the size of throwing a penny in a fountain.
They DO NOT Take An Offensive Lineman in Round 1
If you watched any Eagles games this year, you were probably aware of the inconsistent play. Jason Peters is still a great player, but is starting to decline. The guards were practically turnstiles. Jason Kelce was very hit or miss. The only lineman that played well start to finish was Lane Johnson. Offensive line should be the top priority.
But we’re talking about the Eagles here, and if it makes too much sense, it won’t happen.
The 13 slot in the draft should have plenty of talent available at the positions of need for the Birds. Defensive back, wide receiver, and defensive line are all positions that will be scouted.
The defensive scheme will have an impact on draft strategy depending on a 4-3 or 3-4. There should be plenty of front-seven players ( D-Line and linebackers) available. A’Shawn Robinson, Robert Nkemdiche, DeForest Buckner, Emmanuel Ogbah, Shaq Lawson, and Kevin Dodd are all front-seven guys that could be had at the 13th selection.
LaQuon Treadwell, Josh Doctson, and Tyler Boyd are all big time receivers that could really help the Eagles as threats on the outside. The Eagles really lacked a big play threat on the outside. The players listed all have great hands and the shortest of them is 6’2.
The prospect of the Eagles selecting a defensive back will hinge on the free agency of Walter Thurmond III and Nolan Carroll. Both players were high level performers in their first year as starters. Nolan Carroll’s departure could open the door for Eric Rowe to be the full time cornerback or signal the drafting of another corner. Thurmond has earned a contract extension, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll get one. If the Eagles lose Thurmond don’t be surprised if a safety’s name is called during the 1st round.
The Eagles Will Find A Fullback
After watching a whole season of a frustrating run game, fueled by atrocious play calling, the Eagles will revert back to a traditional running game. DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews, and Darren Sproles might be the most talented backfield in the entire NFL and this season they should get the chance to showcase that. Running out of the I-form with a lead blocker should boost the productivity of the run game.
There are 15 fullbacks that could hit the free agent marker, as well as a number of fullbacks that could be had in the draft. Fullbacks aren’t hard to find, but the right one can be.
The Eagles Will Not Reel In Any Big Free Agents
With a new coach in place, uncertainty at quarterback, and some serious tweaks that need to happen, I just can’t see Philly being an attractive destination for top free agents. Josh Norman, Jake Long, Sean Smith, Muhammad Wilkerson, and other FA’s looking to cash in will probably do it in a place other than Philly. I expect lots of under-the-radar, lowkey moves on the market for the Eagles.
The Eagles Draft A Quarterback
Regardless of resigning Sam Bradford the Eagles should draft a quarterback. Sam Bradford returning means the Eagles would need insurance considering his injury history. I’m not sure Thad Lewis is worth keeping just to warm the bench and Mark Sanchez just can’t be counted on.
The first round could be a prime spot to snag a quarterback, but only two names are currently thought of as high first round picks, Jared Goff and Paxton Lynch.
Goff is looking like the consensus top QB for this upcoming draft. He has a high football IQ, great decision making skills, and the arm to match it. He is great at pre-snap adjustments and excels in the red zone. The 6’4 righty from the University of California has all the tools to be a successful NFL player.
Paxton Lynch could also be available at 13. He has impressive arm strength and deep ball accuracy. He has the size and athleticism desired at the position at 6’7 245 lbs. He hasn’t seen too many high caliber defenses playing in the American Conference in college, but his draft stock shouldn’t be too affected by it.
If not the first round, look for a QB in the 3rd round on like; Cardale Jones, Carson Wentz, Jacoby Brissett, or Dak Prescott.
The Eagles Will Go Into 2016 Not Much Better Than 2015
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I have little to no faith in the Eagles brass steering the ship in the right direction. Too many fixes and not enough capable people in charge.