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Philadelphia Eagles 2013 Draft Preview

By John McMullen, NFL Editor

(Sports Network) - With Andy Reid in Kansas City and Chip Kelly taking over one of the most talent-deficient rosters in the NFL, Philadelphia is in the rather easy position of going best player available throughout the entire draft. Need is not an issue for the Eagles since it exists all over the field on both sides of the ball.

Philadelphia has been a bargain-conscious, high-volume buyer on the free agent market, especially on defense since they are moving to a 3- 4. They are rebooting the entire secondary and need competent edge players.

Offensively Kelly, the former head coach at the University of Oregon, will bring his fastbreak approach across the country, something which requires speed and exceptional conditioning both at the skill positions and on the offensive line. The Eagles will also need a developmental Kelly-type QB at some point and must fortify an offensive line ravaged by injuries in 2012.

Basically general manager Howie Roseman could be blindfolded, throw at the dart board and still get help for his team.

Forget about West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith for the Eagles, however. That's likely nothing more than a smokescreen but edge rusher Dion Jordan, an old Kelly acolyte from Nike University, would be a nice fit with the fourth overall pick as would Central Michigan left tackle Eric Fisher. Oklahoma left tackle Lane Johnson could be a surprise since he has the type of athleticism Kelly covets.

The team is also reportedly high on Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib as well as Florida State signal-caller E.J. Manuel. One or both could be there at the Birds' 35th selection in the second round.

Philadelphia came away from the Senior Bowl impressed with Rice tight end Vance McDonald, and Illinois hybrid Michael Buchanan has gone public with the Eagles interest in him as a 3-4 option on the edge. Both of those players could be in play as Saturday picks.

2012 Record: 4-12

Top Needs: DB, QB, OL, TE

First Three Picks: No. 4, No. 35, No. 67

Number of Selections: 9 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 7, 7, 7)

RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2012 - Fletcher Cox (DT, Mississippi State); 2011 - Danny Watkins (G, Baylor); 2010 - Brandon Graham (DE, Michigan); 2009 - Jeremy Maclin (WR, Missouri); 2008 - none; 2007 - none; 2006 - Brodrick Bunkley (DT, Florida State); 2005 - Mike Patterson (DT, USC); 2004 - Shawn Andrews (OL, Arkansas); 2003 - Jerome McDougle (DE, Miami-Florida); 2002 - Lito Sheppard (CB, Florida).

04/15 16:57:40 ET

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