Jason Peter’s Health Could Shake Eagles Draft Board

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Published: April 8, 2013

Eagles Have Options with Pick

The Philadelphia Eagles hold the fourth overall pick at the 2013 NFL Draft. Many speculate the team will look to upgrade their offensive line position after a dreadful 4-12 season. Ignoring the fact that Mike Vick loved to hang onto the ball far too long, the Eagles offensive line did struggle to protect him on many occasions throughout 2012 season. The O-Line failed to push the pile on short yardage running plays and was exposed for it’s obvious lack of depth after most of the regular starters began to drop due to injury.

Fast forward to the present date with players at 100% and in a new offensive system, and the urgent need for offensive line help doesn’t look to be as bleak.

Eagles Pre-Draft Depth Chart

Philadelphia Eagles  Depth Chart

Chip Kelly hasn’t given the fanbase or media much insight in regards to the master plan for the upcoming season. Why should he really, yet with a decent amount of offensive line talent available in free agency last month, many were surprised the Eagles didn’t add O-line help with the abundant amount of cap space available. The team did add key pieces to the roster in a very Belichick-ish fashion, avoiding big money egos and finding smart productive players that can be slotted into important new roles for the team.

..It ain’t going to be easy getting my spot. -Jason Peters.Jason Peters, once the cornerstone of the offensive line, gave a very convincing yet brief press conference to the media-vultures about his health and role for this upcoming season . Despite the consensus notion that the team is desperate for offensive line help, players like Jason Peters, Todd Herremans and Evan Mathis are all considered elite within their position when healthy. Label makers have already started to spell out the word “Bust” for former 1st round pick Danny Watkins. His attitude and love for the game came into question last season, yet a fresh new coaching staff could breathe new life into the kid this season.

We have been told not to compare or expect the Chip Kelly Oregon Ducks offense in Philly this season. Granted it is safe to say the hurried tempo and quick movement of the ball will be a staple of the team’s offensive attack. This does change the way the team now recruits and trains offensive line talent. Players need to be leaner with more endurance and stamina in this system. Size, footwork and strength are always important, but arguably a “Gym-Rat” would be a better fit in this hurry-up offense than some 375lb blob. That could mean the team is eye balling some mid-round talent to compete at the guard and tackle depth positions.

As far as investments go, I personally believe building a team through around the strength of an offensive and defensive line is always the smartest move. For the Eagles to draft a player like Luke Joeckel from Texas A&M (if available) or Eric Fisher from Central Michigan would be setting themselves up for the future. Which ever rookie selected could get plugged into the O-line at guard for this season and would be the insurance piece for Jason Peters if he isn’t the player he once was.

On the flip side of the line, the same could be said for defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd of Florida. This explosive three-technique defensive gem would help the Eagles transition from a 4-3 defensive scheme into the 3-4 (4-3 Under) a lot smoother. Even if the Eagles have Fletcher Cox fitted for that spot, either he or Floyd could play elsewhere along the line.

The Eagles have options and are really wide open at what they could do with the fourth pick overall. Added depth to either the offensive or defensive line would certainly be smart picks that will help the team in so many ways throughout the Birds 2013 season.

Although, I see things in a different light.

My Prediction: OLB Dion Jordan from Oregon.

Eagles 2013 Draft Picks

Round 1, Pick 4 (4)
Round 2, Pick 3 (35)
Round 3, Pick 5 (67)
Round 4, Pick 4 (101)
Round 5, Pick 3 (136)
Round 7, Pick 4 (210)
Round 7, Pick 6 (212) (From Browns)
Round 7, Pick 12 (218) (From Buccaneers)
Round 7, Pick 33 (239) (Compensatory)

The Eagles have never had a great linebacking core. Andy Reid had a bad history of throwing random fringe players into starting roles at the linebacker position. The team more often than not got torched because of it. Trying to convert the current LB’s and DE”s into active functional 3-4 LB starters is more wishful thinking than it is a reality. DeMeco Ryans has already been sent packing for not fitting a 3-4 scheme. That’s how the Eagles acquired him from the Texans. Ryan’s along with fan favorite Trent Cole may seem like a fish out of water in this 3-4 new defensive system. Add to the fact that Connor Barwin (hipster by the way) had a very poor statistical 2012 season, and you have a unit of huge question marks that could use a boast.

Chip Kelly knows Dion Jordan really well and despite the fact it will seem like a homer pick if they do draft him, no other player could hit the ground running faster than this fluid 6″6 monster linebacker in the Eagles new defensive scheme.

Other Reasons I picked Jordan:

  • E.J Manuel to me, would fit the Chip Kelly system better than Geno Smith.
  • Great Offensive Line depth in this draft class, the team could still add talent in the 3rd even 4th round.
  • Eagles currently have Starters at all O-line and D-line positions penciled in, but the linebacking core has many left over 4-3 players trying to learn a new system. A proven 3-4 LB is needed now.
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