Philadelphia Eagles: NFL Combine Provides New Targets For 2014 NFL Draft

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Philadelphia Eagles: NFL Combine Provides New Targets For 2014 NFL Draft

Eagles
Brian Spurlock - USA Today Sports

In their first season under rookie head coach Chip Kelly, the Eagles were surprisingly good. More surprising was the quarterback that led them to the playoffs. As Michael Vick battled with injuries and lack of production, Arizona alum Nick Foles stepped in and did a terrific job. He was extremely efficient and actually did more with less than Vick was able to do in the past few seasons. As long as they can get a deal done, he will have receiver Jeremy Maclin back this season and that should make the offense even more dynamic.

While the offense was good, especially toward the tail end of the season, the defense took a step back a year ago. They still need a pass rusher who can generate a pass rush off the edge as Trent Cole has declined in recent years. The secondary is another area of need for Philadelphia going into 2014. Every team could use depth in the secondary and that's no different in Philly. However, there are a lot of prospects that the Eagles figure to be interested in that could start in their secondary from day one. How they decide to allocate their picks in the secondary will be interesting to watch in April.

Another area that was usually a strength for Philadelphia, but that will now be a need is the offensive line. Now, with Foles being more of a pocket passing quarterback, offensive line play is much more vital. In the past, the offensive line could partly rely on Vick to keep plays alive with his legs and his quickness. Not to say that Foles doesn't have any quickness, but by design he is more of a pocket passer. Due to that change in style, the team will have to have a more solidified offensive line.

Beyond generating a pass rush with their front line on defense, they need to stack up some more bodies in the middle in order to prevent better against the run. It's really true for most teams that there's no such thing as too much depth on the offensive or defensive line. Philadelphia will need to add defensive lineman on the inside and outside in order to shore up that area. The same goes for the secondary. Philadelphia needs to add contributors to both the safety and cornerback positions. There are plenty of players at those positions that fit their needs.

In order for the Eagles to get back to the playoffs in 2014 and go even deeper once they get there, they will have to focus on the positional areas outlined here. How well the players they select fit their team needs and how they perform within the system will ultimately help determine the outcome of the Eagle's 2014 season.

Jacob Kornhauser is a writer for RantSports.com. "Like" him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or add him to your Google+ network.

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DE Kony Ealy, Missouri (Round 1)

Kony
Kevin Jairaj - USA Today Sports

Ealy may not be on the board when the Eagles are selecting, but if he is, he will be a perfect fit for Philadelphia. He's an extremely athletic edge rusher, which is exactly what this defense needs. He's projectable as a high sack total player who could immediately make an impact on the defensive side of the ball.

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S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama (Round 1)

Ha Ha
Eileen Biass - USA Today Sports

Clinton-Dix is more likely to be on the board when the Eagles are selecting and he would fit well into their secondary. He's excellent in coverage for a safety and can fly up and make plays with his hits as well. His play making ability would be a welcomed addition to an Eagles team that could stand to turn other teams over more often in 2014.

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CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech (Round 2)

Fuller
Bob Donnan - USA Today Sports

Fuller could be an interesting pick in the second round. He has a lot of potential upside and isn't a guy that everyone is talking about. If the Eagles are able to grab him, he can compete for a starting job in training camp. As they continually work to improve their secondary, Fuller would be a good initial piece.

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OT Jack Mewhort, Ohio State (Round 2)

Jack
Jeff Hanisch - USA Today Sports

Playing at a big time university will help Mewhort at the next level and his big body and aggressiveness will help him as well. The Eagles need more help up front now that Foles is their man and Mewhort could step in from day one. This pick depends on how much emphasis the team places on the offensive line in the draft, but if they place it as a high priority then Mewhort could be their man.

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DT Daniel McCullers, Tennessee (Round 4)

DT
Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

As a potential sleeper pick in the fourth round, McCullers would fit well into the Eagles' scheme. He could plug up running lanes up front with his physical play and large frame. Where Ealy would help improve their pass defense on the defensive line, McCullers would help their run defense. Adding both of these guys would instantly shore up a defensive line that has regressed in recent years.


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