For instance, getting Jordan Matthews some help at wide receiver.

By Ben Sullivan

Forget the silliness of trading up to draft Marcus Mariota. The Eagles have other, far more pressing needs:

Wide receiver

Some Eagles fans would argue that quarterback is the team’s biggest need, even after the trade for Sam Bradford. And I wouldn’t put it past Chip Kelly to flip Bradford in a move up for Marcus Mariota. But as it stands currently, wideout is a more glaring hole. Jordan Matthews flashed the ability to handle a lot of volume as a rookie, but is primarily a slot receiver. Riley Cooper is one of the least effective starting wideouts in the game. 2014 third-round pick Josh Huff is intriguing but unproven. Kelly values size and agility in his wide receiver corps. Kelly’s wideouts also must be able to block.


Malcolm Jenkins solidified one of the Eagles’ safety positions last offseason, but Nate Allen left in free agency. Earl Wolff, Ed Reynolds and Chris Maragos haven’t proven to be starting-caliber commodities. Eagles DC Billy Davis utilizes his cornerbacks in press-man coverage, which places a premium on range in the deep middle.

Outside linebacker

The Eagles will promote Brandon Graham into a full-time role opposite Connor Barwin, but rush linebacker remains a needy position after last year’s first-round whiff on Marcus Smith. Davis’ defense would be in a lot of trouble if something happened to Graham or Barwin. Planning to jettison LG Evan Mathis and already having parted with RG Todd Herremans, the Eagles are also likely to target athletic interior offensive linemen in the draft. As Davis doesn’t seem convinced slot specialist Brandon Boykin can hang outside, perimeter corner is one more question mark at the position opposite new RCB Byron Maxwell. The current in-house options include Nolan Carroll and injury-riddled Walter Thurmond III.

Eagles Current First-Team Offense

QB: Sam Bradford

RB: DeMarco Murray

WR: Jordan Matthews

WR: Riley Cooper

TE: Brent Celek

TE: Zach Ertz

LT: Jason Peters

LG: Evan Mathis

C: Jason Kelce

RG: Allen Barbre

RT: Lane Johnson

Eagles Current First-Team Defense

LE: Cedric Thornton

RE: Fletcher Cox

NT: Bennie Logan

OLB: Connor Barwin

OLB: Brandon Graham

ILB: Mychal Kendricks

ILB: Kiko Alonso

CB: Byron Maxwell

CB: Brandon Boykin

FS: Earl Wolff

SS: Malcolm Jenkins

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