The free agency moves by the Philadelphia Eagles has not been much of a surprise. They allowed the aging and injury prone Michael Vick, to finally move on from the team; officially handing the reigns off to Nick Foles. They also signed Malcolm Jenkins to come in and help solidify the free safety position, the secondary play was a key issue needing to be addressed this off season. Another signing that made quite a bit of sense was bringing in corner, Nolan Carroll. Carroll was not the biggest name on the market for corners, but is a solid pick up for the Eagles defense and only has room to improve. One thing that really irks the NFL Draft Daily was the cutting of all pro wide receiver, DeSean Jackson. Why? Jackson was coming off his best season of his career, and is only 27 years old, the guy is in his prime! Off the field issues could of tilted the Eagles hand, with reports of the receiver having gang ties back in California; or even the demand of a bigger pay raise may have doomed him. One thing is for certain though, Chip Kelly has most certainly changed the atmosphere of this team.
The NFL Draft Daily can practically go ahead and throw out the proposition of the Eagles drafting a quarterback in the first few rounds. Nick Foles will be the commander under center for the future, using last year as his launching platform for whats to come. The wide receiving core is full of questions after the departure of Jackson though. Riley Cooper is best suited as the number two wide receiver; and can you really count on Jeremy Maclin? He missed all of last season with an injury and has only played one full season in his career for Philly. The secondary still needs to be addressed, and the Eagles really need to do their due diligence on replacing the dynamic, DeSean Jackson.
Brandin Cooks could be that man. He’s even quoted to saying he could do it better then DeSean Jackson, if Philly decided to draft him. Cooks was named as the best wide receiver in college football last season, winning the Biletnikoff Award. The former Oregon State Beaver racked up 16 touchdowns last year, and also had the fastest 40 yard dash out of all the wide receivers during the NFL combine, clocking in at 4.33 seconds. Both Jackson and Cooks are quite comparable when you take their intangibles into consideration. Both are 5’10 in stature, both can blow the top off of defenses and catch the deep ball, and both of them have a knack for finding the end zone.
Brandin Cooks may have a little competition though, a wide receiver like Odell Beckham out of LSU, could be in the running for the Eagles pick. Beckham adds a little more size to the position, being 6ft tall, and is just as quick and talented as Cooks. It all depends on how Philly views their wide receiver core and if they need to take that chance in the first round, the wide receiver depth in this draft is incredible. Their secondary play was the biggest issue for the team, and if a safety like Calvin Pryor is available, they could possibly take him. A possible sleeper in one of the later rounds is Beckham’s teammate at LSU, Craig Loston. Loston loves to deliver huge blows to the opposition while also reading and reacting on passing plays; which somewhat ends up favorably for the strong safety. Loston does lack somewhat in speed, and could become a liability if forced to cover a quicker receiver or running back out of the backfield.
Skies the limit for Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles, have to give credit where its due; not too many coaches come in from the college ranks and win a division their first year as coach. The offense was great and can only get better with the addition of Cooks, then Eagles fans should look for Philly to address their defense as soon as possible in the draft. A repeat as division champions wouldn’t surprise the NFL Draft Daily at all, and even possibly a playoff victory this time around for Eagles fans to brag about.
This article is one in a series, published daily, providing analysis, insight and predictions leading up to the NFL draft and beyond.
Commentary by Justin Huffman