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Philadelphia Eagles Offseason Needs – TSJ Sports

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Investigating the Philadelphia Eagles Offseason Needs

Just one year into the Doug Pederson era, the Philadelphia Eagles must find a way to turn their franchise around. Their main goals will be add offensive skill players, cornerbacks, and overall depth across the roster.  As they look to move out of the NFC East basement, the 2017 NFL Draft and free agency will be crucial.

Let’s get into it.

 

Wide Receiver

The only receiver on the current roster that is a lock to be on an NFL roster is Jordan MatthewsNelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham have been saved by draft position and potential.  The Eagles receivers were one of the worst units in the league last year, and desperately needs an overhaul.

Western Michigan‘s Corey Davis and Clemson‘s Mike Williams have been linked to the Eagles.  Both are likely first round selections, and may be unavailable when Philadelphia is on the clock.

Corey Davis

Davis has been recognized for his outstanding red zone production, something the Eagles lacked heavily in 2016.  They will need this type of weapon moving forward.  Having a receiver like Davis would likely open things up for other targets, including tight end Zach Ertz.

However, his routes will require some polishing before he can consistently beat NFL coverage.  According to the NFL.com Draft Profile, a good comparison for Corey Davis is Eric DeckerDecker has proven to be one of the better red zone threats in the league over the past several seasons.

Mike Williams

The Clemson receiver was the most popular name at the receiver position following the college football season.  Playing in the BCS National Championship certainly helped that, as well as playing against some top-tier competition.

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Some draft analysts have displayed concern towards Williams ability to beat press coverage in the NFL.  The 6’3 receiver has shown excellent ball skills and can bring the ball down with the best of em’.  He’s shown the ability to run quality routes and use his excellent body control to make some spectacular plays.

It seems like it’s going to be a coin flip as to who is the first selection that the receiver position.  Many will consider Williams to be the safer pick, but Davis could have slightly more upside.  Either way, both would be key players as the Eagles look to build their offense.

Free Agency

The Eagles could look to fill the receiver hole in free agency.  It seems like the only true, top tier talent will be Alshon JefferyJeffery doesn’t seem like a likely franchise tag candidate, and his injury and off the field history may prevent teams from jumping to sign him.

Other available free agents include Brandon Marshall, DeSean Jackson, Kenny Britt, Pierre Garcon, and Robert Woods.  Any of them would be an upgrade from the current group, but would just be temporary solutions.

Cornerback

While the safety tandem of Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod certainly had a solid season, the same cannot be said about the Eagles cornerbacks.

They brought in ex-Bills Leodis McKelvin and Ron Brooks, hoping familiarity would provide good value.  They were pretty far off with that one.  McKelvin didn’t appear to be a significant improvement over the other poor signings the team made at the position over the past several seasons.  That was a group that included Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher.    The team cut McKelvin shortly after the Super Bowl.

Brooks‘ play was fairly mediocre before he suffered a season ending knee injury.  He likely won’t be back.

Jalen Mills has shown a willingness to compete, and could eventually be a solid starter.  Outside of Mills, though, they don’t have much.  The team could aim to look for yet another big name, but I think they may have learned better.  The market will include AJ Bouye, Trumaine Johnson, Logan Ryan, and Stephon Gillmore.

Their cap issues and inability to sign quality corners in the past should put them out of the running for a big name free agent.

Through the draft

There is a lot of optimism towards the corners that will be selected in the draft.  Many experts believe teams will be able to get starting caliber players into the second and third rounds of the draft.  For a team with many holes, this is a good thing, and should allow them to fill even multiple cornerback roster spots.

WalterFootball currently has up to 20 cornerbacks with grades that could land them in the second day of the draft.

Cornerbacks with a first round grade include Marlon Humphrey, Marshon Lattimore, Sidney Jones, Quincy Wilson, Adoree Jackson, and Jalen Tabor.  If the Eagles want to go for a corner in the draft, a quality player will be available.

Running Back

At this time, it seems like free agency will be a difficult way to find a game changer at running back.  There have been rumors that the Bills could move on from LeSean McCoy, but would they be interested in an aging back?  McCoy showed that he still has the dynamic playmaking ability that made him a fan favorite in Philadelphia. However, with the previously mentioned cap issues, he may not be a financial fit.

The rest of the class includes mostly aging players such as Danny Woodhead, LeGarette Blount, DeAngelo Williams, and Darren McFadden.

In the draft, the depth is considered fairly deep, but only Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette are considered true game changers.

Many believe that teams such as the Colts and Panthers could make it difficult for Philadelphia to acquire one of these players if they choose to stay at their slotted draft position.  Philadelphia does have the possibility of winning the coin toss to jump ahead of the Colts in the draft order, but the price that Indianapolis would have to pay to move just several spots may not be difficult to pay if they believe one of those players are indeed a franchise player worthy of the move.