2018 NFL Draft: Philadelphia Eagles team needs, draft picks, prospects to watch
With their 2017 season over, it's time for Eagles fans to turn their attention to the draft
The Eagles quickly emerged in 2017 as a Super Bowl contender behind breakout quarterback Carson Wentz, but an injury to the second-year signal caller put the team's hopes on life support before their late-season struggles carried over into January. With the Eagles settled at the most important position on the roster, where else needs work? Let's dive in.
2018 draft picks
- Round 1: Philadelphia
- Round 2: None
- Round 3: None
- Round 4: Philadelphia, New England
- Round 5: Philadelphia, Seattle
- Round 6: Philadelphia
- Round 7: None
The Eagles lose their second-round pick as the final piece of the trade that brought Carson Wentz to Philadelphia in 2016. They send their third-rounder to the Bills along with receiver Jordan Matthews to acquire cornerback Ronald Darby before the season. They earned two extra fourth-rounders by trading defensive back Eric Rowe to New England and quarterback Sam Bradford to the Vikings, but sent that Minnesota pick to Miami for Jay Ajayi during the 2017 season. The Eagles were able to upgrade their seventh-rounder to a fifth by sending offensive lineman Matt Tobin to Seattle.
Biggest offseason needs
- Offensive tackle
With Alshon Jeffery signing an extension in December and Ajayi brought aboard midseason, the Eagles shouldn't spend much time looking at adding premium talent at the skill positions. Torrey Smith likely won't have his option picked up, theoretically putting the team in the market for a receiver, but 2017 fourth-rounder Mack Hollins could take over the role as a complement to Jeffery, Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor. Instead, the attention on offense should be on the line, where Jason Peters is coming off a torn ACL that caused big problems once Halapoulivaati Vaitai was thrust into a starting role. Finding a second tackle to pair with Lane Johnson long-term is paramount and could be most logical use of the team's first-round pick.
On defense, the team should be on the lookout for a third linebacker to play in base formations. At cornerback, the Eagles should do everything they can to get Patrick Robinson re-signed after his excellent year, and having a healthy Sidney Jones for the 2018 season will also go a long way toward solidifying the unit. A replacement for Corey Graham as the third safety should also be found.
Prospects to watch
Okorafor is still flying relatively under the radar due to his small-school status. He has all the tools -- size, length, plus athleticism, and proper technique -- to become a franchise offensive tackle at the next level. He could start at right tackle, which would precipitate a move for Johnson to the left side.
Cabinda is an old-school linebacker who plays with power, refined block-shedding ability, and the play-recognition skills to get to the football a step before everyone else. He racked up 268 tackles in his last three years at Penn State.
An explosive safety prospect with good size at 6-foot and 209 pounds with 33 1/8-inch arms, Matthews makes many of his plays when coming downhill to fill a run lane.
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