The Eagles are preparing to use the 20th pick in this year’s NFL draft. No one is sure for what, however.
According to CSN Philly, the Eagles are hinting that they will not use their pick on Landon Collins, the former Alabama safety. Though the Eagles are in need of a safety, and Collins is considered the best natural safety of a weak class, Collins often struggles with single-man coverage, which doesn’t fit well with the Eagles’ defensive scheme.
The Eagles have struggled to find a quality safety high in the draft. In both 2010 and 2012, the Eagles used a high second-round pick to draft Nate Allen, then Jaiquawn Jarrett, neither of which are still with the Eagles. Safety Ed Reynolds was drafted in the fifth round in last years’ draft, and failed to make the team.
Players like Earl Wolff, Kurt Coleman, and Victor Harris, or Quintin Demps and C.J. Gaddis, safeties who were drafted in the middle to lower rounds, either failed to make an impact on defense or only made an impact on special teams.
Some draft pundits now feel DeMarious Randall is a better fit for the Eagles, since he can run with receivers and tight ends, but struggles with “in the box” responsibilities. Many feel Randall can be taught those responsibilities.
CBS Sports is reporting that there is still a possibility that the Eagles will try to trade up to at least the second pick in the draft to try to land Marcus Mariota. ESPN’s Sal Paoloantonio thinks either the San Diego Chargers or the Eagles are willing to move up to where Tennessee’s second pick to draft Mariota. Recent rumors suggest that the Cleveland Browns are expressing interest in making a similar trade.
The Eagles’ coach, Chip Kelly, was at Oregon when Mariota began playing for the Ducks. The question, still, is why? The Eagles spent the offseason signing Tim Tebow, trading starting quarterback Nick Foles for Sam Bradford, keeping backup Matt Barkley and Marc Sanchez, who filled in for Foles last season while injured. One more quarterback could muddy the works. Or, give the Eagles trade ammunition, though Bradford is himself coming off another injury season.
Nick Aliotti, defensive coordinator with Oregon during Kelly’s tenure there, says there is a reason. “I know Chip and I have a lot of respect for Chip. He has a plan,” he said. “I’ve had no conversations with Chip so I’m not putting words in his mouth, but I really think that if he can get Marcus Mariota, he’s able to do exactly what he wants to do with his offense there in Philly.”
The plan will be known soon enough. However, there are other teams who are thinking about moving up to the number two pick. The Washington Redskins, New York Jets, and Chicago Bears are interested in moving from the numbers 5, 6, and 7 picks, respectively, to get to Tennessee’s pick to try to land Mariota.
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