Philadelphia Eagles: 5 players on Howie Roseman’s wish list

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
3 of 5
Philadelphia Eagles
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Draft a safety early

One pick before drafting Sheldon Brown in 2002, the Eagles plucked Colorado safety Michael Lewis at No. 58 overall. Depending on player availability, Roseman would be wise to draft another safety high on this year’s priority list.

Malcolm Jenkins will only be back with a boost in salary, which I expect will happen. He’ll be entering his age 32 season, however, and despite being one of, if not the most reliable player on the team, age will eventually catch up to the All-Pro. Likewise, all signs point to his backfield mate Rodney McLeod‘s exit as an unrestricted free agent.

Enter Kyle Dugger, hybrid safety/linebacker from Division II’s Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina. Similar to the role Jenkins serves in defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz‘s system, Dugger can easily slot in alongside Jenkins while also serving as his eventual replacement. draft analyst Lance Zierlein had this about Dugger:

"“It’s rare to find a safety with elite size, speed, explosiveness and production at a Power 5 school and almost impossible to find one at a Division II school. Dugger crammed the stat sheet full and used those elite traits to dominate the opposition. At times, he seems bored with his level of competition, but his engagement can be instant and urgent when it needs to be. He plays with controlled violence and carries an alpha demeanor on the field. He has soft hands and is rangy, but needs to train his eyes and improve his fundamentals before he’s coverage-ready. Dugger is a versatile, scheme-friendly safety who helps immediately on special teams and could develop into a talented NFL starter.”"

Many mock drafts have Dugger going in the second round, and the Eagles should certainly be in play for him at No. 53. Equipped with 10 picks currently, the Eagles have the capital to move up in the second round, if necessary.

The Eagles, who also have a need at corner with both Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby set to become an unrestricted free agents, could look to add CB in the draft. At this point, though, most signs suggest Roseman addressing this need via free agency, with the team already linked to several top options.

Either way, the team should look for their safety of the future this April, possibly sandwiched between two wide receivers.