Rendell: So far, Eagles are having a winning offseason

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Torrey Smith definitely is part of an upgraded Eagles receiving corps, along with the other new free-agent pickup, Alshon Jeffery.

THE FIRST WAVE of NFL free agency is upon us and the NFL draft is coming to Philadelphia in six weeks, so we Eagles fans are on fire.

What makes our hearts race even faster is the fact that team executive vice president Howie Roseman and the gang appear to have done very well during this initial period of free agency (that, and knowing we'll have a chance to boo NFL commissioner Roger Goodell).

I say "appear to do well" because, like the draft, you never know how you did until the players play.

All four of our key signings have great potential, but each of the players is coming off a down year. So the questions abound.

Is wide receiver Torrey Smith done, or were his decidedly subpar years in San Francisco due to the fact that he had woeful quarterbacks throwing him the ball?

Is wideout Alshon Jeffery so banged up that he will turn out to be this year's Dorial Green-Beckham, or will he bounce back and be the very good possession receiver he once was?

Can Chance Warmack play like the guard who was a first-round draft pick and someone who the great Ray Didinger thought was the best offensive lineman in the 2013 draft, or will he continue to underperform as he has so far?

And lastly, is Nick Foles anywhere close to the 27 touchdown-two interception quarterback he was with the Eagles, or is he the very mediocre one who played last season for the Chiefs?

Here's my take.

The Smith and Jeffery signings will definitely boost the Eagles' receiving corps, and both were acquired cheaply. Together, they are getting less money than DeSean Jackson or Kenny Britt are being paid by their new employers, Tampa Bay and Cleveland, respectively.

Warmack has a good chance to reach his potential, because he is being reunited with Eagles offensive-line coach Jeff Stoutland, his position coach at Alabama. He's a definite upgrade.

As for Foles, we are adding a great guy who is a significant improvement over last season's backup to Carson Wentz, Chase Daniel.

As for the draft, the Eagles' needs are clear. With the five picks they have in the first four rounds, they should pick two cornerbacks, a pass rusher, a running back and a run stuffer.

I would pick a corner with the first pick, No. 14 overall, the pass rusher next and a running back after that. This is an especially deep draft for corners and running backs.

If the Birds have a successful draft, they could become legitimate playoff contenders.

Remember, for all the disappointments last season, they were 7-9 and thrashed the Steelers and Falcons. Meanwhile, this season's schedule is easier than last season's.

So dream on, Bird fans, and don't forget: When you hear Roger at the draft, you may start to boo!

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@GovEdRendell

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