Philadelphia Eagles Should Focus More on NFL Draft Than Free Agency

Lane Johnson

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It just a few years ago when former quarterback Vince Young doomed the Philadelphia Eagles for the entire 2011 season. Young referred to the Philadelphia to the “Dream Team,” after the team spent wads of cash on many high-profile free agents. After a disappointing 8-8 season in 2011, followed by an embarrassing 4-12 campaign in 2012, the Eagles cut the players who turned this “Dream Team” into a nightmare, and decided to rebuild nearly the entire roster.

Since those two terrible seasons in Philadelphia, the Eagles have turned themselves into contenders in the NFL. In the first season under head coach Chip Kelly, the Eagles shocked the league with a 10-6 record and won the NFC East. After a first-round elimination in the playoffs, the Eagles are focused on building a roster that can contend for a championship next season.

Based on history, and the current roster, the Eagles should build this championship team through the NFL Draft, not free agency.

Every season, prolific NFL players hit the free-agency market, and are looking to make big money with another franchise. However, despite giving these players millions of dollars and signing a player who might make your team that much better, the Eagles shouldn’t go on a shopping spree in free agency. Based on Philadelphia’s past free agency moves, many of these players don’t end up panning out based on the money they are given. Players like Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominque-Rodgers Cromartie and even older players like Jevon Kearse, never really lived up to the free-agent contract they were signed for. There are plenty of reasons for this. Sometimes, the player just doesn’t fit in the system. Other times, which is most likely, a player cares more about the money than his performance on the field (just ask the Washington Redskins and Albert Haynesworth).

Now, when it comes to the draft, the Eagles would be drafting players who have never been paid for playing football. Many times, these athletes are drafted with a chip on their shoulder, wanting to prove they can play at the professional level. These college players simply have more to prove, and want it more than free agents. Putting talent aside, having players who actually want to play out on the field is a huge part of building a successful team.

When it comes to the Eagles’ draft history, many of their best players on the roster were drafted. Players like DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Trent Cole and Riley Cooper were all drafted by Philadelphia. In recent drafts, some of the Eagles’ best players were drafted. In 2012, which could be one of Philadelphia’s best draft classes, young stars like Nick Foles, Brandon Boykin, Mychael Kendricks and Fletcher Cox were all taken in the same draft. These players have all show potential to be stars in the NFL. Even in this past draft, Lane Johnson, Bennie Logan and Zach Ertz all made strides in their rookie campaigns. All of these players will be a huge part of Philadelphia’s success for many seasons to come.

If the Eagles want to really become a championship team, they should build this roster through the NFL Draft. Each pick could be another step closer hoisting the Lombardi Trophy next season.

 Justin Beaucage is a Philadelphia Eagles contributor for RantSports.com.  Follow him on Twitter @jbrantsports85, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network through Google.


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