Who should the Eagles pick in round 1

from sportslogos.net

by Alex Young

The NFL Draft has long been one of my favorite events on the yearly sports calendar. Everything about it is interesting. Will a great college players translate to the pros? What teams will trade up or trade down? And of course, who will the Eagles take?

It’s been a few years since the Eagles had any glaring needs heading into a draft. They pretty much take the best player available every year (Or in the case of defensive end Brandon Graham, the worst.) While there might not be a single position that is the most needed, it’s pretty easy to see that the Eagles need help on defense. One of these positions must be improved with the 15th pick in the first round.

from xlog.com

1. LINEBACKER

The acquisition of DeMeco Ryans was a great addition to the Eagles defense. He’s coming off a season of injuries but is still light years better than any Eagle linebacker in years. However, the trade did not change that fact that Casey Matthews is probably in line to take a starting role as an outside linebacker next season. That cannot happen.

The three best players at this position in the draft are Boston College’s Luke Kuechly and Alabama’s standout pair of Courtney Upshaw and Dont’a Hightower. Chances are that Kuechly is gone by the time the Eagles pick but there is not a great drop off from him to Upshaw or Hightower. They were good enough that they stood out in the loaded ‘Bama National Champion defense. Experts have tabbed Upshaw to become a defensive end in the pros but could easily excel at either position.

The player that I am hoping for, and have been all year, is Hightower. Listed at six-foot-two, 265 lbs., he is the big linebacker Eagles Fans have been dreaming of for years and would instantly improve this defense.

from bleacherreport.com

2. DEFENSIVE END

Jason Babin was third in the NFL with 18 sacks last year and Trent Cole still has Pro-Bowl ability, but you can never have too many pass rushers. This is a position that I would like to see the Eagles get bigger at. Too often have they fallen in the trap of taking undersized ends too high in the draft. That being said the only pick is take Quiton Coples out of the University of North Carolina.

At  6’6″, 284 lbs., Coples is unlike any Eagle D-lineman. He’s big and athletic. His greatest attribute might be his versatility, having played both inside and outside on the UNC D-line. His best season actually came from the defensive tackle position when he recorded 11 sacks in the 2010 season. He has drawn comparisons to Julius Peppers but will robably end up as a poor man’s Justin Tuck. His ability to play multiple positions and his size has him on a lot of teams’ radars, if the Eagles want him they may have to trade up to get him.

From bloguin.com

3. DEFENSIVE TACKLE

This position has more of a need of depth. Mike Patterson and Cullen Jenkins are both above average tackles, but they are neither dominating run stoppers nor disruptive pass rushers.

The two best D Tackles both are projected to go right around where the Eagles have their first pick at 15. They are in good position to grab an impact player even if it means jumping up a spot or two with a trade.

LSU’s Michael Brockers is probably the best prospect but Dontari Poe out of Memphis is not far behind. Both guys are huge, weighing 322 and 346 lbs respectively. Either player could come in and provide solid depth to the Eagles defensive line, but if it were my choice, it would be hard to pass on a guy with experience in the SEC like Brockers.

These are by no means accurate predictions. They are just who I would like to see the Eagles pick. Knowing Andy Reid and Howie Roseman, they will either trade down to the third round or pick a 40-year-old long snapper. Don’t put it past them

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