5 things the Rams, Chiefs, 49ers and Bengals can teach Howie Roseman about Eagles' biggest needs

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No doubt, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman watched all four thrilling NFL divisional round games over the weekend.

He saw three of them end on last-second field goals, and a fourth, between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills, go to overtime after the two teams combined to score 25 points in the last two minutes of regulation.

The Chiefs won 42-36.

Roseman can take away something from each of the four winners – the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals are the others – that can help the Eagles address their biggest needs during the offseason.

Here is the list, ranked from smallest need to biggest:

Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates a touchdown scored by Tyreek Hill #10 against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates a touchdown scored by Tyreek Hill #10 against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri.

5. Quarterback

This is the one spot where the Eagles can go in so many directions with regards to Jalen Hurts.

The Bengals' Joe Burrow has gotten to the AFC Championship game in his second season as a starter. Hurts took the Eagles to the playoffs in his first season as a starter.

The Bengals spent last season improving the roster around Burrow because he is on his rookie contract, like Hurts. So the Bengals drafted wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase and signed defensive end Tre Hendrickson (14 sacks). Both moves paid huge dividends.

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The Chiefs built their team the same way behind Patrick Mahomes while he was still on his rookie contract. During those years, the Chiefs went to two straight Super Bowls before Mahomes was signed to his mega-contract.

The Eagles have both the draft capital in three first-round picks and financial flexibility to build around Hurts.

Or they can use those picks and money to follow the example set by both the Rams and 49ers.

The Rams traded two first-round picks and a third-rounder, plus quarterback Jared Goff, to the Lions for Matthew Stafford. All you had to do was watch Stafford lead the Rams to the game-winning field goal in the final 42 seconds to know that deal paid off.

The 49ers also went the trade route with Jimmy Garoppolo in 2017, but on a smaller scale. In 3½ seasons with the 49ers, Garoppolo doesn't have great stats, but he does have a 31-14 record and is one game away from his second Super Bowl.

Of course, the 49ers drafted Garoppolo's successor No. 3 overall in Trey Lance, so this playoff run will likely be it for Garoppolo in San Francisco.

Verdict: Keep Hurts in 2022 and continue building in the model of Burrow and Mahomes, and resist the urge to package Hurts and maybe two of those first-rounders to Seattle for Russell Wilson. Wilson's salary ($37 million cap hit in 2022), plus losing at least two first-rounders will prevent Eagles from addressing other positions of need.

Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Troy Reeder (51) tackles San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Troy Reeder (51) tackles San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

4. Linebacker

This is probably the ideal model to show that the Eagles won't make this the first year since 1979 in which they'll use a first-round pick on a true linebacker.

None of the four teams has a linebacker that they drafted in the first round.

The Rams' Troy Reeder, the Salesianum and University of Delaware star, wore the green-dot on his helmet Sunday in the Rams' 30-27 win over the Buccaneers, meaning that he got the defensive calls from the sideline. Reeder was undrafted in 2019.

The Rams do have two first-round picks at linebacker in Leonard Floyd and Von Miller. But they were drafted by the Bears and Broncos, respectively. They're also primarily pass rushers.

The two traditional linebackers are Reeder and Travin Howard, a seventh-round pick.

The 49ers' three starters were a third-round pick, a fifth-rounder and an undrafted player. The Bengals start two second-round picks and a fourth-rounder.

Verdict: The Eagles have never prioritized linebacker in the draft under Roseman. Don't be surprised if the Eagles go into 2022 with T.J. Edwards and 2020 third-round pick Davion Taylor as the starters, with Alex Singleton and a free agent added for depth.

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay (2) reacts after breaking up a pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore (8) in the second half. The Eagles defeat the Jets, 33-18, at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in East Rutherford.
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay (2) reacts after breaking up a pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore (8) in the second half. The Eagles defeat the Jets, 33-18, at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in East Rutherford.

3. Defensive back

The Eagles have a good start with a lockdown cornerback in Darius Slay, sort of like the Rams with Jalen Ramsey. The other three starters from last season – cornerback Steven Nelson and safeties Rodney McLeod and Anthony Harris – are all eligible for free agency.

The Eagles might re-sign one of the three, replace another with a veteran free agent, and use an early-round pick for the third spot.

Verdict: That's mostly the path taken by all three teams – have one lock-down corner, then mix and match the other spots.

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel carries the ball during the third quarter at Lambeau Field.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel carries the ball during the third quarter at Lambeau Field.

2. Wide receiver

There really is only one way for the Eagles to attack this. They tried going the draft route with first-round wide receivers in back-to-back years in Jalen Reagor in 2020 and DeVonta Smith in 2021.

It worked with Smith, who had 916 yards receiving, but not with Reagor, who had 299. The Bengals did this to better results with Tee Higgins in 2020 (1,091 yards this season) and Chase in 2021 (1,455 yards).

The 49ers have a star at wide receiver in Deebo Samuel, but they also have a solid number two in Brandon Aiyuk, and of course, star tight end George Kittle. That could be what the Eagles pictured with Smith, Reagor and tight end Dallas Goedert.

Samuel does everything – gets open deep and on the intermediate routes and runs the jet sweep. Reagor has struggled at all three.

The Chiefs have drafted well at receiver with Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman in addition to tight end Travis Kelce, so they haven't had to spend lavishly in free agency.

The Rams have built a strong receiving corps both through the draft, led by Cooper Kupp, the NFL's leader in receptions (145), yards (1,947) and TDs (16), and through free agency, such as with Odell Beckham Jr. and Robert Woods, who's on IR.

Verdict: The Eagles desperately need a veteran receiver to pair with Smith and Goedert. If the Eagles can pull that off, their receiving corps will compare to the best in the NFL.

Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is sacked by Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams in the second quarter in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Raymond James Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.
Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is sacked by Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams in the second quarter in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Raymond James Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.

1. Defensive line

When building a defensive line that can put pressure on the quarterback, look to the Rams who pressured Tom Brady pretty much the entire game on Sunday. Los Angeles has three stars in Floyd, Miller and Aaron Donald.

That's a path the Eagles have followed with Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave. But Graham tore his Achilles in Week 2, and Cox and Derek Barnett had down years.

Josh Sweat emerged as a potential breakout defensive end, and Hargrave had the best season of his career.

How important is a strong defensive line? The Rams, 49ers and Bengals all ranked in the top 12 in sacks. The Eagles, with just 29, were 31st.

Verdict: The Eagles need another defensive end in an early round, and a replacement at tackle if Cox doesn't return.

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Contact Martin Frank at mfrank@delawareonline.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.

This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: What NFL's final 4 teams can teach Eagles' GM about his biggest needs

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