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NFL Draft 32 for 32 - Philadelphia Eagles


A year after the franchise's first Super Bowl win, the 2018 season was a bit of a letdown. The offense struggled to maintain any form of consistency. Carson Wentz fell back to the pack last season with a solid but not spectacular performance. In fact, the team seemed to rally as a whole once Nick Foles took over for Wentz due to injury. Wentz was less aggressive in getting the ball down the field in 2018 and it showed in his production over the year. In 11 games played, his highest finish in weekly production in fantasy was 7th in Week 8. He seemed to play hesitant at times in his return from the ACL tear as he was looking to get the ball out of his hands fairly quick (aDOT dipped to 8.1 from 10.3 in 2017).

With Nick Foles now in Jacksonville, there is no fall back plan for the Eagles. It will be win with Wentz or bust. If the team wants to get back to their winning ways, Wentz will have to take more chances down the field. He has the weapons to utilize and has shown the ability to be a top tier QB in fantasy. He will likely be a QB that goes later in drafts based on last year's production but has all the capabilities in this offense to vault back up to being a weekly QB1.

When it comes to the backfield for the Eagles, it was a headache for fantasy owners in 2018. Once Jay Ajayi went down to injury, it was a revolving door as to who the Eagles running back would be that week. Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, and Josh Adams all had flashes that would provide owners with Flex plays, but no player actually stuck as the lead guy. That could change in 2019 with the acquisition of Jordan Howard. If given the volume, Howard could perform rather well in this offense and behind a good offensive line. He is a volume back that only gets better the more he touches the ball and the Eagles, under Pederson, have mostly been a committee backfield. So don't exactly count on Howard pushing for low-end RB1 status as the team will surely have a plan with a rotation. He should be viewed as no more than a low-end RB2 currently, with a slight bit of upside.

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Top Three Projected Selections

First Round- Josh Jacobs, RB Alabama (25th overall)
Second Round- Rock Ya-Sin, CB Temple (53rd)
Johnathan Abram, S Mississippi State (57th)

Remaining Picks
Fourth Round- 127th, 138th
Fifth Round- 163rd
Sixth Round- 197th

 

Needs Analysis

Heading into the draft, the Eagles have needs in a few areas, with most of them being on the defensive side of the ball. The back-end of the defense was a bit of a disaster throughout most of the 2018 season and could use some improvement. But as is the case with this front office, look for them to employ a "best player available" mindset with their picks.

Even after the trade for Jordan Howard, the team has continued its flirtations with Josh Jacobs and the infatuation seems to be real. Jacobs would present the team with a back that can handle a three-down role if called upon. He has the prototypical size and skill-set that could make him a higher pick in this draft, but the lack of workload in college may be seen as a red flag. In his time on the field, Jacobs has shown great vision as a runner that can hit a gap then continue on with a burst. If he improves his tempo he may develop more elusiveness to his game. He also has a knack as a pass catcher, which would benefit him early as a complement to Howard. Jacobs has all the makings of an elite RB in fantasy but may be limited early in his career by lack of snaps in this offense. The landing spot will hinder his value in redraft leagues for 2019 but is virtually a must-own for anyone that takes a shot on Howard. As for dynasty owners, you will likely see Jacobs as one of the first names called upon during rookie drafts.

With their next pick, the Eagles jump into the secondary by picking Rock Ya-Sin. He is a cornerback with good size for the position. But he lacks the experience that some teams may like coming out of college. His strength and toughness overshadow his inabilities in certain areas. But all of his shortcomings can be brought out by proper coaching. If he is coached up properly, Ya-Sin could develop into a quality starting corner for this team for a number of years.

Johnathan Abram could be a great pick at safety for the Eagles as he fits in with a need right away. He has the size-speed combo that teams covet and the demeanor of a player looking to prove something. He can play back in coverage of drop down and fit in as a nickel linebacker if need be. His play-style benefits more as a run defender due to lack of ball skills, but a player of his caliber will not disappoint to break up a play downfield. He should play right away for the Eagles and be a key contributor for a defense looking for a tougher mentality.

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