2014 NFL Draft: 5 Players Philadelphia Eagles Should Target With 22nd Pick

2014 NFL Draft: 5 Players Philadelphia Eagles Should Target With 22nd Pick

Kony Ealy
Kevin Jairaj - USA Today Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles were one of the NFL's biggest surprises of the 2013 season. Just a year after finishing 4-12, the Eagles won the NFC East with a 10-6 record under first-year head coach Chip Kelly. The Eagles were led by an explosive offense, but the defense lagged behind. The Eagles will need to shore up a few positions in 2014, especially on defense. Here are five players the Eagles should target with their first-round draft pick in May.

DE/OLB Kony Ealy, Missouri

Kony Ealy
Kevin Jairaj - USA Today Sports

DE/OLB Kony Ealy, Missouri

Kony Ealy
Kevin Jairaj - USA Today Sports

The Eagles are in desperate need of a pass-rushing DE/OLB. This is where Missouri's Kony Ealy comes into play. Trent Cole led the team with eight sacks in 2013, but he's over 30 years old, and he has an .6 million cap hit in 2015. The franchise will need to replace him with a young pass rusher through the draft. Ealy had 9.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss last season.

DE Dee Ford, Auburn

Dee Ford
Getty Images

DE Dee Ford, Auburn

Dee Ford
Getty Images

Again, the Eagles need a pass-rushing threat from the outside. Of all of the pass-rushing specialists in the draft, Dee Ford of Auburn has increased his draft stock the most since the college football season ended. Ford had an impressive Senior Bowl week, which culminated in two sacks in the Senior Bowl game itself. At just 6-foot-2 and 242 pounds, Ford leaves a lot to be desired in terms of size, but he's a dynamic pass-rushing threat.

WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State

Brandin Cooks
Brian Spurlock - USA Today Sports

WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State

Brandin Cooks
Brian Spurlock - USA Today Sports

Though the Eagles have a dynamic offense full of playmakers, the team might have to trade WR DeSean Jackson. Fellow receiver Jeremy Maclin is only on a one-year deal, which means wide receiver becomes a position that needs to be addressed through the draft. Because the Eagles like relying on speedy receivers, Brandin Cooks fits the mold of what the Eagles want. Cooks had the fastest 40-yard dash of any receiver at the combine at 4.33 seconds.

WR Odell Beckham, LSU

Odell Beckham
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WR Odell Beckham, LSU

Odell Beckham
Getty Images

The Eagles want speedy receivers. Though Odell Beckham is no Brandin Cooks in terms of speed, he ran a 4.43-yard dash at the Combine. That was the seventh-fastest speed of any receiver at the event. Beckham is an all-around threat as a returner and as a receiver. He broke LSU's single-season all-purpose yardage record with 2,315 yards in 2013.

CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State

Darqueze Dennard
Raj Mehta - USA Today Sports

CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State

Darqueze Dennard
Raj Mehta - USA Today Sports

The Eagles need to address their defensive deficiencies. They ranked dead last in the NFL in passing yards allowed. Cornerback is a concern. Many have Darqueze Dennard pegged as the second-best CB in the draft. If he lasts to the 22nd overall pick, the Eagles should show little hesitation in drafting the Michigan State product.


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