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Eagles Free Agency and Draft Strategy 2017

Ryan Krouse, '19, Staff Writer

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The Philadelphia Eagles started into the 2017 offseason with many needs to be addressed. The team had come off of a below average 7-9 season highlighted by the promising play of rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. Despite their security at the quarterback position, the Eagles had a deficiency of capable running backs and receivers on the offensive side of the ball. The Eagles also needed playmakers at the cornerback position to help solidify their efforts on defense. Prior to the 2017 NFL Draft, which will be held in Philadelphia, the Eagles looked to fill some of their holes in free agency. The team focused specifically at the wide receiver, where they signed Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Jeffery, who previously played for the Chicago Bears, is slotted to be the Eagles number one receiver. He has been an elite player in the league when on the field, however he served a four game suspension for performance enhancing drugs last season and also has been known to be injury prone at times. Torrey Smith, the former Baltimore Raven and San Francisco 49er, is set to be Carson Wentz’s deep threat after signing a 3 year, $15 million deal. The 6’1” 28 year old ran a low 4.4 second forty yard dash at the NFL combine and also showed his leaping ability by posting a 41 inch vertical jump. His athleticism will complement the other wideouts nicely.

With the holes at wide receiver filled, the birds will probably look to add a running back and at least one cornerback in the draft. If the Eagles choose to pick a running back, Dalvin Cook is an intriguing option. The former Florida State Seminole is coming off of a great year in which he carried the ball 288 times while racking up 1765 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. He has also proved that he can catch the ball out of the backfield by posting 33 receptions for 488 yards and 1 touchdown. If he can produce at the next level, he would be able to take pressure off of the passing game, which is something the Eagles did not do much of in 2016.

gles did not do much of in 2016. If the Eagles choose to focus on addressing their cornerback need in the first round, Sidney Jones and Marlon Humphrey are possible options. Jones is coming off of a great junior year at the University of Washington and was being scouted as one of the top corners in this draft class. However, he injured his left leg at at his pro day and the severity of his injury might drop his draft stock. Humphrey, a redshirt sophomore, helped lead the Alabama Crimson Tide to a National Championship appearance where they ultimately lost to the Clemson Tigers. He is known to be a very good athlete, but sometimes relies on his physical abilities too much and plays a scrambling style of defense. There is no denying the fact that all three of these athletes are very talented, and it will be up to the Eagles to decide which way they want to go.

This upcoming season will reveal how the Eagles hope to approach their next season, and what happens now will dictate the outcome of this next year. Hopefully the birds will be able to snag some athletes that can leave an impression on Philadelphia and fans everywhere.


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Eagles Free Agency and Draft Strategy 2017