Philadelphia Eagles NFL Draft Fantasy Preview
The Super Bowl champs seem well-stocked heading into the draft
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The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles were quite the surprise last season. No one expected the jump in production from Carson Wentz in his second season. In fact, his touchdown total of 33 was the big reason for the Fantasy success of the offense. Wentz did not you away from his yardage stats on a weekly basis but was almost a lock for multiple touchdowns. Coming back from a late-season ACL injury, Wentz may get off to a sluggish start in 2018. Nonetheless, you have to assume there will be a regression in touchdowns. If he doesn’t counter that with an improvement in his passing yardage, then justifying Wentz as a high-end QB1 in Fantasy will be a tough argument to make.
In the backfield, Jay Ajayi will be looking to take on a bigger role after the mid-season trade to Eagles. Towards the end of the season, Ajayi started to find his way and look like the player many thought they were drafting when he was with the Dolphins. His ability as a three-down back is very intriguing and should have him as an RB2 in drafts. His counterpart in the backfield, Corey Clement, has a lot of upside and is a player that the team is very excited about. If anything were to happen to Ajayi, Clement could become a player with RB1 upside. Until them, his touches will be capped, also limiting him to Flex/RB3 value in Fantasy.
Going into the draft, the Eagles have suddenly become one of the more complete teams in the NFL. They have a great set of starters on both sides of the ball, so look for them to just build on depth in the draft. Additions at linebacker and tight end are likely with the players lost in free agency.
Team Needs: LB, TE, OL
Projected Top Three Picks
First Round: Justin Reid, S Stanford
Fourth Round: Jerome Baker, LB Ohio State
Brandon Parker, OT North Carolina A&T
With the limited picks that the Eagles have, the players they select must have some type of ability to find a spot on the team. Although he is not at a position of dire need, Justin Reid is a prospect that is hard to pass up at the end of the first round. Reid’s size/speed combo can allow him to be comfortable in man coverage while he also has the ball-hawking skills to create turnovers on the back end. His has the ability to be an early starter and also gives the Eagles some flexibility in their secondary. Keep an eye on Reid on the waiver wire in IDP formats for later in the season.
Jerome Baker is a linebacker with good range and the speed to chase down plays on either side of the field. Baker also possesses plus skills in coverage either in man or zone. Baker will spend a majority of his rookie season trying to show the team that he can compete for a starter’s role the following season. Otherwise, you are looking at a player that will find a clear role in sub-packages on this defense. He will have little to no value in Fantasy for the upcoming season.
Brandon Parker presents the Eagles with an offensive line project that they will have to coach up to reach his potential. Parker’s technique and strength are not yet on the level to keep up with NFL talent pass rushers. But as he fills out and develops strength, Parker could be a player that could become an adequate NFL starter down the line.
Justin Reid Featured Image: (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
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