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SCOTT THOMSON'S 2007 Draft Recap

 

Help? What do the Eagles need?

Scott Thomson Nov 11, 2007

Where did it all go wrong?  The Eagles were supposed to be atop the NFC East at this point not at the bottom.  Every week I find myself watching more and more college football to get my Vitamin F?  The only upside being, I get to watch many players we all like to see in Eagle green year.  But, what do the Eagles really need?  To whom should I be paying particular attention?

      Like him or not, Donovan McNabb is still in the top half of NFL quarterbacks.  Even if the Eagles were to pull off a Herschel Walker-type trade in the off-season, the next starting QB, Kevin Kolb, is already on the roster.  So, quarterback is out.

      Running back is an interesting proposition.  Down 38-10 to the Cowboys late in the 4 th quarter (oh, it pains me to say that) the Eagles went on a 13-play drive.  Brian Westbrook touched the ball seven times.  They just can't move the ball without him.  But, how long can he last?  He is not the biggest guy in the world and he takes a pounding.  How many running backs have we seen come into the league, carry their respective teams and be out of the league by age 30?  Westbrook is 28.  It is time to start thinking about another back that can actually play and compliment Westbrook in a true two-back system.  His name is not Correll Buckhalter.

      There seems to be a fascination with the wide receiver position.  Everyone wants a stud wide receiver like Randy Moss or TO and I must admit that it would be nice.  However, is it really the Eagles' greatest need?  They have two decent receivers in Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis.  Granted, two number-two receivers don? make a number one.  But, is that what it takes to win?  Just look back at the last seven Super Bowl winners.  Sure, the Indianapolis Colts had Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, but they are the only ones to field a receiving corps like that.  Were Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle-El a devastating combination?  How about Keyshawn Johnson and Keenan McCardell?  The Patriots won three Super Bowls with no receiver better than Deion Branch.  And, I defy anyone to tell me the starting receivers for the 2000/2001 Baltimore Ravens. (Hint:  They combined for 931 receiving yards that season.)

      Tight End?  LJ Smith will probably test the free agent market this year.  Matt Schobel and Brent Celek are adequate in his absence.  I'll keep a left eye on that position, but I can't say it is a pressing need.

     The offensive line, particularly tackle, is a distinct possibility.  I say tackle because if you draft a guy and he doesn't cut it at tackle you can always try him at guard.  The Eagles' tackles, Tra Thomas and John Runyan, have played well and.are getting older.  Tackle of the future, Winston Justice, got a chance to start one game this year and promptly gave up a league-record six sacks.  Oh, well, maybe he can play guard.  It just stinks that I have to focus the offensive tackles during college games.

      The Eagles have two young defensive tackles in Broderick Bunkley and Mike Patterson.  That's a good start.  They could stand to add another one.    

      The defensive end position has seen a hanging of the guard?  Once greats, Darren Howard and Jevon Kearse, have been supplanted by Juqua Thomas and Trent Cole.  Kearse can still play, when he can play.  Seemingly, even when Kearse isn't listed as out, he is laying on the ground in the backfield writhing in pain.  With two tackles and zero sacks, Howard is done.  Kearse and Howard are slated to make over 12 million dollars next year.  Suffice it to say, DE is a need.

      The Post-Trotter Era II at linebacker has been a pleasant surprise.  The trade for veteran Takeo Spikes solidified a young LB core.  Chris Gocong has played better than I expected and Omar Gaither has been downright excellent, leading the team in tackles.  Stewart Bradley waits in the wings to replace Spikes when the time comes.  I only see the Eagles looking at a linebacker if a great one slips in the draft.

      With the loss of Roderick Hood to free agency, the Eagles no longer have the luxury of having a starting cornerback in reserve.  After Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown there is a significant drop-off in ability at CB.  Let's face it, this is a passing league and you can never have enough cover DBs.  In my estimation this is their biggest need.

      That brings us to safety.  Brian Dawkins is the greatest defensive back ever to wear Eagle green.  But, alas, he is not immortal.  He is 34 years old and his days are numbered.  Quintin Mikell appears ready to take over a free safety when Dawkins can no longer do it.  However, the Eagles have no strong safety to speak of and no real depth here.  Does anyone believe that J.R. Reed will ever return to his previous form?  Does anyone even know who Marcus Paschal (on the roster) and Erick Harris (practice squad) are?  If the Eagles don't take a CB in the first round it should be a S.

 

     So, it appears that I will be spending my Saturday afternoons not watching receivers, but rather, those guys covering (and blocking for) them.

 

 













Copyright 2006. Jules Pilla

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