Friday, April 27, 2007

Eagles can go with the flow on draft day

By Michael Rushton
Phanatic Magazine

Very few people know how the Eagles will approach the 26th pick of Saturday's draft. Could it be because Philadelphia still doesn't know?

Think about it. Outside of safety, the Birds don't have a real need this weekend. After all, as most women forget while shopping, there is a big difference between a need and a want.

The Eagles could use depth in the secondary, would like to add to their linebacking core, and would benefit with the addition of a big back. However,all are luxury requests, not pressing concerns.

Is there any position (again, outside of safety) that you don't feel comfortable about heading into next season, as far as the starters go? In actuality, the addition of Takeo Spikes really changed the complexion of the Eagles impending draft, as many thought the Eagles had to take a linebacker with their selection.

Even signing Kevin Curtis gave the Birds some flexibility this weekend, giving the Eagles a starter at a spot where they took the biggest hit this offseason.

Does that mean the Eagles should just trade away all of their upcoming picks?Of course not, but it is going to allow Philadelphia to draft the best player available without the annoying "need factor." Perhaps that is why it is hard to guess what direction the Birds will go in.

Take a healthy chance if Ted Ginn Jr. is available, or grab Brandon Meriweather if he is still around. Don't like the secondary help available by the time pick 26 rolls around? Take a depth-adder like Jarvis Moss, Paul Posluszny or Lawrence Timmons, if any of them are left.

No matter what happens, the Eagles are most likely going defensive. Based on the above philosophy, Philly can use their picks to begin grooming long-term replacements for some of their elder statesmen: Brian Dawkins, Jeremiah Trotter and Jon Runyan. However, the selection of both Winston Justice last year eliminates the need for an offensive lineman.

Still, while other teams are scrambling to decide which player available fills their biggest need, the Eagles can just sit back and let the help come to them.

But for what it is worth, I still expect them to make the safe(ty) pick.

Michael Rushton can be reached at mrushton@phanaticmag.com
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