This is one of the most uncertain times of the year. The Eagles have to react to what happens ahead of them. The team’s top target could slide to them. The team’s top 2 or 3 targets could be there. The Eagles can have some initial plans, but must also have some contingency plans.
If you listen to Eagles Live on a regular basis, you’ve heard Adam Caplan say the Eagles are interested in adding a veteran ILB to be a backup. This is interesting to note. The team already signed Jason Phillips and has Jamar Chaney and Casey Matthews returning. If the Eagles are looking for help, that tells you that Matthews and Chaney have one foot out the door.
So why haven’t the Eagles made a move yet? The team has been busy scouting and meeting with ILBs for the upcoming draft. They’ve checked out 1st rounders to mid rounders to late rounders. This doesn’t mean they’ll take one, but it shows significant interest. My bet is if the team doesn’t draft an ILB in the first 5 rounds, they’ll sign someone on Saturday or right after the draft.
It is possible the team could sign one in the next couple of days and then go away from drafting one unless a player they love falls to them. Right now they have options.
The same scenario is true with Eric Winston and the OL. The Eagles want to draft an OT early. If for some reason that doesn’t pan out, they could turn to Winston and see about adding him.
Are there other moves that could be made? I have speculated about trading Jason Avant, but he’s scheduled to be at some team draft event this week. I don’t think the Eagles would let that happen if Avant was being shopped. The Jaguars did something like that to QB David Garrard and looked like complete jackasses.
The Eagles have 74 players on the roster now. Drafting 9 players leaves room for only 7 UDFAs. I do wonder if we’ll see any cuts. The reason you would hold on making the cuts is to not give away early roster hints to the other 31 teams. I have no idea what Chip Kelly and Bill Davis think of short pass rushers like Everette Brown and Phillip Hunt. I do know that if you cut them, you’ll have a major hole at backup OLB. Other teams could read that and jump ahead of the Eagles in the late rounds if there is a LB on the board.
Or maybe the Eagles don’t want a bunch of UDFAs. They may see guys like Ed Wang, Allen Barbre, and Matt Kopa as a better version of UDFAs. If that is the case, then the Eagles will mostly leave the roster as is and draft/sign away. It just won’t surprise me to see a couple of moves in the next several days.
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“For now, the Eagles are jockeying him (Curry) between defensive end — the five-technique opposite Fletcher Cox — in the odd front, where they also have Cedric Thornton competing, and outside linebacker, where the team is also auditioning converted ends Brandon Graham and Cole.”
This ties in with the earlier point about the Eagles wanting flexibility. If the team drafts a DE early, but fails to land a LB, they may want Curry to shift back to OLB. Right now the only OLBs you would project to make the team are Barwin, Cole, and Graham. Guys like Brown, Hunt, and Chris McCoy are longshots. So I guess it is possible Curry could slide back to being an edge rusher.
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Mike Mayock said tonight that he thinks the Eagles will be choosing between OT Lane Johnson and LB Dion Jordan.
Mayock also noted that he thinks Joeckel and Fisher are gone in the first 3 picks. If so, that means OT desperate teams could be calling the Eagles. That would not only give the Eagles trade partners, but the team could negotiate from a position of strength. You aren’t going to get a king’s ransom this year, but maybe the Dolphins would give up a 2nd and a 4th. That would be very tempting offer, especially if Dion Jordan is off the board. Mayock speculated that the Eagles could still get Star Lotulelei if they moved back to 12. Man, that would be nice.
I still love the notion of the Lions giving a 4th round pick to move up one spot. You then draft Ziggy Ansah at #5 and have the extra mid-rounder. I just don’t know how desperate the Lions are for an OT.
Miami continues to talk to KC about Branden Albert so that could change things in a heartbeat.
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Phil Savage offered some draft nuggets on Twitter tonight. The only one of significant interest is that he doesn’t see any way that Barkevious Mingo goes in the Top 5. I think he could be a target if the Eagles move back. The Jets at #9 are said to like him quite a bit.
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Gimpy posted his new MAQB column. He previewed the NFL Draft and made some predictions.