The Philadelphia Eagles entered the 2014 offseason needing to address the defense. With only one free agent acquisition who’s projected to be a starter, they will now enter the draft with basically the same defensive needs to address.
The Eagles have now compounded the issue by releasing DeSean Jackson.
Even though there were some murmurs that the Eagles may take a receiver in the top three rounds prior to releasing Jackson, the thought was only if someone exceptional happened to drop. Then maybe, they would consider him if there wasn’t a value-comparable defensive player on the board at the time.
However, now that their most explosive offensive weapon is gone, it would seem almost a sure bet that they will be taking a receiver in the first three rounds.
For those of you like me, I have been hoping that the Eagles would go defense heavy with their first three picks. Now we have to seriously prepare for a receiver to be in the mix.
Maybe you were thinking that’s what they would do anyway so it’s not that big of a deal to you. I entertained the notion, but that was before they brought back both Maclin and Cooper. With Jackson, Cooper and Maclin in the fold, there would be absolutely no need for a receiver that early.
Now they’re not only missing one of those three, they’re missing the best one of the three.
With only six draft picks in total, the Eagles don’t have many resources to play with. Each pick in the first three rounds are treated like gold by NFL teams. By forcing themselves into a situation where they will strongly consider replacing a player they just cut, they will be losing out on a potentially valuable piece that is sorely needed on defense.
What if someone like Safety Calvin Pryor or OLB/DE Dee Ford is sitting there at pick 22, but the Eagles take a receiver like Odell Beckham or Brandin Cooks instead?
What if someone like Safety Deone Bucannon, OLB Kyle Van Noy or OLB Jeramiah Attaochu is sitting there for them in the second round but they select someone like Davante Adams, Paul Richardson, or Donte Moncrief instead?
What if someone like OLB Jordan Tripp, OLB Jordan Zumwalt, Safety Terrance Brooks or LB Christian Jones was there in the third round but instead they take someone like Josh Huff or Martavis Bryant instead?
Whether or not any of those players would actually be there or not when the Eagles pick isn’t the point. The point is this:
I’d rather have DeSean Jackson and our first three picks as Ford, Bucannon and Jones rather than just something like Cooks, Bucannon and Jones (or any other combination). The Eagles would be a better team with the former rather than the latter.
Time will tell if the Eagles were right about Jackson. I’m disappointed that we’re losing his value on the field, but I’m more disappointed by the fact that we didn’t get anything in return form him via trade.
In essence, they’ve created a hole for which they have no additional resource to use to fill it. Therefore, they’ll have to rob Peter to pay Paul and take away something from the defense to repair the offense.
This isn’t to say that all is lost. There are still moves that can be made to add more draft resources so that they can add a receiver as well as address the defense.
But, those moves haven’t been made yet and who knows if they will. All I can say is that the top three picks in a draft are players that should become solid starters if not future stars.
The Eagles cut a star they already had and now may end up using a valuable pick in the draft to replace him instead of using it on a defense that is still undergoing a major reconstruction.