The 2018 NFL Draft is less than one week away, which means that Draftmas is back. Draftmas will take a look at each NFL team heading into this year’s draft, what their needs are and who they could be targeting. Draftmas continues today with the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles NFL Draft profile.
Fly Eagles fly! After winning the first Superbowl in franchise history, the Philadelphia Eagles are in great shape heading into 2018. The biggest question mark for this team will be the health of Carson Wentz. Not only will he be ready for opening day, but also, will he be able to duplicate his electric play that allowed the Eagles to finish as a top ten offense? Wentz was the driving force of an offense that finished in the top 10 in yards and points.
What made this unit so unique, was its incredible balance and unpredictability. Meaning, defenses would never know which running back or wide receiver the offense would run through. That forced opposing defenses to defend every inch and player on the field.
On the other side of the ball, the Eagles were equally formidable. This unit was led by the incredible talent and depth on their defensive line. Fletcher Cox was the headliner among a star-studded unit including Brandon Graham, Tim Jernigan, Chris Long, and Derek Barnett.
If that wasn’t an embarrassment of riches, the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles added Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata. This has the potential to be an all-time defensive line the likes of the “fearsome foursome” and the “purple people eaters”.
While this team looks great on paper, it’s not without its flaws. The hallmark of last year’s Eagles was depth and should be the mantra once again if they hope to make another run at a championship.
Picks and Needs
The 2018 Philadelphia Eagles have six picks in the upcoming NFL draft. With very few holes on this team, the Eagles have the luxury of adding depth or taking the best player regardless of position.
First round (1): 32
Second round (0):
Third round (0):
Fourth round (2): 126, 128
Fifth round (1): 160
Sixth round (1): 192
Seventh round (1): 224
Tight End: As stated earlier, the Eagles have the luxury of taking a developmental prospect or a high upside pick. Since the Eagles liked to use multiple tight ends in 2017, they could consider drafting a replacement for Trey Burton if they don’t believe in Brent Celek or the newly acquired Richard Rodgers. If nothing else, they could have a legitimate insurance policy for Zach Ertz.
Tackle: Incredible depth at the tackle position last season was a tremendous contributing factor the success of Nick Foles and the running game. Jason Peters is slated to return; however, it’s almost impossible to know if he’ll be able to fully recover. Drafting another tackle would give the Eagles a viable option if Peters doesn’t return to form and would serve as a swing player behind Lane Johnson and Halapoulvaati Vaitai.
Cornerback: Currently, Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills are slated to start at corner. However, if they decide to play Mills in the slot against three wide receiver sets, that would leave Rasul Douglas as a starter on the outside. It’s possible that Daryl Worley assumes that role, but, the Eagles could stand to benefit by adding a talented rookie to the mix.
Pick No. 32: Brian O’Neal, Tackle, Pittsburgh
The Eagles continue to strengthen a strength with this potential selection. Ensuring that Carson Wentz feels comfortable in the pocket upon his return is paramount. All it takes is one preseason setback to a recovering Jason Peters, or another suspension to Lane Johnson to make this an area of need.
Like Jason Peters and Lane Johnson before him, offensive tackle was not O’Neal’s initial collegiate position. He was recruited as a wide receiver and then converted to tight end. That means, just like his predecessors, he possesses incredible athletic ability.
However, athletic ability isn’t everything. His performance at the combine demonstrated that he is not as strong as other prospects at his position. O’Neal would benefit greatly if he had a full season in an NFL strength and conditioning program. Overall, the Eagles would be securing one of the most important positions on the roster and would lock in a top athlete on a rookie contract.
The 2018 Philadelphia Eagles are poised to make another run at a championship. If they can add one impact player in the draft, as well as secure depth across their roster, they may join one an elite group of teams who have won back-to-back championships.