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Coming off a promising season in which they won the NFC East title and found a franchise quarterback in Nick Foles, the Eagles appear one or two players away from serious NFC contention. The offense could use another playmaking pass catcher, but most of the needs are on the defense, where Philadelphia is still trying to complete its transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Outside linebacker is a clear issue with Trent Cole and Brandon Graham as misfit 4-3 ends, and most of the secondary could use upgrades, too.
Former second-round pick Nate Allen improved for Philadelphia in 2013, but he’s a free agent and he still wasn’t good enough for a team with Super Bowl ambitions. Patrick Chung, meanwhile, is basically a non-consideration for a starting role, and 2013 fifth-round pick Earl Wolff is still unproven. The Eagles to need to add competition at safety at the very least.
Brandon Boykin emerged as a strong nickel corner in 2013, so the Eagles are set in the slot at the very least. The two outside starters signed in free agency – Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher – were not as good as advertised, however. The Eagles should make it a priority to make one of those two expendable by the draft’s conclusion.
3. Outside linebacker
Trent Cole might not be in Philadelphia’s plans going forward, even after a strong finish to his first year as a 3-4 outside linebacker. Brandon Graham is a misfit in the scheme and therefore not an ideal replacement prospect, and free agent signing Connor Barwin finished his first year in Philadelphia with just five sacks.