The Philadelphia Eagles are expected to take a close look at three needs with the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft: defensive back, edge rusher, and wide receiver. Although the Eagles re-signed Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin, they could take a top wideout in the first round in order to replace DeSean Jackson. Meanwhile, the Eagles could use an impact pass rusher, and secondary is still a position of need. Michael Jenkins was a significant offseason signing at free safety for the Eagles, but I’ve never been a big fan of his and still view DB, specifically safety, as a need for this team.
Per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jimmy Kempski, the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock thinks that the Eagles could trade up for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Anthony Barr this year. Both players are top talents (projected top 15 picks) who would fill big positions of need for the Eagles, but I would only trade up for one of those two players.
Clinton-Dix is the best safety in the class, and he would be a top starter from day one for the Eagles and would hopefully prove to be a big upgrade. The Alabama product can play at either safety position, and he has all the physical tools to be an All-Pro caliber player if all goes well. He displays solid instincts, great ball skills, more than adequate coverage ability, excellent range, solid physicality, and he can play the run and pass about equally well. If I were the Eagles and the price is right, then I would consider trading up for him.
Barr, on the other hand, isn’t someone I would trade up for, because I think he’s too raw to move up for in this year’s draft. He would be a great pick for the Eagles at 22, but I don’t think he’s worth trading up for, especially since he is set to go higher than Clinton-Dix.
Mayock’s thoughts on Barr are very interesting, as the drafr guru stated his belief that Barr will not slide in this year’s draft. In fact, he calls the idea of Barr sliding due to concerns over his polish a “media perception”, and he thinks the UCLA product could be picked as high as No. 11. The Tennessee Titans could definitely use Barr’s tools and edge rushing ability at 11 as they build their new front seven under Ray Horton, but it will be interesting to see if the Eagles take him. I wouldn’t trade up for him, but he would be a good pick if he falls outside of the top 20.