Football

In the Wings

Philadelphia Eagles
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It is time for the Philadelphia Eagles to commit to Jalen Hurts. On top of that, it’s time for the Philadelphia Eagles to get back on track. Wow, they fell off the deep end. But, don’t panic yet Eagles fans. Your team is very much in the division race. Let’s break it all down.

Can The Defense Come Together?

First, the linebackers. Alex Singleton burst onto the scene in 2020. He was a tackling machine. He had 120 total. Right now, Shaun Bradley is the new strong side backer with SIngleton on the weak side. Bradley is in his second season and does not have a sack yet. Eric Wilson comes over to play the middle linebacker spot. He is also a tackling machine. The Eagles are showing confidence in this group. They did not draft a linebacker until rounds six and seven. JaCoby Stevens was drafted from LSU. Patrick Johnson was drafted from Tulane. Right now they are buried on the depth chart with an uphill battle to get higher up. Pardon the pun, but these LBs will be flying around on this defense.

Next up, the secondary. Darius Slay is overrated, and Steven Nelson was just signed to be his running mate on the other side. The corner combo does not warrant much confidence in a loaded receiver division. Amari Cooper, Terry McLaurin, and Darius Slayton just to name a few. Jalen Mills left in free agency to join the Patriots. It’s now up to Rodney McLeod and Anthony Harris to step up. Harris is coming over as the new free safety after spending his entire career thus far with the Vikings. The secondary is probably the most concerning part of the defense on paper. In the fourth round, Zech (that is not a typo) McPherson was drafted from Texas Tech. Right now he is the backup to Slay, and could be in line to play nickel at least to start.

Big Bodies

Finally, the defensive line. From left to right, the line is made up of Derek Barnett, Javon Hargrave, Fletcher Cox, and Brandon Graham. Barnett has done well for himself as a former first round pick with 19.5 sacks. Cox is one of the best in the business. Watch out for Josh Sweat too. He became a solid rotational player. The Philadelphia Eagles drafted three defensive linemen. Milton Williams was drafted in the third round Louisiana Tech. In round six, it was Marlon Tuipulotu from USC. Finally, in round seven the team drafted Tarron Jackson from Coastal Carolina. It is unclear what role they will have. One last name to watch is Ryan Kerrigan, formerly with Washington.

The High Flying Offense

As was mentioned at the top, Hurts should be the quarterback moving forward. This is a no brainer. Miles Sanders will take the pressure off of him assuming he stays healthy. He will also help with setting up the read option plays that Hurts can run so well. Boston Scott will still be in the mix and offer a change of pace. Fifth round pick Kenneth Gainwell from Memphis is similar to Scott. He averaged 12 yards per catch in college. Scott and Gainwell on the field together would be hard to defend.

This group of receivers should be a lot of fun to watch. The group is highlighted by first round pick DeVonta Smith from Alabama. Jaelon Reagor hopefully bounce back after a disappointing rookie campaign. Reagor was a first rounder from TCU. Then, there is Travis Fulgham. Fulgham was up and down over the course of the season. he will compete with Greg Ward for the slot receiver role. Sorry Philly fans, but Zach Ertz is as good as gone. Dallas Goedert will start full time as the feature tight end.

Returning Protectors

Finally, the offensive line. Starting on the right side, Lane Johnson and Brandon Brooks are back after a collapsed ankle and achilles injury respectively. Both are 31 year old linemen, it won’t get easier for them. Center Jason Kelce is nearing the end. Isaac Seumalo and Andre Dillard had injuries as well. Dillard tore his biceps, and Seumalo had a knee injury. The unit cannot have an injury riddled season again. Especially now with a new franchise QB. The Eagles still have the Aussie Jordan Mailata as a reserve.

In round two, Landon Dickerson was drafted from Alabama. He was the best center in the country and can play guard. Viewed as a questionable pick, but it does make sense given the age of the regulars on the line. The Eagles can easily finish second in the division and get in as a wild card team. However, if the of the organization does not address the ongoing dysfunction, they will not go anywhere.

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  1. Pingback: NFL Week 1 "Triple S" - Championship Sports Media

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