Overview: This offseason has paled in volume comparatively to last year’s post-lockout movement, but that makes sense. One, the team’s 8-8 season that followed last year's big splash in free agency was considered a disaster. And two, there are not a lot of glaring needs now. The addition of MLB DeMeco Ryans appears to be a possible steal as a great glue guy in the middle of the defense. But there will be some noise from the Eagles, who own an extra second-round pick (plus three sixth-rounders) and always are willing trade partners on draft weekend. The injury to All-Pro OLT Jason Peters certainly throws a wrench into the team's plans.
Need No. 1: Offensive tackle
This appeared to be a team strength until Peters suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon while working out in late March. His recovery time after his early April surgery is unknown, but it can be six months or more. That puts the start of his season in major jeopardy. The team likes King Dunlap, who is the next man up, but is he a 16-game starter? The depth now is in serious peril. The Eagles almost certainly will use one of their high picks on a tackle, and the only good news is that this happened with plenty of time before the draft to alter strategy. They run a zone-blocking scheme that favors quick feet over sheer mass and power in their linemen.
Need No. 2: Defensive tackle
Despite the fact that the Eagles have used high draft picks and spent big free-agent money in recent years on the defensive line, they always seek talent and depth here. More so than a pass-rushing end, the team could use a quick, penetrating tackle to play the gaps for the team’s upfield, attacking scheme. Andy Reid values building a team from the inside out, and he knows that the more defensive talent he has, the easier it will be for coordinator Juan Castillo to do his job. The theory makes some sense: build a strong, deep defensive line and suddenly the back seven will look a lot better. Plus, what’s the point in trading for Ryans if he doesn’t have gifted players shielding blockers in front of him? If they get that player, Ryans will have 150 tackles if he’s healthy.
Need No. 3: Quarterback
This is going to surprise some people. Yes, Michael Vick is the starter. Yes, Trent Edwards was signed and Mike Kafka, a 2010 fourth-rounder, remains on the roster. Yes, the depth at running back, tight end and offensive tackle must be bolstered. But Reid has been sniffing around college quarterbacks this offseason, meeting with Robert Griffin III at the NFL Scouting Combine and having a private workout for Ryan Tannehill. It’s nearly certain the Eagles will draft neither, but Reid is on the prowl. He knows he is financially committed in earnest to Vick for only one more season, after which the team can sever ties without much collateral damage. Edwards is a mere placeholder, and Kafka might have done enough to win over the offensive staff, most importantly Reid. Do not be stunned if they draft a QB relatively high up with an eye on the future.