Eagles Final Pre-Free Agency Predictions
This offseason poses a real issue for the Eagles. With little cap room and multiple holes to fill on both sides of the ball, the Eagles are in a tough spot.
Three positions need to filled or the team will be doomed to repeat the up and down nature of last season that found them watching the playoffs on television.
With rookie quarterback Carson Wentz looking to build off his first season, the team needs to provide him with adequate weapons at wide receiver and running back. Without any consistent play from those positions, Wentz pressed at times, trying to make a play happen that wasn’t there, resulting in some bad interceptions.
Also, the in ability for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to trust his corners in one on one coverage, limited the strength of the defense, their pass rush. To maximize the large investments made in the front four, the Eagles need to secure the corner spots with athletes who can play man coverage.
Below are the predictions made from Eagles Lead Writer Brendan Walker and Eagles Contributor Rob Rose. Each writer will give their prediction on if the Eagles will go through free agency or the draft to find the wide receiver, running back and cornerback positions (Walker’s responses will be in red; Rose’s responses will be in blue).
Walker: This upcoming draft is full of talent. I was first on the Latavius Murray train. However, the more I look at it, the running backs in the draft look far more talented than any of the free agent running backs right now. My vote is that the Eagles use their first round pick on whichever running back is best available between Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook or Christian McCaffrey.
Rose: A quarterback needs a reliable running back to keep the defense honest and protect against the run. Combined with poor receiving play, Wentz dealt with a revolving door at running back last season. This draft is filled with skilled running backs that could start right away and potentially be three down backs in the future. In the third round the Eagles could target Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon or Texas’ D’Onta Foreman. Mixon is a first round talent that will be available on day two of the draft due to a video that surfaced of him punching a female student in 2014.
Walker: I would say that there are plenty of free agent wide receivers available for the Eagles to sign. While they do want someone to grow with Wentz, a veteran presence isn’t the worst idea. If the free agent happens to be a young receiver, the better. But I think the trade off is that because there are so many better running backs than there are wide receivers in the draft, the Eagles need to get a receiver in free agency. Hopefully, it doesn’t break the their bank.
Rose: One thing is certain this offseason, the Eagles can’t enter next season with the same receiving core. They need major improvements. Linked to Alshon Jeffery, Kenny Stills and Brandin Cooks, the team knows they need to shake things up on offense. With little cap space and the Eagles would help themselves by targeting veteran receivers coming off down years. Two options could be Michael Floyd and Torrey Smith. Two former first round picks, both have the potential to make big plays and could come at a discount.
Walker: I would say that the Eagles get two cornerbacks after getting their future running back in the first round of the draft. This year’s draft might be the most loaded it’s ever been at the cornerback spot. I expect there to be plenty of talent in those 2nd and 3rd rounds. Perhaps a Desmond King or Adoree’ Jackson is available in those middle rounds.