The Philadelphia Eagles finished the 2009 season with an 11-5 record, and they have made several moves this off-season to improve upon that. However, they will attempt to do so with a new starting quarterback. Donovan McNabb has been traded to the Redskins, and in his stead the club will look to Kevin Kolb to lead them back to the playoffs.
Philadelphia acquired the 37th pick in this year's draft as well as a conditional 4th round pick in 2011 in return for McNabb. During his 12 year career with the Eagles, Donovan amassed 32,873 passing yards. He was a leader in the locker room, and the face of the franchise. While Kevin Kolb has shown the ability to be a very good passer, it's hard to overstate the impact that McNabb has had during his tenure with the team. It will certainly be a strange sight to see him don Washington's crimson and gold in 2010.
Staying on the offensive side of the ball, the team has re-signed C Nick Cole. Cole is expected to start the season as the first team center. G Max Jean-Gilles has also been re-signed and seems headed for a reserve role.
Philadelphia has also added to its backfield by signing RB Mike Bell of the New Orleans Saints. Bell's straight ahead running style could make him a productive short yardage back in Andy Reid's offense.
There have been fewer moves of note for the defensive unit. Restricted free agent Akeem Jordan will return in 2010, and he is the favorite to start at weak side linebacker.
The Eagles also traded CB Sheldon Brown and LB Chris Gocong to the Cleveland Browns. In return they acquired LB Alex Hall, a talented pass-rusher, as well as a 4th and 5th-round pick in this year's draft. Hall will most likely be used in a reserve role.
The team currently has six selections in the first four rounds of the draft. The departure of Sheldon Brown means that at least one of these will be used on a potential starting cornerback. Brown's play is still solid, but the club was unwilling to give him a lengthy contract extension due to his age.
Team needs and 2009 Draft results after the draft..
- Cornerback: Asante Samuel will start on one side of the field, but Philadelphia needs to find another starting cornerback in the draft. The Eagles generally play man to man in the secondary, so they will need to find a player who's skill set fits that system. This could very well be the first need they address.
- Defensive End: The addition of another capable pass rusher opposite of Trent Cole would alleviate some of the team's reliance on blitzes. In 2009 the Eagle's defensive unit struggled with getting pressure on the quarterback using just their front four.
- Outside Linebacker: Akeem Jordan and Moise Fokou are expected to start at this position, but the Eagles should still acquire more depth to guard against the potential effects of injury and ineffectiveness.
2009 Draft Results
- Round 1, Pick 19 - WR Jeremy Maclin (Missouri)
- Round 2, Pick 53 - RB LeSean McCoy (Pittsburgh)
- Round 5, Pick 153 - TE Cornelius Ingram (Florida)
- Round 5, Pick 159 - OT Fenuki Tupou (Oregon)
- Round 6, Pick 194 - WR Brandon Gibson (Washington)
- Round 7, Pick 213 - OG Paul Fanaika (Arizona State)
- Round 7, Pick 230 - OLB Moise Fokou (Maryland)