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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor
The Eagles decided to fix their most glaring issue in the first round by taking burner Jalen Reagor at 21.
It is a pick that many fans have taken issue with but these fans, I am willing to bet, could not name a single other player on TCU’s offense. That’s because there is no one else. An inaccurate quarterback throwing to a single receiver without a run game. It’s a wonder his stats don’t pop out; he must be a bust.
It’s also ridiculous to see these fans pick on Reagor’s 5’11” height while they also clamored for the 5’9″ KJ Hamler, who has actually had injury issues, for the past few months.
The Birds, however, are happy with their pick and now sit waiting for pick 53 to make their next selection and the position of the player they take may force a move.
The Eagles suddenly have a packed roster at both receiver and in the secondary, so a pick at either of those positions may very well force a trade or release of a player like Alshon Jeffery or Rasul Douglas.
The good news is that with their glaring need addressed, the Eagles can now go with more of a best available approach.
As of now, the best available are safeties.
Not a single safety was taken in round one and that has left the board full of them.
Xavier McKinney leads the way and is by all means a first round value. Teams in need of secondary help were just too busy reaching for corners to take McKinney on the first night. The likelihood he continues to drop and makes it to 53 is slim to none, but his presence will help other safeties slide. Antoine Winfield, who may end up being the true top safety of the draft, and Grant Delpit will likely fall a few extra picks and it’s hard to believe that, even if all three of the top safeties are off the board, that neither of Jeremy Chinn or Kyle Dugger will be there.
Sticking to the secondary, a handful of impact corners remain on the board with Trevon Diggs and Jaylon Johnson having been passed over for corners who were considered deeper in the class and Kristian Fulton, who has seen his draft stock plummet in recent weeks, being a candidate as a potential steal.
If defense is their thing, plenty of front seven players are available in round two, lead by three players who were considered as potential picks in the first round up front. Jalen Reagor’s teammate, defensive tackle Ross Blacklock, remains on the board as one of the most promising interior defensive linemen in this draft. On the outside, a pair of B10 developmental rushers in Yetur Gross-Matos and AJ Epenesa passed through to the second round.
Behind the big guys, linebacker might be one of the most barren positions in round two. While there are guys that could be solid choices in round three, there is a fairly steep drop off after Logan Wilson and Zack Baun. That pairing may represent the only players sure to be an immediate upgrade at the position left on the board.
If the Birds plan to Beef up their offensive line and replace some of the depth they’ve lost, top tackles Ezra Cleveland and Josh Jones remain on the board as potential replacements for Big V. With Cesar Ruiz already taken, however, the Eagles may need to wait until round three if they plan to take an interior lineman.
Receiver is still not off the board, however, as the team looks for young playmakers to put alongside Greg Ward at the position to replace the aging Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson. Laviska Shenault, who may have been an easy WR4 had he been able to avoid injury, Denzel Mims, Tee Higgins and Michael Pittman remain on the board as receivers that could be replacements for Alshon Jeffery and should be able to contribute in year one while burner KJ Hamler remains on the board.
Still, receiver may remain easy to darft in the third, especially if the above guys drop and allow the Eagles to pick up underrated gems like Tyler Johnson or Bryan Edwards, who would each be ideal to replace Alshon and compliment Reagor’s ability.
The Eagles must wait for 20 picks to be made ahead of them and there are 18 impact players listed above that figure to be picked in the second round. At least one of the above will be available as long as three teams ahead of them reach or pick a tight end, running back or quarterback. It would be a shock if that were to happen and so fans should expect at least one more big name going to the Eagles on Friday night with a decent chance that it comes in the form of a defender that can play right off the bat or a receiver to sure up that position for the Birds.