For the first time since 1998 the Philadelphia Eagles do not have Andy Reid on the sidelines as he was let go after a disappointing 4-12 season and Chip Kelly got hired. At Oregon he offered a high-octane offense and gets the ability to do that with quarterback Michael Vick, Desean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Lesean McCoy.
The issue is defense and that will certainly get addressed and here’s how the draft might look.
First Round No.4: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Last season it was a struggle to protect Vick and Nick Foles allowing 48 sacks. There are rumors flying that he’ll actually get taken no.1 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs. If that does happen it means taking Luke Joeckel and the Eagles can’t go wrong by taking two of the best linemen in the draft.
Second Round No.35: Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
Taylor had a solid combine and this past season intercepted four passes, broke up nine passes, was in on 51 tackles, picked up 2.5 sacks and forced three fumbles. Played in nine games during the 2011 season registering 27 tackles, two tackles for loss, a .5 sack, an interception returned for a touchdown and six passes broken up.
Third Round No.67: Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State
In 2012 Thomas led the nation in interceptions and the Eagles need play makers in the secondary. He recorded 84 tackles, eight interceptions including three returned for a touchdown, had 12 tackles for loss, four sacks, five passes broken up and forced four fumbles. Did not play in 2011 due to injury. Played well in 2010 with 64 tackles, three interceptions, 3.5 tackles for loss, nine passes broken up and two forced fumbles.
Fourth Round No.101: Joe Kruger, DE, Utah
Last season the Eagles had two players tie for the team lead in sacks with 5.5. Kruger has the height at 6’6″ to make an impact even if he’s not able to get to the quarterback. For the Utes he recorded 30 tackles, eight tackles for loss, six sacks, an interception returned for a touchdown, forced two fumbles and blocked a kick.
Fifth Round No.136: Joseph Fauria, TE, UCLA
In order to succeed at the NFL level Fauria will need to improve his blocking. Provides an excellent redzone threat at 6’7″ and caught 46 passes for 637 yards and 12 touchdowns. 2011 he caught 39 passes to go along with 481 yards and six touchdowns.
Seventh Round No.210: Joe Vellano, DT, Maryland
Defending the run was an issue in 2012 as well. Vellano recorded 62 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, five sacks, forced two fumbles and intercepted a pass. His best season came in 2011 when he was in on 94 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, forced two fumbles, recovered a fumble and broke up four passes.
Seventh Round No.212: Shaq Wilson, OLB, South Carolina
He’s undersized to play the outside linebacker position, yet could move to safety. Wilson recorded 86 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and broke up a pass.
Seventh Round No.218: Nigel Malone, CB, Kansas State
Had a very good senior season intercepting five passes, recording 51 tackles, broke up nine passes and forced a fumble. His junior year was even better as he picked off seven passes, recorded 58 tackles and broke up 10 passes.
Seventh Round No.239: Bruce Taylor, Virginia Tech, ILB
His senior year was solid as he was in on 76 tackles, including 10.5 for loss, 5.5 sacks, five passes broken up and forced a fumble. Taylor’s best season came in 2010 with 91 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, six sacks and four passes broken up.