By: Zachary D. Mason’19
The biggest questions entering draft season for the Eagles revolve around team needs, mostly at the linebacker, safety, and tackle positions. The Eagles have done an amazing job of keeping their best players despite having minor salary cap problems.
“We had the best offensive line in the league and we have them all coming back, plus Jason Peters who is a first ballot hall of famer!” Dave Mason added. And this is only the beginning.
The Eagles also retained both of their quarterbacks and nine of the eleven starters on their defense.
While addressing the draft, Evan Bosak, an eleventh grader, commented “it’s uncertain, but I want to draft a left tackle anyway.” Evan said this in regard to the future of nine year Eagles left tackle, Jason Peters. For a NFL left tackle, 36 years of age is almost considered elderly. Before injuring his knee, Peters wa one of the best left tackles in the league, but his time is coming to an end very soon.
But the team is not sure how his knee will be coming back from injury, and as an organization and fanbase, many are not sure that we need him and his $15.5 million dollar contract while Halapoulivaati Vaitai played fine through half the season and all the way through the Super Bowl. But if Peters were to be cut we would have no backup left tackle.
Although it is not a popular opinion, the cap room is far too valuable. Vaitai is young, and is raw. He is an impeccable run blocker that leaves some pass blocking skills to be desired, but all in all a good offensive lineman. He allows pressure because he can’t drop back quick enough and he’s beat around the edge, but that is not anything that cannot be fixed.
Only 24 years old, Vaitai is an exceptional lineman, and could start for us with little to no hiccups. Leaving me to say, is Peters worth the money with this good of a backup plan?
The Philadelphia Eagles and Howie Roseman made several big moves through the off season, but the biggest concern is that through these moves they created more questions than they answered. Two players that the Eagles brought in have been charged with felonies since they were acquired by the Eagles. These players are Michael Bennett and Daryl Worley. Bennett is an all pro player that only added to the Eagles already elite defensive line, and Worley added to the Eagles defensive backfield in a positive way. But following Worley’s arrest, he was immediately released from the team. Meanwhile Bennett is still in line to start for the 2018 season. This calls the Eagles’ organization’s moral standards, in to question but those are the only problems.
The biggest team need is at linebacker, but a close second is at safety. Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod are one of the best safety combinations in the league, but there is really no backup. Our best backup is is Chris Maragos, who is our special teams specialist. And with the Eagles not renewing Jaylen Watkins’ contract who was just signed by the Chargers, we have a heavy fall off after our starting safeties. The Eagles should go after someone like K.J. Wright who currently plays for the Seattle Seahawks. He is an amazing 4-3 outside linebacker, plays the position in the same style as Kendricks but is better overall. And the first round should be more than enough to compensate.
That the Eagles should trade their first round pick and Mychal Kendricks and go pick up a very high tier 4-3 linebacker. Then the Eagles should take offensive tackle, Mike McGlinchey from the University of Notre Dame. This addresses a future need that the Eagles are going to have, and this would also be a homecoming for McGlinchey being that he attended William Penn Charter school. With the third round pick I believe that the Eagles should either go running back or wide receiver, just to have another young and fast guy in the rotation.
Many have different opinions on what the Eagles should do in the draft. “Michel is one of the most underrated running backs I have seen in a long time, he should probably be a top 15 pick,” said Bosak. While I agree with Evan in his reasoning I do not think that from a positional stand point that it is the best option.
“We should draft a cornerback or a safety; simply just as another cover guy that can move around the field well,” said Gabe Desmond, a junior. And I came very close to sharing it, but I feel that the need for a good, sturdy linebacker is too important.
Some traditionalist Eagles fans want the team to just select the best player on the board. The is congruent in the opinion of Dave, a Ridley parent. He said in his quote that the Eagles should take the best player available. No matter the position, no matter the scheme, and no matter the attitude of the player. He believes that taking the best overall player on the board is the best option and if we can not find a way to use them, that we should try to trade them away.