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Greg Little
AP
Draft Decisions

NFL Draft Needs: Eagles

by Josh Norris
Updated On: April 7, 2019, 1:56 am ET

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is Rotoworld's Senior NFL Editor, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) is Rotoworld's lead Draft Analyst. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in April’s draft.

For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

Notable Pre-Draft Additions: DT Malik Jackson, WR DeSean Jackson, DE Vinny Curry, LB L.J. Fort, RB Jordan Howard, S Andrew Sendejo.

Starting Offense

QB: Carson Wentz
RB: Jordan Howard
WR1: Alshon Jeffery
WR2: DeSean Jackson
SLWR: Nelson Agholor
TE: Zach Ertz
LT: Jason Peters
LG: Isaac Seumalo
C: Jason Kelce
RG: Brandon Brooks
RT: Lane Johnson

Starting Defense

RE: Derek Barnett
LE: Brandon Graham
NT: Treyvon Hester
3T: Fletcher Cox
MLB: L.J. Fort
WLB: Nigel Bradham
SLB: Kamu Grugier-Hill
LCB: Jalen Mills
RCB: Ronald Darby
SCB: Sidney Jones
FS: Rodney McLeod
SS: Malcolm Jenkins

Team Needs

Silva's Analysis

Offensive Line: No position up front is immediately pressing, but that could change very soon. 37-year-old Peters is playing on a one-year deal, Kelce has openly contemplated retirement, Seumalo is a replacement-level talent and Brooks tore his Achilles’ in the playoffs. Johnson is the Eagles’ lone true building block up front.

Secondary: The returns of Darby (ACL), Mills (foot) and McLeod (MCL) improve this unit’s outlook after last year’s rash of injuries, but Mills has been a sub-par starter when healthy, and McLeod took a pay cut to stay. 2017 second-round pick Jones has been injury-riddled since college and struggled on the field. 2018 fourth-rounder Avonte Maddox exceeded rookie expectations but will always be limited to some extent by his build (5’9”/184) and short arms (29 ½”). Philadelphia’s biggest secondary need remains safety with Jenkins on the wrong side of 30 and free safety up for grabs.

Linebacker: Philly’s shortage of second-level depth on defense was exposed during MLB Jordan Hicks’ four-week calf injury last season, and Hicks signed with the Cardinals in free agency. Three-year, $5.5 million pickup Fort is a rotational piece, and Bradham’s guaranteed money runs out after this season. The Eagles could really use a three-down linebacker capable of matching up with tight ends and backs in pass coverage.

 

Eagles 2019 Draft Picks

Norris' Options

1 (25). T Gregory Little, Ole Miss - Big V is a great swing tackle. And I know there’s excitement over former rugby player Jordan Mailata. But for a team in their window to win, that can’t feel totally safe. Little needs a lot of work with his hands to keep them inside and in control, but there are a number of positive traits to work with. As Evan mentioned, the offensive line might be good in 2019 if everything goes according to plan. But teams should plan for injuries along the front five if they want to make a deep run.

2 (53). Acquired from Ravens in Lamar Jackson trade - S Darnell Savage, Maryland - It would not be surprising to see the Eagles target a safety in round one. Savage has so many quality performances. He’s excellent at reading, reacting and flying downhill to make a tackle near the line of scrimmage, or he can cover ground in coverage and disrupt the catch point.

2 (57). iOL Phil Haynes, Wake Forest - I know this sounds early for this name, but Haynes is one of the more athletic interior linemen in this class and has a finisher’s mentality when burying defenders. Perhaps the Eagles will trade down from their second second-round pick.

4 (127). LB Terrill Hanks, New Mexico State - An athletic hammer with size who loves to meet ball carriers at the line of scrimmage. There’s a reason why Hanks has been a popular prospect for pre-draft visits.

4 (138). RB James Williams, Washington State - Maybe the Eagles will target a complete back in this draft. That might be difficult to find in this group. If not, the Eagles certainly have been comfortable utilizing backs in roles, and Williams is one of the best pass-catching backs in this class. He will draw James White comparisons.

5 (163). iDL Cortez Broughton, Cincinnati - The Eagles’ interior depth is lacking. Broughton has some real pass rush upside and his first step is excellent.

6 (197). WR Kelvin McKnight, Samford - McKnight played on the outside and inside at Samford, but he will likely fill a slot role in the NFL. Not to pump up a late day three pick, but McKnight did win short, intermediate and vertically in college.

Josh Norris
Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .