If the season began today and the Eagles made no further moves, then this squad would be lucky to get nine wins. The tough schedule coupled with the inexperienced of many of the players will lead to a much weaker team than in years past. On top of that, Kevin Kolb may turn out to be Bobby Hoying 2.0, forcing the Birds to turn to Vick or someone else.
The last few years have been easy to put a finger on, so with an unpredictable draft coming up that will surely revolutionize the face of the team, we’ve decided to reach outside and talk to one of our favorite Eagles bloggers about what the team needs to do to succeed.
Eagles Couch, as described by it’s owner Bill Buckminster, is “one fan’s pathetic attempt to analyze the Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL from the comfort of his own couch.” I have to disagree with him on the pathetic part, especially since I find myself agreeing with him quite a lot. But that could just make me pathetic as well.
This year’s three night prime time draft extravaganza begins tonight at 7.30pm. While the Eagles have 10 picks across all of the rounds, in classic team fashion they are expected to make some trades to move around the board and address their many needs. Bill, aka Mr. Couch, was kind enough to answer a few questions about what we can expect.
Phinally Philly: What are some of the holes that the team has to address in the draft?
Couch: Safety, corner, offensive line, and defensive end are the top priorities. They’ll probably grab a linebacker and a quarterback in the late rounds too. Andy also can’t resist just loading up on late round lineman on either side of the ball.
PP: Which players do you expect the team to go after?
C: Unfortunately, I don’t know much about college ball. I can’t get into anything that’s decided by polls. When they start a playoff system, I’m all about it. I’ve read that the safety Eric Berry is one of the top 4 can’t miss prospects of the draft. We’d have to trade up to top 5 or 6 to get him. Otherwise it feels like the Birds will trade up to the mid-teens and draft Earl Thomas out of Texas. One late round sleeper I would keep an eye on is Armanti Edwards out of Appalachian State University. He’s a great multi-dimensional quarterback out of Division 1-A who be a perfect fit for the wildcat offense when the Birds finally dump Vick in the pre-season. Full disclosure: I only know about him because I live about 45 minutes away from Appalachian State, and Division 1A does have a college playoff, which are fantastic.
PP: Who would love to see the Eagles pick up if they were going first? Why?
C: I would love to see the Birds go get Berry, but that would take a major power move. They would have to get up to the 6 spot at a minimum. They would have to give up a 2nd round pick, but not necessarily the pick they got for McNabb or possibly next years first rounder. It would be out of character for Reid to make such a bold move, but this off-season has been very out of character. It does feel like Andy is going to want to go all out this year and prove that he can still win without McNabb.
PP: Do you expect the team to trade up (or even trade down)? If so, what would their reasoning be?
C: I’m sure the Eagles will be trading all over the place during the draft. It’s been a hallmark of the Reid era. They seem to trade too much. Almost like they are trying to prove to everyone else how brilliant they are. They’ve stockpiled a lot of picks in the first three rounds this year, and it sounds like a lot of other teams are eager to move down in the draft. It looks like they’ll trade up in the first round. They coveted a top 7 pick in the 2nd round of the draft, so they are not moving the McNabb pick. With the new draft schedule, they’ll have almost a full day between the first and second round to reexamine their draft board and make that 37th pick.
Couch is right – expect the Birds to move all over the place during the draft. We’ll see the team nab some expected the players, and we’ll see some “oh shit” moments as well. I wouldn’t be shocked if a quarterback is picked either, but let’s hope that guy is not Tim Tebow. If there are some good corners, safeties, and offensive linemen in the midnight green by Saturday night, then this will have been a good draft.