Here is what the national media have to say about the Eagles as we inch closer to the 2015 NFL Draft.
Jenny Vrentas of MMQB.com asked Rex Ryan about how the LeSean McCoy trade went down:
The group had just wrapped meetings and were on the back deck, drinking cabernet and smoking cigars, when [Bills GM Doug] Whaley’s phone rang. “Any interest in LeSean McCoy?” a representative from the Eagles asked.
Philadelphia was looking for draft picks, and without a 2015 first-rounder the Bills didn’t have much ammo to make an offer. But Whaley told the Eagles rep, “Just do me a favor and look at our roster.” The Eagles called back and told him, “Kiko Alonso.” The straight-up deal—Alonso, a promising young linebacker who missed ’14 with an ACL tear, for McCoy, a two-time All-Pro running back—took 30 minutes, start to finish. “I’m not a red wine guy,” Ryan says, “but that day I drank red wine.”
Bill Barnwell of Grantland thinks Jaelen Strong is the ideal player for Chip Kelly in the first round:
Finally, a chance to write about the Eagles this offseason! Philadelphia’s dramatic roster turnover under Chip Kelly has left new quarterback Sam Bradford with little in the way of receiving options. The Eagles can expect more out of Zach Ertz, Jordan Matthews, and Josh Huff as they mature, but unless Kelly is counting on a bounce-back season from Riley Cooper or Miles Austin, the Eagles will need to add a wideout early in this year’s draft.
After these last couple of months, it seems silly to even guess at what Kelly might be planning. Given his previous predilection for tall players out of the Pac-12, though, Jaelen Strong looms as a possible fit for Kelly’s downfield passing attack. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that Strong was born and raised in Philly. If the Eagles do find a trade partner for guard Evan Mathis, they could also look for an interior lineman as early as the second round.
Frank Cooney of CBS Sports looks at the state of the Eagles roster and identifies Byron Jones as the best fit for them at 20:
Chip Kelly wants to get bigger and faster at every level of the defense and even with the additions of Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond via free agency, the Eagles still want to add another defensive back in the draft. And Jones at 6-1 and 200 pounds with a legitimate 4.3 40-yard dash has the size and speed dimensions that has Kelly’s attention and would be a logical plug-and-play prospect in Philly’s secondary.
Ross Jones of Fox Sports also likes the idea of Jones suiting up in midnight green, and thinks Strong and UCF WR Breshad Perriman could be fits in Kelly’s offense:
Jaelen Strong, WR: Strong, who played at Arizona State, is considered to be in the second-tier of wide receivers in this draft class, but the 6-foot-2, 217-pound wide receiver possesses some rare ability. Strong’s basketball background allows him to control his body and go up and get the ball amidst traffic.
Breshad Perriman, WR: Perriman has steadily been climbing up the draft boards since running a blazing sub-4.3 in the 40-yard dash at his pro day. Perriman, a big-bodied wide receiver from UCF, reportedly visited with the Eagles earlier this month.
Pete Prisco ranks the Eagles 12th in his latest power rankings, eight spots behind the Dallas Cowboys:
Chip Kelly has been wheeling and dealing this offseason, but is his team better? They traded Nick Foles for Sam Bradford to play quarterback, a move many questioned.
Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com thinks the Eagles must address their glaring need at safety, naming Landon Collins as a potential pick in the first round:
There might not be a safety the Eagles would want in the first round, but they can’t go into the season with Earl Wolff and his injured knee at the top of the depth chart. Whether they draft a cornerback and move Nolan Carroll to safety or simply take a guy such as Utah’s Eric Rowe or Samford’s Jaquiski Tartt on the second day, they have to improve at safety.
The signing of cornerbacks Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond helps ease concerns about the secondary heading into the season. However, the Eagles still could use another cornerback and a viable safety. Collins should be an option at No. 20; his instincts and toughness would be a welcome addition.
Don Banks of SI.com has the Eagles taking Collins in his latest mock draft:
The Eagles have a crying need for a talent upgrade at safety and just happen to find the draft’s best prospect at that position waiting for them. There won’t be a Marcus Smith-like swing and miss in Philly’s first-round work this year.
Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports mocked the all seven rounds of the 2015 draft and thinks the Eagles will pick Jake Fisher and Michigan WR Devin Funchess in the first two rounds:
The Philadelphia Ducks add another member. With Todd Herremans gone, Jason Peters in his mid-30’s and a ton of offseason trade rumors about guard Evan Mathis, Chip Kelly adds a powerful and agile offensive lineman to the fold … oh, and he knows the system.
Pairing with Jordan Matthews, the somewhat raw but exceptionally talented Funchess will aid the Eagles’ red-zone woes.
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