As we inch closer to the NFL Draft and free agency, the discussions about how the Eagles roster will look will continue to heat up. There’s no doubt defense and line play will be the focus of the draft.
It’ll be up to Roseman to improve the roster at key positions of need. Free agency should provide a perfect avenue to improve that position, and with some of the names that are set to be available, the Eagles offense could look a whole lot different. The Eagles are already a playoff worthy roster, so it’ll be critical to build off of the success of last season.
PFF Top 100 Players 2021 Season:
22. OT, Jordan Mailata | 90.3
23. TE, Dallas Goedert | 90.5
52. OT, Lane Johnson | 85.6
59. CB, Darius Slay | 81.0
98. DT, Javon Hargrave | 67.3
(Kelce & Smitty we’re snubbed). Eagles could be a threat in 2022-23 if they hit on draft picks… pic.twitter.com/Qt7nDkQ6d8
— Kendall Beck (@KBeckEagles) February 17, 2022
Barring an unlikely Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson acquisition, Jalen Hurts will most likely get one final year to prove he can take this franchise to the next level. With Jordan Howard and Boston Scott possibly moving on, Jalen Hurts and Miles Sanders might just be the two players on this team with the most to prove this year.
With those two most likely being locked in for starting positions, I thought it would be fun to go through the offensive side of the ball and give my predictions for who I believe will be #1 on the depth chart at their position when training camp opens up.
QB: Jalen Hurts
Hurts in all likelihood will have this final season to prove he is a franchise quarterback. Coming off a season where led the team in rushing, earned a Pro Bowl alternate spot, and a playoff berth in his first full year starting, you would think this question would’ve been answered already.
Only one player in #NFL history has 4,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards through his first 20 career starts.
— Jeff Kerr (@JeffKerrCBS) February 25, 2022
Unfortunately the warts in Hurts’ game continued to show themselves, especially in their playoff game vs Tampa Bay where he simply didn’t look ready. He needs to improve his down the field awareness and arm strength, and anything short of another playoff berth and much improved passing numbers probably lead to the Eagles moving in a different direction at the position after this year.
RB: Miles Sanders
Still chasing the ever elusive 1,000 yard rushing season, Miles Sanders is clearly talented and explosive when healthy and given opportunities. He has averaged nearly 5 YPC for his entire career, but hasn’t been able to fully put it together for a full year.
Over the last 3 seasons, only 2 RBs have 3,100+ total yards in less than 600 touches:
Tony Pollard – 3,746 yards (399)
Miles Sanders – 3,624 yards (584)
(# of touches) pic.twitter.com/IQrGfBYHwL
— Philly Eagles Central (@pheaglescentral) February 23, 2022
Statistically he’s coming off his worst season, totaling a career low in rushing yards (754), and 0 rushing touchdowns. In a historically great rushing season for the Eagles where they had 2,715 yards and 25 touchdowns, it’s glaring that in 12 games, Sanders wasn’t able to find the endzone once.
Like I said earlier, Sanders will be playing for a new contract, so he might be the only Eagle player with more pressure to perform than Jalen Hurts. If Sanders turns in another injury plagued, underwhelming season, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Eagles decide not to extend him and move forward with Kenny Gainwell and others.
WR1: Devonta Smith
This one’s easy, Smith was a home-run first round pick and is one of the many young bright spots on the offensive side of the ball. He broke Desean Jackson’s single season rookie receiving record and is clearly set for a breakout season in his second year.
As he and Jalen Hurts continue to gain more chemistry and get more comfortable with each other, the sky’s the limit for this young stud.
WR2: Free Agent Acquisition
Whether it’s Mike Williams, JuJu Smith-Schuster, or any other of the veteran wideouts that are set to be free agents, I think it’s clear this is the direction the Eagles need to go in. Jalen Reagor is no longer passable as a WR 3, and as we’ll see next, Quez Watkins will be able to fill that role after his impressive season.
— JAKIB Media Sports (@JAKIBMedia) February 22, 2022
This WR room is desperate for a veteran presence, and while I don’t think the Eagles will break the bank for someone like Chris Godwin or Davante Adams, I think they’ll address this need through free agency.
WR3: Quez Watkins
Quez Watkins showed that he needs to be a part of the Eagles passing offense moving forward, and has clearly elevated himself above the likes of Jalen Reagor and Greg Ward. Watkins should be in line for an increased target share as he continues to get better in his third season.
TE: Dallas Goedert
Another pretty easy one here, the Eagles handed Goedert a 4 year 57$ million dollar contract in November. 2022 will be Goedert’s first full season without Zach Ertz, so with how much this offense likes to target him, he’s definitely in line for a breakout season.
RT: Lane Johnson
Johnson has already confirmed he will be returning after one of the better years of his career in 2021.
Lane Johnson: The only OT to with 400+ pass blocking snaps and 0️⃣ sacks allowed 🦅 pic.twitter.com/MUzkbvLlsT
— PFF (@PFF) January 14, 2022
RG: Isaac Seumalo
With the retirement of Brandon Brooks, the Eagles once again have a hole to fill at the guard position. It’ll either be Seumalo or Jack Driscoll who filled in nicely for Brooks in the past. Seumalo is coming off a season ending foot injury, but I think he’s the more talented player and I believe he’ll get the nod at RG.
C: Jason Kelce
Kelce has hinted this offseason that he intends to return for one final season, but we won’t know for sure until mid March. Coming off of another Pro Bowl and All Pro selection, I think he comes back and plays one more year. He’s clearly still at the top of his game, so it’ll ultimately be his decision whether he returns or not.
Things point towards Jason Kelce playing in 2022, per @Jeff_McLane.
— Thomas R. Petersen (@thomasrp93) February 12, 2022
LG: Landon Dickerson
Initially expected to be the center of the future for the Eagles, Dickerson had a dominant debut at left guard, so I think it’s pretty clear he will be the starting left guard heading into 2022.
LT: Jordan Mailata
Does this one even need explanation? He finished as PFF’s third highest graded tackle in only his second season, and has quickly become one of the league’s more dominant tackles. He is another one of the young shining stars of this offense, and is slated for an All Pro nod this year.
All in all, there will be significant changes in how the team looks when training camp opens up. The draft and free agency will shake up the roster in a number of ways, but for now, these are my projected starters for the 2022 Eagles offense.
Featured Image: Sarah Stier/Getty Images