Draft day 2014 is fast approaching and the Eagles say they have a plan in place. Fans still reeling from no reason given release of DeSean Jackson hope and pray it is a good plan. Jackson was after all a key part of the success of the 2013 Eagles high flying offense.
In years past the Eagles used to draft for need - which means this year that would be a wide receiver but over the years the philosophy of drafting for need has also netted the team some real busts. How can any Eagles fan forget the likes of Danny Watkins, Jon Harris, Bernard Williams, Jerome McDougle and other former draft day busts.
Two years ago the Eagles embarked on a new draft plan. Instead of drafting for need they started drafting the best player available at the time. The new strategy has resulted in the Eagles drafting players who now play key roles as starters. Over the last two NFL drafts the Eagles have amassed seven starters out of seventeen picks.
Among the starters are:
- Lance Johnson drafted in the first round, 4th pick overall, last year.
- Fletcher Cox drafted with the 12th pick in 2012
- Mychal Kendricks, drafted in the 2nd, 46th overall in 2012
- Bennie Logan, drafted in the 3rd round in 2013, 67th pick overall.
- Nick Foles who was drafted in the 3rd round pick in 2012 with the 88th pick overall
- Brandon Boykin drafted in the 4th round in 2012 with the 123rd pick overall
- Zach Ertz drafted in the 2nd round in 2013 with the 35th pick overall.
The Eagles have obviously had a lot of success with drafting starters in the later rounds over the last two years, like Foles and Boykin.
The Eagles will need to have the same success this year as they had the last two years because they only have six picks in this years draft, unless, as Roseman hinted, they make some deals before draft day which bring them some extra picks.
There is also some pressure on the Eagles to find a suitable replacement for DeSean Jackson at wide receiver, a position Roseman says is, "the best group at any position in the draft," as stated in an article on SBNation.com.
Whatever happens in the draft Roseman expects to get at least three new started out of this years draft.