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April 15, 2017

What they're saying about the Eagles: Birds may not be done in free agency

Eagles NFL

The 2017 NFL Draft is rapidly approaching, but free agency isn't over. 

There are still players available to be signed – sure, not the prize players that were signed last month, but there are still some guys that can immediately contribute to a team with a number of holes to fill. 

And one of those teams, the Philadelphia Eagles, may be tempted to dip their feet into the free agent pool one last time before Thursday, April 27, when the first-round picks will be announced in front of the Art Museum. 

That's because one of their needs – one they thought they addressed by trading for defensive lineman Tim Jernigan – suddenly reappeared when DT Beau Allen suffered a pectoral injury while working out. And although he's had surgery, he's expected to miss the entire summer, and perhaps more.

In order to maintain depth along the line, the Eagles are interested in veteran defensive tackle Jared Odrick, according to ESPN. Here's more from ESPN's Tim McManus:

[The Eagles] lost Bennie Logan to the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency. To help fill the void, executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman moved back 25 spots in the third round to acquire Tim Jernigan from the Baltiomore Ravens. Just a couple days later, Beau Allen suffered a pec injury while working out and is expected to be shelved until at least September.

More news emerged this week, with ESPN's Jordan Raanan reporting that the Eagles have shown interest in Jared Odrick, as have the New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks.

Odrick, a 29-year-old free agent out of Penn State, is a seven-year vet who has played for the Miami Dolphins and, most recently, the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has 23 career sacks, including 5.5 in 2015.

Whether the Eagles' still have interest following the Jernigan trade (beyond perhaps a veteran minimum deal) remains to be seen.  []

The Eagles, of course, could also decide to target that depth in the draft. However, their needs stretch way beyond defensive line depth, and because of that, most analysts don't see them targeting that position in the early rounds. 

In fact, the line is the one area of the defense that's least in need of an upgrade. 

With that in mind, here's a look at what they're saying about the Eagles and the NFL Draft:

Eagles get a steal in second round

Brandon Lee Gowton | Bleeding Green Nation

You can see the full SB Nation writers' mock draft, here.

When I made my pick for the Eagles at No. 14 a few weeks ago, I took Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. For the Eagles’ second round pick at No. 43, I stuck with my Crimson Tide bias. I selected Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey.

Cornerback is the most obvious need for the Eagles. With this pick, Philadelphia potentially gets a long-term solution they’ve sorely lacked for years now.

There’s talk of Humphrey being a potential Eagles target at No. 14 overall. The Alabama cornerback plays with that feisty, physical confidence that defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz loves in his corners.

There’s no question Humphrey has flaws, but he’s only 20 years old. He was a productive player in only two seasons played for the Crimson Tide and he has good size and athleticism. The tools are there for the Eagles to coach him up.  []

A 'Perfect Pair?'

Daniel Jeremiah & Bucky Brooks |

The guys over at the Moving the Sticks podcast are selecting the "Perfect Pair" – the ideal first and second pick combos – for each of the 32 teams in the NFL. Recently, they took a look at the NFC East, specifically the Eagles. 

Here's a look at what they had to say:

Perfect draft pair: Clemson WR Mike Williams (Round 1, pick 14); Florida CB Quincy Wilson (Round 2, pick 43)

Brooks on Williams: Williams is a perfect pick for the Eagles as they build this offense around Carson Wentz. You want to make sure Wentz has playmakers and weapons on the outside. Williams is a big, physical, No. 1 receiver who is a playmaker down in the red zone. He expands the strike zone for Wentz.

Jeremiah on Wilson: They've got to get a corner. They'd be stoked, I believe, if they had Wilson fall in their lap. He ran mid-to-low 4.5s (in the 40-yard dash), so he's not a burner, but he's a big, physical cornerback.  []

Three's company, too

R.J. White  |

If two picks are good, then three picks are even better. Here's a look at what's R.J. White did a three-round mock draft. Here's what he sees the Eagles doing in the first round:

14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota)

Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State: The Eagles likely would have interest in moving down from here before adding a cornerback, as there should be plenty of quality options at the position later in the first round. But with three quarterbacks off the board, I don't see the team looking to trade out of this spot. Conley is in the mix to be the second cornerback off the board, and that should get him a spot in the teens. He'll have the flexibility to fill whatever role needed in Philadelphia, where the Eagles lack a quality No. 1 cornerback.  []

More interesting, however, might be the three players on whom they passed (and also, coincidentally, went in the next three picks): 

15. Indianapolis Colts – LB Reuben Foster, Alabama              
16. Baltimore Ravens – WR Mike Williams, Clemson
17. Washington Redskins – RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford

Here's a look at what White has Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas doing with their second pick of the draft (43rd overall), which he actually has them trading to the Chargers along with their fourth-round pick (118th overall) in order to move up to 38th overall:

38. Philadelphia Eagles (from L.A. Chargers): Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee

The Eagles trade the No. 118 overall pick to move up five spots and land Kamara, a three-down talent at running back who will headline a committee and get 18-20 touches a game.  []

And with their third-round pick, acquired in the Timmy Jernigan trade, White has the Eagles finally targeting a wideout:

99. Philadelphia Eagles (from Baltimore): Chad Hansen, WR, California

The Eagles added two receivers at the top of their depth chart this offseason, but neither is guaranteed to stay long term. Hansen has taken over games in the past and could develop into a starter.  []

Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin

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