For the next stop during our trip around draftland that’s featured equal doses of optimism and crushing pessimism, we head to Philadelphia, which is still very much in Mark Barron territory.
Barron territory is a foreign, mystical land we’ve frequented this week, with the Chargers showing interest in the Alabama safety if he falls a bit, and the Jets showing even more interest. And when our draft locomotive chugs deep into the heart of Texas tomorrow, there will undoubtedly be more Barron talk. Welcome to mid April, a celebrated time of speculation and hearsay.
But Barron is firmly in Philly’s crosshairs, along with maybe more depth at offensive tackle later in the draft after the Jason Peters injury, and a large body to be very scary on the interior of the defensive line alongside Cullen Jenkins.
1. Demetress Bell was signed to fill the void left by Peters, but he’s pretty injury prone too, and King Dunlap is next on the depth chart. Could Howie Roseman search for another tackle?
Not with a top pick. There’s really not a great OT class at the top of this draft, and they expect Peters back next season. So it really wouldn’t make sense to spend a top pick on a position you don’t have a long term/immediate need at. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them add some depth at tackle, but I wouldn’t expect a first-round pick at the position.
2. Barron is one of the most widely projected players for the Eagles at No. 15. Is safety the primary need?
Yes and no. Yes in that the eagles need better safety play than they’re getting, but no in that they’ve spent two straight second-round picks on safeties, and I doubt they’ll give up on those guys so quickly to draft another safety as high as No. 15 this year. Nate Allen, who they picked two years ago, played very well over the last half of the 2011 season, while Kurt Coleman was a seventh-round pick the same year and has proven to be serviceable. Jaiquwan Jarrett, last year’s second rounder, hasn’t even gotten a chance to play yet.
So I think it’s more likely they address their “need” at safety by bringing in a veteran as insurance later in the summer.
3. What about Fletcher Cox or Dontari Poe if they’re available? They’d both complement Jenkins, and add to an already scary defensive line.
I think defensive tackle is a real possibility. We know Andy Reid values the position and has taken DTs in the first round before. There may not be a glaring need this year, but the Eagles could stand to stock the position for the future, and they like to rotate DTs anyway.
4. I’ve read in a few mock drafts that if Ryan Tannehill falls (which seems highly unlikely) and starts to pull an Aaron Rodgers, he could be an option for the Eagles. That’s absolutely ridiculous, right?
I think it is. They’ve done their due diligence on the guy, but picking him essentially signals to Michael Vick that he’s done after this year. And what does that do to this season? When they’ve tried their best to set themselves up for a run right now, why basically tank in 2012 and probably a couple more years in the future as Tannehill grows?
If it all goes wrong with Vick this year, then you pick a guy next year. I just don’t see the desperation in Philadelphia that it would take to grab Tannehill.
5. Any other needs you’d like to see addressed?
A few things. The team could really use a reliable and talented kick returner. They’re probably going to add a corner at some point. They could use a backup to LeSean McCoy as well as some depth along the offensive line. I wouldn’t mind seeing a WILL or SAM linebacker added near the top of the draft either.