1. Kevin Kolb
This is probably the most obvious selection. The Eagles lost the most successful quarterback to ever pass through this organization during the offseason. Kevin Kolb has big shoes to fill and everyone is hoping he can come in and fill them without any problems.
Kolb will be very interesting to watch this season. We’ve seen him on a very limited basis but we know the kid can throw the ball. He’s going to have to step in and make smart decisions with the ball. In the past, he’s thrown some poor interceptions, so he’s definitely going to need to cut down on that. Kolb has plenty of weapons to work with; it’s just a matter of getting the ball in their hands.
2. Nate Allen
Whether he likes it or not, Nate Allen will be looked at as the guy the Eagles got in return for Donovan McNabb. They’re on different sides of the ball so it will never be a direct comparison; however, his contribution to the team will be compared to the success McNabb brought to Philadelphia.
The Eagles obviously selected this guy in hopes that he would be the long-term solution at free safety. After Marlin Jackson went down this week, the Eagles are now hoping he can be the immediate and long-term solution. It’s a lot of pressure to put on a rookie, but I think he has the talent to step up to the plate.
We’ve seen the trouble the Eagles have had trying to fill the position after Brian Dawkins left. If Nate Allen can take this headache away, he will prove his worth in the move the Eagles made.
3. LeSean McCoy
LeSean McCoy is the last of three players to try and fill the holes left by Eagles legends that have recently departed. As Kolb and Allen try to replace McNabb and Dawkins, McCoy will try to replace Brian Westbrook.
McCoy got a jump start last season getting a lot of reps as Westbrook struggled to stay healthy. We’ve seen that he has a lot of talent, but we’ve also seen that he has a lot of areas for improvement.
Westbrook was an amazing all-around back. McCoy has shown us his talent rushing the ball but needs to improve the rest of his game.
4. Stewart Bradley
The linebacker fiasco in 2009 probably bothered Stewart Bradley more than anybody else. He had to be dying watching it all take place from the sideline, and now he has his opportunity to get back in there and straighten things out.
In 2008, we saw Bradley playing like a stud and knew that he was only going to get better. He will try to pick up where he left off and create some stability in the middle of the Eagles defense. I think he seems like a definite leader as well and the Eagles could definitely use some leadership on the defensive side of the ball.
If Bradley can stay healthy and play at a level we know he’s capable of, the Eagles should see a huge improvement in their defense.
5. Brandon Graham
The Eagles traded up to get Brandon Graham because he was the guy they wanted. Now, Graham has to show this city that he was worth everything the Eagles gave up to get him. He’s a bit undersized but everyone keeps hyping his “high motor” style of play, comparing him to teammate Trent Cole.
You won’t be able to see if Graham was worth the pick by just looking at his stat sheet at the end of the season. He has to first prove that he can be a menace as a pass rusher. If he can do this, the gates will open for the rest of the team. Trent Cole’s number’s should improve and blitzing linebackers should run free if he draws a lot of attention.
Graham is a guy the Eagles are high on and I hope he pans out as they think he will.