The Eagles want to get back to another Super Bowl in 2019. To do that, the front office needs to absolutely nail the draft.
Nick Foles almost conjured up enough magic to get the Eagles back into the Super Bowl this season, but Philadelphia couldn’t find a way to defend their title. Fortunately for their fans, the roster is well-positioned to compete at a high level for years to come. It’s still imperative that they find some big-time talent in this year’s draft.
It’s no secret that the Eagles have to improve their pass defense next season. Finding at least one talented cornerback in the draft is an absolute necessity for the franchise. Drafting two corners capable of contributing this season would be even better.
Jay Ajayi’s season-ending injury also highlighted the issues the Eagles faced at running back. With all due respect to Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles, neither of those backs is capable of being an NFL starter. Head coach Doug Pederson would love to come out of the draft with a rusher capable of handling the bulk of the team’s carries in 2019.
In this piece, we’ll mock what the Eagles should do with each of their selections. We start with the right cornerback for Philadelphia to take in Round 1.
Round 1: Byron Murphy
The Eagles won’t go on the clock until the 25th-overall selection which means they’re going to face a long wait before they can make their pick. While they’d love to see a guy like Greedy Williams or Deandre Baker fall to them, neither guy is likely to slip that far. Snagging Byron Murphy would be a nice consolation prize.
There’s no guarantee he’ll still be available at No. 25 either, but there’s a decent chance he’ll make it to the Eagles. If he is still on the board, they should rush to the podium to select him. Murphy is a perfect fit for the way the Philadelphia defense wants to operate.
In particular, he’s a guy who flashes elite ball skills on tape. He might get burned a few times as a rookie, but he’s going to come away with more than his share of interceptions, too. In a league where defenses are increasingly defined by their ability to take the ball away from their opponents, Murphy could emerge as one of the most valuable corners in the game.