The Eagles and Howie Roseman have pulled a lot of strings to get into the position they are as the Draft approaches in just over a month. After finishing with a 7-9 record — too poor for the playoffs, too good for a Top-10 pick — the Eagles made a bunch of beneficial moves to get back into the Top-10, trading up with the Miami Dolphins for the eighth overall pick.
Give Roseman credit to this point. The Eagles indicated the bulk of team needs and addressed them all in some way this offseason. In addition, they are in place to add a prime talent to the roster with the first-round pick.
That said, it is no secret that Roseman has struggled in this area before, and as the Draft approaches, perhaps he already knows what he wants to do, making some rather indicative comments on Monday about his potential Draft strategy. That said, the Eagles focus in the Draft ultimately remains unclear.
Roseman spoke openly on Monday about Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, a player the Eagles could certainly look into after trading DeMarco Murray and leaving them with Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles as the running back tandem.
"There’s this narrative that you can get running backs in the fifth, sixth, seventh rounds and undrafted free agency, but when you look back at the last ten years and the guys who were in the top 10 in rushing, those guys are high picks," Roseman said in an article on the Eagles website. "When you find a special guy at that position — a guy who can run the ball, pass protect and catch the ball out of the backfield — that’s a unique weapon. So I don’t think the position is devalued. You see that it is hard to get guys later and the top guys are coveted."
So it sounds like the Eagles have their sights set on Elliott, and that's a perfectly reasonable pick. But don't overlook the other options as the board unfolds.
Elliott is the perfect pick for the Eagles if he manages to get to them by the time they are on the clock at eighth overall. The same goes for quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Jared Goff, even with Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel signed to multi-year deals. If they happen to be on the board at eight, you would be foolish to pass up the opportunity.
But if the Eagles are drafting by need, offensive line is still where it's at, and similar to the two of the top offensive positions in terms of production, if a talent of higher value slips, you take it. So if Ronnie Stanley or Laremy Tunsil are on the board, you take them.
Ultimately, the Eagles stance is unknown because they are going to likely select the best player available — within reason — at the time. They won't draft a player at a position where they have great depth — don't expect a defensive lineman or safety early in the Draft — but won't hesitate to take a player they can mold into a quality starter or potential superstar in the coming years.
If that player happens to be Elliott, then consider it the right move for the Eagles. But the Eagles don't have to select Elliott to get it right.
Kevin Durso is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.