Matt will be reviewing each team's pre-draft analysis by talking about the draft range of targeted players.
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Philadelphia Eagles (Last Year: 8-8)
It's pretty amazing you could be as good as the Eagles are and be the third-best team (maybe fourth depending on whom you talk to) in your division. But hey, welcome to the NFC East. They shook it up last year by trading back with rival Dallas and selecting Kevin Kolb in the second round. One thing I truly fail to understand is why invest a second-round pick on a quarterback with Donovan McNabb, and then have him sit the bench in his second season. Could the Eagles be a wild card on Draft Day? Let's get to No. 19 and explore the possibilities within their draft range at that pick:
DeSean Jackson/Devin Thomas:
The Eagles need an explosive play-maker on this offense to stretch the defense. Reggie Brown hasn't shown he can be a No. 1 guy. I feel like the player that is the only No. 1 receiver in this class is DeSean Jackson. His elite punt return ability only increases his value. He has explosive speed and has soft hands. My No. 1 WR has always been DeSean Jackson dating back to last summer, and that will not change. Thomas is also a player Philly could be targeting because of his speed.
I don't care if Kolb or McNabb is the quarterback, this offense needs a weapon at receiver.
The top free safety in this draft class (with versatility to play strong), Phillips would develop behind the 34-year-old Brian Dawkins. Phillips could also provide some depth at corner or nickel like Brandon Meriweather did last year for New England.
Winston Justice has been a bust at left tackle so far. With Ryan Clady likely not on the board, Williams is certainly in the No. 19 pick range.
If the Eagles stand pat at No. 19 overall and they ship out Lito Sheppard on a trade (more on my projected Draft Day Player Trades next week), they might be looking to add another corner opposite Asante Samuel, moving Sheldon Brown to free safety.
Trade up for DRC:
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie could
fall to the Eagles at No. 19, but we see trades every year in the draft where teams get nervous about a player not falling to them. He might not be on the board at No. 19 because Arizona could seriously be considering him. The Eagles will want to move up with Detroit to secure their guy. On to the trade projection where the Lions successfully execute leverage:
Philadelphia receives: No. 15 (1050 TVC points)
Detroit receives: Nos. 19, 80, & 152 (1095.6 TVC points)
Who else will Philly target after the first round with so many needs on their team filled?
If they don't grab Jackson or Thomas in the first round, they must look at receiver. Earl Bennett would be a solid fit in Andy Reid's offense with his elite route-running ability. If they want to get a speedy receiver to stretch the field in the middle rounds, they could be targeting Eddie Royal, Andre Caldwell, Harry Douglas and William Franklin in the third or fourth rounds.
If they don't go corner in Round 1, I think they will be targeting players such as Tracy Porter, Charles Godfrey, Justin King, or Antwaun Molden in the second-third rounds (they might reach for King, Godfrey, or Molden in the second to fill that need). Zack Bowman or Orlando Scandrick fit their defense in the late rounds and have some upside.
Chris Gocong needs to be replaced at SAM. Shawn Crable, Bryan Kehl, Ezra Butler, and Curtis Gatewood are 4-3 strongside backers who they could be looking at in rounds four to six.
You can get a lot of value in the mid rounds with this tight end class, and since L.J. Smith was just franchised, he might not be the long-term answer if they don't want to sign him to a big contract (not that he deserves it, but they did franchise him). Jermichael Finley, Brad Cottam, Jacob Tamme, Martin Rucker, and Chris Hopkins are possibilities in the third to fifth round draft range.
Andy Reid might feel like Phillips is a reach at 19, and look for a free safety later in the draft. DaJuan Morgan and Tyrell Johnson provide solid value in the third round, but they might reach in the second for a safety. Marcus Griffin would make a lot of sense in the fourth or fifth round.
Philadelphia Eagles 2008 Offseason Needs
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