When the Philadelphia Eagles go on the clock on April 25th, it will be the first draft without Andy Reid as Head Coach. The Eagles have been under the careful watch of Reid for the last decade and a half, but will now be lead into the future by new Head Coach, and former University of Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly. Kelly was the hottest Head Coach candidate this off-season, due in large part to his innovation of the spread offense.
Kelly brings excitement to Philadelphia, something that has been lost since the now defunct “dream team” no longer exists. With the read option, as well as the spread offense seemingly finding a home throughout the NFL, one question that continues to loom over the Eagles as they head into an early off-season, is whether or not they will be bringing back their dual-threat quarterback Mike Vick. Vick has been a nightmare to say the least under center the past two seasons, not making the playoffs in either.
The Eagles have a young promising signal caller in second year quarterback Nick Foles, out of Arizona. Foles was drafted by Reid, who is now the Head Coach of the Chiefs, but has been praised by Chip Kelly for the type of player he is on the field, and the man he is off the field. For those who don’t understand the in’s and out’s of Kelly’s famed spread-option offense, it is nota necessity to have a mobile quarterback in order for Kelly’s offense to see success. While it does help, it is certainly not imperative.
The Eagles have needs in many places, hence why they are drafting fourth overall in the 2013 NFL Draft. One of their biggest needs is on the offensive line. Left Tackle Jason Peters is coming off a horrific Achilles’ injury, and may not be the same effective tackle that he once was, and could find himself getting released if he does not agree to restructure his current contract. If the Eagles were to look to fill their need at Tackle, they could move either Todd Herremans, or Jason Peters inside to guard, and play their rookie tackle from day one.
Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel, and Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher are this year’s top flight offensive lineman, both of whom have been argued to be the top tackle in this year’s draft. Joeckel was once considered the consensus best tackle available by draft experts around the league, but after a strong showing at the Senior Bowl, Fisher is now giving Joeckel a run for his money, and it looks like that battle will not be finished until after the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine.
The Eagles also have needs on the interior of their defensive line, along with much needed secondary help. The Eagles are desperate for secondary help, as Nnamdi Ashomuga, and Dominique Rogers-Cromartie have been less than stellar to say the least. Ashomuga may not be back, as he is owed a large number against the cap in ’13, and could be released if he too doesn’t agree to restructure his contract. Philadelphia is in a unique position this season regarding the draft, as they could get the player they want at fourth overall, or by trading out.
While Joeckel and Fisher are both very appealing prospects for the Eagles at fourth overall, I think they’re better suited to continue to build their young defense with this pick. The offensive and defensive lines are the deepest positions in this year’s draft, and Philadelphia could fill those needs later in the draft. Alabama defensive back Dee Milliner would be a perfect fit for the Eagles at four, and could start immediately, and would be an immediate upgrade over Rogers-Cromartie, if not Ashomuga too, right off the bat.