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November 19, 2018

The Eagles' five biggest needs in the 2019 NFL Draft

Eagles NFL
111918FletcherCox Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

Fletcher Cox needs help.

For those of you who have already checked out on the Philadelphia Eagles' 2018 season after the drubbing they received in New Orleans on Sunday, there's always the offseason. Of course, "there's always the offseason" discussions skipped a year in 2017, but we're right back there, before Thanksgiving no less, one season later.

Let's start by looking at the Eagles' top five needs in the 2019 NFL Draft.

1) Defensive tackle

The 2019 NFL Draft has all the makings of being one of the best interior defensive line drafts ever, which is fortunate for the Eagles, who badly need help at that spot. The pu pu platter of defensive tackles the Eagles have plopped down next to Fletcher Cox this season have stunk out loud. 

Cox is an elite player, but when the guy next to him can't beat one-on-one blocking, like, ever, opposing offenses can just give Cox extra attention. It is imperative that they add a player who can either keep opposing offensive lines honest, or beat one-on-one blocks and cause disruption when they double Cox.

2) Defensive end

Brandon Graham is scheduled to become a free agent, while Chris Long will turn 34 next year, and Michael Bennett just turned 33. There's a chance that all three guys are gone next year. Derek Barnett looks like a decent starter at one spot, but beyond him, what else is there? Josh Sweat remains a developmental project, and that's pretty much it. The Eagles need to fill the pass rusher pipeline.

3) Wide receiver

The Eagles' skill players on offense are slow. What they lack is a speedy playmaker capable of makes big plays down the field and opening up the intermediate areas of the field for Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery. It's pretty clear that Nelson Agholor isn't that deep threat, and it's even clearer that Shelton Gibson isn't either. 

Playmakers needed.

4) Cornerback

Heading into the 2018 season, it appeared as though the Eagles had an abundance of young talent at corner. In Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, and Avonte Maddox, they had five guys under the age of 25 with a mix of experience and promise. 

Fast-forward ten games into the 2018 season, and Mills has gotten roasted deep plenty, Darby has a torn ACL, Jones cant stay on the field, and Douglas has been downright bad. The only player among the group who has had a positive season has been the rookie, Maddox.

Going forward, in theory, Mills and Jones could be the outside corners with Maddox in the slot, but the Eagles still need depth, and if they can upgrade on Mills, they should.

5) Running back

I would take literally every other teams' stable of running backs over the Eagles' current stable of backs, in a heartbeat. Running back is a less important position than most, and (in theory) easy to find, but when you have the worst set backs in the league, you have to fix it.

Honorable mention: Everything else except tight end, and to a lesser degree, a developmental quarterback.


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