2019 NFL Draft: Philadelphia Eagles team needs, draft picks, prospects to watch
With their 2018 season over, it's time for Eagles fans to turn their attention to the draft
One year removed from a magical run, the Eagles found themselves beset by injuries on both sides of the ball, but they still managed to make the playoffs, upset the Bears and put a scare into the Saints before ultimately bowing out. Several key players are entering free agency, so the team has a lot of work to do in order to get back to the promised land next season.
Here's what you need to know about the Philadelphia Eagles and the 2019 NFL Draft.
2019 draft picks
- Round 1: Philadelphia
- Round 2: Philadelphia, Baltimore
- Round 3: None
- Round 4: Philadelphia
- Round 5: Philadelphia
- Round 6: Philadelphia
- Round 7: Denver*
The Eagles picked up an extra second-rounder this year in the deal that allowed the Ravens to get to No. 32 and draft Lamar Jackson last year. They're missing a third-round pick after trading theirs for Golden Tate. They also picked up a conditional seventh-rounder from the Broncos in for Allen Barbre in 2017, but then included one of their sevenths in the trade to move up for Jordan Mailata in last year's draft and the other as a conditional pick in the Deiondre Hall deal. So when it's all said and done, they may end up with no picks in the last round.
Biggest offseason needs
- Running back
- Offensive tackle
- Defensive end
- Wide receiver
The biggest issue for the Eagles in 2018 was time and again the secondary, and matters were only made worse when Ronald Darby went down with a torn ACL. He's a free agent, and maybe the team will be able to bring him back at a reduced rate, but addressing the position shouldn't stop there. Brandon Graham is a free agent, and while Derek Barnett will likely be in line for a larger role, the Eagles probably don't want to rely on Michael Bennett and Chris Long as the rest of their edge rush. Jordan Hicks is also heading into free agency, so the team will be looking for a solution at middle linebacker.
The offensive line was an issue this year, and with Jason Peters holding a mutual option for 2019, a younger option could be pursued as the key position. An upgrade could be pursued at left guard as well. The Eagles felt the need to upgrade at receiver by bringing in Golden Tate before the trade deadline, but he's a free agent, so they'll need to find more help in the offseason. With the Eagles going away from Josh Adams in the postseason, they'll likely be in the market for more talent at the running back position.
Prospects to watch
Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Eagles went to the University of Washington well when they selected Sidney Jones, so why not do it again with a superior prospect in Murphy? He's a beast in coverage and plays bigger than his 6-foot, 175-pound frame. He should be able to start on Day One, and he's the type of prospect the Eagles should consider making a move up the draft board for.
Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Jacobs is likely to emerge as the top prospect available at the running back position and the only one in the mix to be selected in the first round. He's a three-down back who has the speed to break away for big runs, the catching ability to convert downfield on third downs and the blocking prowess to stay in the backfield and protect the QB when needed.
Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
While Jonah Williams might be out of reach for the Eagles, Little would be a great consolation prize as a full-time starter for the last two years who was a first-team All-SEC pick in 2018. He would serve as a long-term bookend for Lane Johnson with Jason Peters likely on his last legs.
Zach Allen, DE, Boston College
Allen is both strong against the run and a quality pass rusher who could fit at defensive end for the Eagles but also has the versatility to move around on the defensive line. The wealth of edge talent in the draft this year could push some quality prospects who don't absolutely blow the doors off the pre-draft process to the end of the first round, which would be huge for an Eagles team that may be looking to add young talent at the position.
Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
Bush, who checks in at a shade under 6 foot, can be found all over the field making plays. Not only is he capable in coverage, but his ability as a blitzer would give Jim Schwartz another chess piece to use to generate pressure.
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