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EAGLE EYE: 2011 EAGLES DRAFT PREVIEW

In Andy We Trust

Over the years, the Philadelphia Eagles have shown to be one of the best organizations on and off the field. Andy Reid has led them out of the dark Rich Kotite years to perennial playoff appearances, NFC East dominance, NFC title games, and their first Super Bowl appearance since 1980. As we turn to the next decade, one can only hope for more excellence from the Birds. It hasn’t been without controversy and roster turnover, but even though outsiders may not always agree with their moves, they tend to work out in the end. Reid and the Eagles’ brain trust now face a turning point coming off another playoff appearance.

Andy Reid knows quality young talent when he sees it. Who will the Eagles add to the squad this year?

What is the biggest need for the Eagles in this draft?

The biggest need for the Eagles is in the secondary. Asante Samuel is still a premier corner but injuries marred his season last year and on the other side Ellis Hobbs career ended with a second serious neck injury. The depth at corner was tested and failed. Dmitri Patterson was average at best, Joselio Hanson is no more than a 4th corner, and rookie Trevard Lindley didn’t get may chances to show what he could do. Last year’s 2nd round pick, Nate Allen missed most of the year with a knee injury, and strong safety Quintin Mikell is at the end of his contract. You have to believe that the Eagles will be bolstering this position with some young talent as there has been no free agency or trades this offseason. Last time they faced this situation, they struck gold in 2002 with Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown.

Will Kolb be moved during the draft?

This is the most interesting part of the offseason for Andy Reid. Michael Vick is coming off his best season as a pro. While Vick nursed broken ribs, Kevin Kolb showed flashes of why he is coveted by a lot of teams in the league. Both won’t be there come September, and it’s possible that the draft may finally bring some closure here. Teams will be blowing up the phones at the NovaCare facility as they have for the last 2 years. I’m not sure that now is the time to make a move unless the deal blows their socks off. If they do, then look for the Eagles to sign a veteran backup rather than trusting Mike Kafka to step in right away.

Who might be a sneaky pick for the Eagles?

Shady McCoy proved to be a huge weapon last year in the Eagles’ offense, but he will need some help. There are some nice backs in the draft that would complement his style well. Taiwan Jones would add some breakaway speed to the backfield and fits the mold of small quick Eagles running backs.  Daniel Thomas, on the other hand,  brings a bruising style that could help the Eagles in short yardage situations.

Who will the Eagles target in the draft?

Jimmy Smith has to be at the top of the list. He is the best press corner in the draft and that fits perfectly in the Eagles style of defense. They also need to sure up the interior of the offensive line, and in a draft that has a lot of depth in the trenches, they’ll surely get at least 2 hogs. With Mikell’s contract situation looming, they should also look at adding a safety as well. They just had Temple S Jaiquan Jarrett in for workout recently. That being said, the Eagles threw a curveball last year by trading up to get Brandon Graham. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take another defensive lineman as well since Trent Cole and Juqua Parker are both getting older, and wore down near the end of last season.

 

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