With the 2020 NFL Playoffs kicking off this weekend, Eagles and Eagles’ fans will be watching from the same place; home.
Although this season was disappointing, it’s hard not to look ahead to try to find any positivity.

With the 6th pick, there are various directions the Eagles could go. However, with Howie Roseman’s track record, it’s tough to be confident he will make the correct choice. It’s tough to think the Eagles don’t get themselves a playmaker, but could you imagine if they pulled a Danny Watkins? Not to mention the failure to develop players drafted in the later rounds. Although it is the next major football activity for the Eagles, skepticism remains until Roseman delivers a solid draft.

The next exciting time in the NFL is free agency. However, the Eagles are so broke, they couldn’t afford to sign “Two Years! Varsity!” kid. The Eagles are not in the best shape of their life, so I imagine free agency will actually be quite disappointing. A lot of hard decisions are going to have to be made and the team is going to look very different.

Early shout out to those players that Roseman is able to convince to restructure their contracts.

With those two off-season activities at risk of being tragic, I think the next positive thing about this team is the potential of the younger guys. Although the season did not go as expected, a lot of guys got valuable playing time in meaningful games.

It takes some time to adjust to the famous “NFL speed”, the general culture of the organization, and various schemes and playbooks these young guys had to learn without a full 2020 off-season.

These are three players I am most excited to see growth from in 2021.

K’Von Wallace

After another season of the secondary getting torched on a regular basis, I expect there to be a little bit of a makeover for the group. With Darius Slay and Rodney McLeod being the obvious anchors, the other cornerback and safety spots should be open for the taking. With the expiring contracts of Jalen Mills, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Cre’von LeBlanc, and Rudy Ford, it is highly unlikely to keep them all.

This is where Wallace comes in.

Photo: Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer

While having a relatively quiet rookie campaign, Wallace was able to avoid making any big rookie mistakes. He also saw his minutes increase down the stretch when the Eagles were still fighting for a potential NFC East title. Although his role was more on special teams (50% of special teams plays versus 18% of defensive snaps), I expect to see his defensive snaps increase significantly next season. With a new defensive coordinator on the horizon, Wallace has a chance to be built into the scheme.

With how Wallace carries himself and his attention to detail, he has a chance to be a young leader of that defense. Having a strong fundamental foundation and national champion experience from his time at Clemson, this guy will be the real deal. He makes all the right decisions, on and off the field; It’s hard to root against this guy. Expect a breakout year in 2021.

Jack Driscoll

It’s no secret the offensive line struggled this year, allowing the most sacks in the NFL this season. The Eagles opened the season to the tune of allowing eight sacks, and they didn’t stop there. With Jason Peters and Jason Kelce knocking on retirement’s door, that is going to make the group a little less crowded for the younger guys to continue to step up. The biggest issue with the offensive line was obviously chemistry, with a different starting lineup in almost every game. I believe the struggles this season will pay dividends next year, as all the lineman were forced to play together at some point.

Driscoll is another 2020 fourth-rounder Eagles’ fans should be excited about. Although Driscoll struggled throughout the season, the entire offensive line outside of Kelce struggled. Driscoll got a rude awakening starting week 1, but this was a valuable experience for his career. Had he not gotten injured, Driscoll would have likely started the remaining four games.

Granted there were injuries to Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, and Andre Dillard this season, Driscoll has certainly earned a role for next season. It may be time to test out his versatility along the line.

Raequan Williams

Photo: Tim Hawk/NJ Advance Media

With much cap space being spent on the defensive line, it’s tough to imagine all the current pieces being there come spring training. For the price tag, Malik Jackson and Javon Hargrave have not been worth it. Hassan Ridgeway and T.Y. McGill will be free agents in March, although it wouldn’t be the worst thing to bring them back depending on the price. Fletcher Cox is obviously worth every single penny and is not going anywhere. I think the Eagles would benefit from addressing Jackson’s and Hargrave’s contracts and save beaucoup bucks going alternative routes. Along this route is Williams, who was an undrafted free agent that saw his playing time increase as the season progressed.

This is 100% a homer selection, as Williams played and graduated from my alma mater, but I don’t think it’s that outlandish. Playing in the Big 10, Williams went up against future NFL lineman on a weekly basis and remained an impact player. Being undrafted, Williams had to earn his way to the active roster and playing time. Seeing 25% of the defensive snaps in the last quarter of the season, Williams finished with five tackles and his first NFL sack in week 17.

Gaining valuable experience to conclude the season, in addition to learning from Cox and Brandon Graham, Williams has the potential to be a contributor next season.

Featured Image: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Comments are closed.

Check Also

Winning Our Hearts – Losing Our Fantasy Leagues.

Is A Building Obsession With the Eagles Destroying Your Fantasy Strategy? It’s the m…