Who Will the Eagles Pick in the NFL Draft?

Gianfranco Illiano

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The draft is finally here! And I mean, literally,
it’s here in Philadelphia. For the first
time since 1961, the City of Brotherly Love
is hosting the NFL Draft.
The draft is important for all teams,
obviously. But we’re going to focus on our
team’s needs—the Philadelphia Eagles!
The Eagles have many needs including
CB, RB, and WR. However, a lot fans seem
to ignore the fact that the team needs a pass
rusher.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I think the
number one need on this team is a CB.
Actually, the Eagles should draft two CB’s in
my opinion. However, with the Eagles first
round pick being 14th overall, a stud defensive
lineman with tremendous pass rushing
ability may slip to the Eagles.
Derek Barnett, formerly of the Tennessee
Volunteers, is projected to be a blue-chip
player for years to come. Some draft experts
around the NFL believe Barnett will get
drafted in the top 10. However, I believe that
a lot of NFL teams may underrate Barnett
and eventually slip out of the top 10 and
slide to the Eagles at pick 14.
I say this because every year there are a
few teams that are desperate for a QB and
as all fans know, teams will overrate QB’s
because that position is the most important
in all of sports. Luckily, this year’s draft
class is deep with talent, especially at the CB
and RB position. In my mind, there are six
teams that pick in the top 10 that could draft
a QB. Therefore, if two teams draft a QB in
the top 10, two talented prospects who were
supposed to go in the top 10 might fall to the
Eagles.
Barnett is one of the most underrated
prospects. In my opinion, he’s the best pass
rusher in the draft. He’s drawn comparisons
to a former Philadelphia Eagle, Reggie
White—The Minister of Defense! As we all
know, Reggie White is regarded as the best
defensive player in NFL History. Barnett is a
strong edge presence with NFL-caliber hand
usage
and play strength. Barnett is one of the
most productive defensive linemen to come
out of the SEC in quite some time despite
lacking the length and twitch that teams
usually look for off the edge.
Coincidentally, Barnett and White went to
the same college, the University of Tennessee.
For years, White held the record for
the most sack in school history, until Derek
Barnett arrived. Barnett broke White’s record
of career sacks at the University of Tennessee
and yet, the pro scouts aren’t sold on the
Volunteers defensive end.
And that’s completely fine to me! If teams
that are picking in the top 10 aren’t buying
stock into Barnett, the Eagles will be fortunate
to land him at 14th overall.
You may be thinking, “the Eagles don’t
need a defensive lineman, we need a running
back and a corner!” You’re absolutely right!
The Eagles do need to address those positions
but the Eagles shouldn’t draft players
based on need. They must draft the best
players available, and Barnett could be that
player when the Eagles are on the clock.
Teams that draft based on need turn to the
Cleveland Browns.
In this year’s draft the Eagles have eight
draft picks. In my mock draft I have the
Eagles selecting Derek Barnett in the first
round at 14th overall. In the second round,
the Eagles hold the 43rd overall pick and
with that, I think the Eagles will select a CB
from the University of Florida, Jalen “Teez”
Tabor. Yes, Tabor ran a slow 40-yard-dash
at the combine and his pro day, but just
watching him play at Florida, he never let
the opposing WR’s get the best of him. The
guy is simply a playmaker.
Obviously, we’ll have to wait and see what
the Eagles do in the draft, but in the first
round, the Eagles have many viable options.
They’re in a good spot at 14th overall, but
their philosophy should be to pick the best
player available, not draft a player based on
need.

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