According to an early Tweet by @EaglesInsider, which was then separately reported by ESPN and USA Today, the Philadelphia Eagles signed OT Demetress Bell to a five-year deal today, plugging the hole left by the injury to Pro-Bowler Jason Peters.
Of course, whether the signing was good or not is a hot topic, but that’s for another piece. For now, I’d like to focus on an event coming up within the next three weeks: the NFL draft.
Even with Peters’ injury, many had the Eagles picking a defensive tackle like Fletcher Cox in the first round, including B/R’s Alexander Onuscho.
On the flip side, picking up Jonathan Martin or Riley Reiff if they made it that far wouldn’t have been out of the question, seeing the lack of depth the Eagles had at the position – King Dunlap, Todd Herremans, and practice squad man D.J. Jones. Giorgos of the Bleacher Report made that point as well.
With Peters’ future in question, the Eagles needed an offensive tackle prospect, and could have gotten 5 or 6 good ones using their first three picks.
Now, of course, the whole landscape has changed. Signing Bell to a one-year deal wouldn’t have done much in my mind. However, seeing as the Eagles have invested a quite a bit of their future in him, it wouldn’t make sense to use a high-round pick on a position with 14 years locked up in three different players.
This means a couple things: the Eagles are now most likely to pick up defensive tackle Fletcher Cox out of Mississippi, who has the ability to clog up holes and stop the run, something the Eagles really need out of their defensive tackles.
Another option could be Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd, a potential mid-1st round pick who the Eagles have already worked out. With the Eagles struggling to throw the ball in the red zone, he could be a fantastic option down on the goal line.
The Bell signing may not discount the Eagles drafting an offensive linemen at all, but it definitely won’t come in the early rounds as may have been previously thought.
Now the more probable outcomes involve Cox or Floyd being taken at #15 by Philadelphia.