Philadelphia Eagles: What position should the Eagles target at 32?

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

Now that the Philadelphia Eagles are on top of the world, they have to fight to stay there. The first step in defending the throne is through the NFL Draft.

Last year in the City of Brotherly Love, the Philadelphia Eagles started their incredible journey to Super Bowl 52 on the Rocky Steps at the NFL Draft.

Many of the rookies from the team’s 2017 draft class made plays when they mattered most, especially in the biggest game of the year. First-round pick Derek Barnett recovered arguably the biggest fumble in Eagles history to ice out the game and undrafted free agent Corey Clement recorded his first 100 receiving yard game against the stout Patriots defense.

No matter what round a player is taken in or what school they attended, the NFL Draft is the time where difference makers are taken. And the best part about last years draft class for the Eagles? They aren’t even at full strength just yet, as second-round lockdown cornerback Sidney Jones missed all but one game last season, and fourth-round selection Donnel Pumphrey, the NCAA’s all-time leading rusher spent the entire season on IR.

More from Philadelphia Eagles

Between new free-agent acquisitions and the 2017 draft class’ sophomore campaign, there aren’t a ton of holes to fill, but the Eagles need to continue to draft well in order to stay on top of the football world. Having the 32nd pick doesn’t give the Eagles a ton of options to secure a bluechip prospect, but there will be plenty of players who could become impact players for the team both now and in the future.

For as great as the offensive line performed last season there’s always room for improvement. Injuries depleted the Eagles depth chart and forced players like Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Chance Warmack into bigger roles. Though things ended up working out for the Eagles, it would be wise to try and stock up on the front line again. Jason Peters is coming off of a major injury and is near the end of his career, so trying to find his replacement may be the right decision.

There are a few top level talents on the offensive line in this draft class who could be available at 32, like University of Texas tackle Connor Williams, the team has options if they choose to go tackle. Protecting franchise star Carson Wentz needs to be on the front office’s mind at all times, so it may be time to build the youth of the front line.

Related Story: Philadelphia Eagles: Is Connor Williams the Eagles next left tackle?

Another option other than drafting an offensive lineman would be taking a linebacker in the first round.

Much like the offensive line, injuries really hurt the Eagles’ linebacking core in 2017, as star middle linebacker Jordan Hicks ruptured his Achilles tendon in November, and after that, the revolving door at the position didn’t make many plays. If Hicks comes back healthy, a new linebacker could either slide into the spot vacated by Nigel Bradham’s possible departure in free agency or challenge weakside linebacker Mychal Kendricks for playing time. Either way, taking a linebacker would improve the depth at the position as well as bringing in a young playmaker to groom for a larger role that may not be available during their rookie season.

Next: Philadelphia Eagles: Malik Jefferson is a perfect fit in Philly

The Eagles may not find a franchise-altering player at the end of the first round, but they can find a player that can come in and make a difference. For a team with championship aspirations, the NFL Draft is the first chance for a franchise to alter their trajectory. If successful, a great draft could help to set up a franchise for years to come, but if a team makes mistakes, it could set a franchise back for years. The Eagles are in a great place moving forward, as their roster has very few holes to fill, but to remain on top they’ll need to draft well to make a run at another Lombardi Trophy.