April 23rd marks one of the biggest days in all of the football world: Draft Day. There are multiple stories circulating around this year’s draft. The first round will be completed from NFL commissioner, Rodger Goodell, in his basement.
A story that is particularly interesting coming into the draft is the Philadelphia Eagles position in all of this. Last season, they won their division with a record of 9-7. This came in a campaign that was marked by injuries to various players, poor cornerback play, and the glaring need to get younger and faster at the wide receiver position.
So far, Philadelphia has been great about resolving the majority of the problems from last season. To start, they made a real effort to get younger. A perfect example is in the contract they gave to Javon Hargave, who will become one of the youngest starting defensive linemen on the team. Another example would be the decision to move on from veterans like Jason Peters and Malcolm Jenkins. While both are productive players, they don’t quite fit the narrative of getting younger.
At cornerback, this was the group that needed the most help this offseason, as it ranked 21st during the 2019 season. None of the cornerbacks received a grade of over 70.0. Knowing this needed to be fixed this offseason, the Eagles traded for Darius Slay. This immediately gives their cornerback core validity.
This leaves the team with one giant glaring need heading into this draft. The wide receiver position turned into a major problem for the team towards the end of the 2019 season. Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Nelson Agholor were all inactive to end the season. As a result, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was rated a 53.8 by PFF in his first season. The most reliable receiver they had during the season ended up being Greg Ward Jr; an undrafted quarterback-turned wide receiver.
Coming into this draft, the Eagles are faced with a difficult situation at this position. Jackson and Jeffrey are both over 30 with lengthy injury histories. Nelson Agholor left for Oakland in free agency, and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward Jr are unknown commodities. If the team decides to try to bolster this core, they sit in an odd position at pick 21 in the first round.
The top wide receivers in this draft consist of Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, and Henry Ruggs III. At this time, all all expected to go before Philadelphia is on the clock. After those three, there is a notable drop before the next receiver. Where the Eagles stand right now, they are out of range for a consensus Day 1 difference-maker at the position.
However, reports have begun to come out that General Manager Howie Roseman could be interested in trading up for a player of Lamb’s caliber. This would undoubtedly come at a hefty cost, so is it worth it?
Any move up will cost the team in other places. A position of need not previously mentioned is the linebacker core. The group is fairly devoid of talent, with two starters from last year no longer on the team. That said, the team hasn’t put big picks in that position in a long time; presumably due to the defensive scheme putting more of a focus at other positions.
Ultimately, we’ll find out soon what the team decides to do. The way I see it, Roseman is an aggressive General Manager that won’t be afraid to make a big move that’s needed. If he is truly interested in acquiring Lamb, then we could be in for a Draft Day shocker.