Positions of Need the Focus for Eagles on Day 2

With their quarterback locked up and selected on Day 1, the Eagles focus shifts to positions of immediate need on Day 2.

Granted, there’s not a lot they can do on Friday night either. The Eagles have just one pick on Day 2, the 79th overall pick in the third round. The Draft will be through 98 selections when Day 2 closes.

So with a lot of waiting to see what plays out, what could the Eagles do? As mentioned yesterday, knowing they were going quarterback in the first round, the offensive line and running back are on the Eagles radar with their next pick.

Here are a few names to keep an eye on as Day 2 progresses.

First things first, there are names that slipped out of the first round. While the Eagles pick will likely come long after these players have been selected, it’s worth watching to see how far these players slip.

The most notable is UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, who at one time was projected to go in the Top 10 but has slipped due to concerns with his knee from previous injury.

Linebackers Reggie Ragland from Alabama and defensive linemen A’Shawn Robinson, Kevin Dodd and Chris Jones are also potential first-round names that fell into the second round.

The first name that should interest the Eagles is guard Cody Whitehair from Kansas State. The 6’4”, 301-pound lineman is the best available offensive lineman left according to NFL.com and could almost instantly be plugged into the Eagles O-line.

Three other names to watch are offensive tackle Shon Coleman from Auburn, guard Christian Westerman from Arizona State and offensive tackle Jason Spriggs from Indiana. All three have similar size and fit a big need for the Eagles. If any of those names are on the board when the Eagles come up at 79, it will be hard for them to pass up.

That said, running back is an important position the Eagles are looking to address as well. The first round is not usually a breeding ground for running backs. It takes quite a talent to be selected high in the Draft at that position. Ezekiel Elliott of Ohio State was the only running back selected on Day 1, going fourth overall to the Dallas Cowboys.

That leaves a list of names worth watching. The second round is a place where a lot of teams like to shore up their running game, and there are at least four other teams with a need for a running back.

Heisman winner Derrick Henry from Alabama remains on the board as the best available, but with the Eagles picking in the third round, look more towards names like Paul Perkins from UCLA or Alex Collins from Arkansas. C.J. Prosise from Notre Dame and Kenneth Dixon from Louisiana Tech are two other intriguing names.

This may be the Eagles best bet. With so many teams needing offensive line help of some kind — 21 teams other than the Eagles are listed with offensive line needs according to NFL.com — compared to the limited number of teams potentially looking at running backs, the Eagles may be in position for a steal in the third round.

They might want to hope they can replicate the pick of Jordan Hicks from a year ago. Hicks was on the board then because of injury troubles, but proved to be a valuable pick in the mid-rounds for the Eagles.

Similarly, knowing that Carson Wentz will likely watch more than play in his first year with the Eagles, they are going to want to find a player that can make an impact in his rookie season. Grabbing one of the higher running backs on the board could do the trick.

That said, the Eagles cannot continue to overlook the offensive line and with so many teams showing interest in that area — six offensive linemen were drafted in the first round on Thursday — it may be best for the Eagles to take the best available at the position on Friday and save the rest of their needs for Day 3.

Of course, there is always the remote possibility of a trade, but given the number of assets the Eagles had to use to trade up for Wentz, there just may not be enough chips left for the Eagles to make a deal possible.

It is certainly going to be an interesting Day 2, as the Eagles wait and see how the board plays out and have to hope that it is in their favor.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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