What's great about this year's draft is that it feels a bit like a bonus for the Birds. They're not rebuilding. They're not desperate. They're filling in holes. They're carefully selecting players than can make a team that by all accounts should once again win its division that little bit better. It's not about stopping the bleeding, it's about stocking up.
Or at least that's how it feels.
Still, other teams -- some of them quite good -- will undoubtedly make aggressive gains in the draft, and the Eagles can't waste the chance to get ahead.
WHAT THE BIRDS NEED
Being a Pitt man and a fan of local players, I'm holding out hope that Pittsburgh Panther Darrelle Revis will be available when the Eagles take the stage. Revis put together 11 starts as a true freshman in 2004, and got himself named a freshman All-American. In 2005, he took All-Big East honors with 41 total tackles, one tackle for loss, four interceptions, nine pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, and one blocked kick, then went All-Big East again the next year. On the side, he does some serious special teams work in the form of punt returns.
Who else? Michigan's Leon Hall, and -- maybe the most likely pick of all -- Texas's Aaron Ross. I believe any of these dynamic DBacks would have a serious chance of improving the Birds D in big ways.
Picking up Takeo Spikes was a huge step in the right direction, but the Eagles could benefit in a big way from a young stud linebacker ready to develop into a lean green wrecking machine. Sticking with my penchant for guys from close to home, I'm keeping fingers crossed the Birds get a shot at Penn State's Paul Posluszny. This guy has been called the greatest linebacker ever to play at Penn State. I think that's about all I need to say on the subject.
I'm not a gambling man, but something tells me there is huge upside to be found in taking a chance on Louisville's Michael Bush. Yes, he broke his leg. Yes, he missed this entire past season. But the talent was more than obvious the year before, and the size! 6'2", 247! Remember when the New York Football Giants tried to sell Tiki and Dayne as Lightning and Thunder, but really it was more like Lightning and A Slow Bag of Gardening Manure? Imagine really having that kind of double threat, with Westbrook and Bush. And imagine not having to watch Donovan risk injury every time the Eagles get inside the 5-yard-line.
WHAT THE BIRDS DON'T NEED
Another offensive lineman.
Another mediocre wide receiver.
A player with an outsized sense of his own importance, or behavioral problems that will inspire the NFL to sit him down for a year or two. Which, I guess, is another way of saying, "Any Miami Hurricane."
The Eagles are coming off a good draft, and the potential is there for another. Still, we all know that you never, never know. I for one will be tuning in Saturday.