The Philadelphia Eagles 2013 season came to an abrupt end after being upset in the Wild Card round by the New Orleans Saints, so head coach Chip Kelly’s second season in the NFL came with a bit of added pressure from fans in Philly.
The Eagles started out 5-2 under quarterback Nick Foles and everything was looking good in Philadelphia; but in the Eagles Week 9 matchup against the Houston Texans Foles was injured causing Mark Sanchez to become the starter for the rest of the season in Philly.
The quarterback most famous for the “butt fumble” while playing for the New York Jets actually did well in his first full game. In fact, Sanchez led the Eagles to a 45-21 walloping of the Carolina Panthers in Week 10, leading to reports that Sanchez would be the quarterback of the future for the Eagles. These reports were a little premature—the very next week the Eagles went to Green Bay and were torn apart, losing 53-20. The Eagles would finish 10-6, 5-4 with Sanchez as the starter.
Despite matching their 2013 record, the Eagles were unable to win their division again. The Eagles actually led the NFC East all season until their loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 15. Then, in Week 16, a loss to the 3-11 Washington Redskins combined with a Cowboys victory knocked the Eagles out of the playoff race.
Although the Eagles didn’t make the playoffs in 2014, they did have a very large representation at the Pro Bowl. Nine Eagles players were selected for the Pro Bowl this past season (second to only the Denver Broncos who had 11 players selected), with six of those players coming from the offense.
The Eagles obviously have the talent necessary to win games in the NFL, they just need a few pieces to bring everything together. A couple of young defensive players and maybe even a quarterback from the draft could put the Eagles in a position to get back on top of the NFC East in 2015. Here are the Philadelphia Eagles biggest needs heading into the 2015 NFL Draft:
Quarterback: Chip Kelly can’t run his offense to its full potential with quarterback Nick Foles, and Mark Sanchez just doesn’t appear to be the future of the Eagles franchise. Kelly will need to ask himself if he is okay with only being able to use about 70-80 percent of his playbook in the future, or if he would like to find a new quarterback to move forward with. The Eagles are able to win with Foles at quarterback, but they could certainly do better. Kelly is one of the greatest offensive minds of the generation, so fans will definitely know when he has found the Eagles quarterback of the future. Foles is good enough for now, but if Kelly sees someone he likes still on the board around the middle of the draft he may choose to pick he up and start developing him for the future.
Secondary: Safety Malcolm Jenkins was one of the Eagles best offseason moves heading into 2014, but one player doesn’t make the secondary. Nate Allen is plain terrible and better off as a backup, but there is no real talent behind him to replace him. Earl Wolff looked to be a great player for the Eagles, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Cornerback Bradley Fletcher is a free agent this offseason and Cary Williams is horribly overpaid. The Eagles really need a solid safety to play along with Jenkins and two brand new starting quarterbacks. The Eagles really need to improve their defense if they want to improve their record in 2015, so their first few selections should all go towards helping the secondary.