Now that we’ve all settled down from the excitement that was the 2020 NFL draft, it’s time to focus on Howie Roseman shaping this roster into a NFC contender for the 2020 season. The question is, What holes still need to be filled? Let’s break it down position by position and see what this Eagles team needs to fill out their roster.
(Carson Wentz, Jalen Hurts, Nate Sudfeld, Kyle Lauletta)
The Quarterback depth chart seems to be all sealed up for this season. Folks, there’s no QB competition here. Move along. Carson is the man. The Face. The Franchise. Nothing has changed. Howie simply provided insurance to the quarterback position. While I thought spending a second round pick on a backup was extremely high, I understand what they’re trying to do here. If anything, this will light a fire under Carson’s ass, and he’ll ball out as an elite QB this year.
(Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Elijah Holyfield, Adrian Killins, Michael Warren)
This is a position that could require an addition via free agency. Miles Sanders is the unquestioned starter. However, if he were to go down with an injury, could the Eagles rely on Boston Scott to carry a full load? I’m not so sure about that.
The 28 year old is coming off a rough few years since the Falcon’s super bowl run. He suffered a groin injury in 2018, and wasn’t as productive last season. Freeman could benefit from a reduced role, and help complement Sanders.
Corey is coming off a shoulder injury that put him on the shelf in 2019. He knows the offense well, and the Eagles are familiar with him. He could be a solid fall back option for depth.
The old flame from the past. Shady McCoy had some fond memories here in Philadelphia. He’s all time leader in rushing for the Philadelphia Eagles. Shady is beloved in Philly. It’s apparent that he wants to return to where it all started. In a limited role, he averaged 4.6 ypc last season. However, he wasn’t even active for the Super Bowl. Last resort, I’d bring Shady back for his swan song.
Eagles fans are familiar with Chris Thompson. He was a member of the Redskins for his entire career. Thompson is a 3rd down back that does a tremendous job of catching the ball out of the backfield. He caught 42 receptions in 11 games last year.
(Desean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward, J.J. Arecega-Whiteside, Marquise Goodwin, John Hightower, Quez Watkins, Deontay Burnett, Shelton Gibson, Robert Davis, Marcus Green, Marken Michel, Manasseh Bailey, River Cracraft)
Man, Look at all of those wide receivers! You want a training camp battle, you got one. Competition is the best remedy to motivate people. If you were one that was crying about lack of speed, then you don’t have to worry anymore. DJax, Reagor, Goodwin, Hightower, Watkins. They’ll be flying as fast as the Blue Angels flew over Philly yesterday. No need for any additions to this position group.
(Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Joshua Perkins, Noah Togiai)
This position group is pretty solidified. Zach Ertz is top 3 at his position, and Dallas Goedert is an up and coming player at the tight end position. Josh Perkins performed his role when needed, and acted like a WR3 at times last year when his number was called. Noah Togiai is an undrafted free agent, but was signed to big money guaranteed at 100k. Another training camp battle to watch will be Perkins vs. Togiai.
(Andre Dillard, Issac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Matt Pryor, Nate Herbig, Jordan Mailata, Jack Driscoll, Prince Tega-Wanogho, Iosua Opeta, Keegan Render, Luke Juriga, Julian Good-Jones)
Even with the loss of The Bodyguard Jason Peters, this group is still one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. They do have depth behind the starters with limited experience. Nate Herbig and Matt Pryor have game experience, and Jordan Mailata has practice reps over the last few seasons. I don’t think we see a major addition here.
(Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Genard Avery, Shareef Miller, Casey Toohill, Joe Ostman, Daeshon Hall)
While Graham and Barnett are solid starters, the depth behind them is huge question mark. Coaches are hoping Sweat makes a nice jump in production this season. Genard Avery is another question mark. Browns fans loved this kid, but we have failed to see him materialize thus far. Hopefully, he’ll assume a larger role to contribute in the rotation.
This name resonates with Eagles fans from January. The name usually results in anger, frustration, and the punching of the nearest wall for taking out our QB in the playoffs. If Eagles fans can put aside all of the hate (not sure I can), then he would be a heck of an addition at this point of the off-season.
Griffen will be 32, but would add a veteran presence on the edge, and provide excellent depth in the DE rotation. He finished with 8 sacks in 15 games last season. A solid 1 year deal would be something to consider for Roseman. Give him the Chris Long discount.
The injury bug has followed Zeke throughout his last few years in the NFL. Once a promising first round pick, he’s struggled to get on the field lately to produce at an elite level. However, if you can add Ansah on a short deal to add depth to the rotation, I’d consider it.
(Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Malik Jackson, Hasson Ridgeway, Bruce Hector, Anthony Rush, Albert Huggins, Raequan Williams)
This group will be a force to be reckoned with in 2020. Giving Fletcher Cox help in the middle is only going to be disastrous for the rest of the NFC East. Fletch gets Malik Jackson back to help him in the middle. Also, the Eagles made a splash in free agency adding the very talented Javon Hargrave to the ranks. This group is definitely among the best in the league.
(Nate Gerry, T.J. Edwards, Duke Riley, Jatavis Brown, Alex Singleton, Davion Taylor, Shaun Bradley, Nate Olson)
Welcome to the weakest position group on the team. The Eagles added Jatavis Brown via free agency, and a few players via the draft. I’m not really confident in anyone listed above to be a gamechanger in 2020. Davion Taylor has promise down the road. He can fly to the ball, and his lateral speed is impressive. I’m thinking (hoping) that Howie adds at least 1 player to this group via free agency.
We’re all familiar with this guy. He’s shown flashes of solid linebacker play over the last few seasons. He was let go, but I’m sure that was because of his price tag more than his ability on the field. If the Eagles are signing a linebacker at this juncture, then I’d put my money on Bradham.
Ogletree was recently let go by fellow NFC East rival, The New York Giants. It’s believed that it was the traditional cap casualty release rather than the production. Ogletree is still playing at a consistent level. He’s only finished below 80 tackles once in his professional career. Ogletree was a team captain, and could add a veteran philosophy to the linebacker group.
(Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, Cre’von LeBlanc, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Trevor Williams, Craig James, Tremon Smith, Grayland Arnold, Michael Jacquet, Prince Smith)
The runner up for most exciting training camp battle goes to: The Cornerbacks! This will be a fun battle to watch to see who wins the role of supporting CB in the Eagles defensive backfield. There’s NFL proven talent available on the free agent market that could very much improve the CB2 position. Do I think they’ll pursue anyone? Nope. For the sake of the article, I’ll list a few names below that could be solid contributors if added to the roster.
The local guy from Berlin, NJ comes with valuable playoff and super bowl experience. Logan completed the 2019 season with 113 tackles! A corner who tackles? What’s that? Logan knows how to fill up a stat sheet. He became the first person since 2000 to record three sacks, three interceptions, and three forced fumbles in the 1st eight games of a season. Impressive. Initially, I thought his price tag would exceed the Eagles taste. Now, a 1 year deal could be a reality with each passing day.
Here’s a veteran defensive back we’re all familiar with seeing on the field. The former NY Giant had a productive few seasons in Chicago and has hit the open market. With age comes a dip in ability, but he’s still a solid #2 option in the defensive backfield. The weighing will be if he’s a better option than Maddox / Jones.
(Rodney McLeod, Jalen Mills, Will Parks, K’Von Wallace, Marcus Epps, Rudy Ford, Elijah Riley)
The Safety position featured a huge loss this off-season with the Eagles deciding to let team leader Malcolm Jenkins walk. They returned a few team veterans with McLeod / Mills. They added local football product Will Parks to the fold as well. They found a potential gem in the 4th round drafting K’Von Wallace from Clemson. This position group seems to be solid, and don’t predict any major additions to this group.
Who’s Coming? Anyone?
The Eagles have some cash to spend, if needed. However, I’m not sure Howie will go crazy here. I believe they’ll address the linebacker position and bring back Nigel Bradham. Also, the defensive end position should be addressed. Clowney? Probably not, but Everson Griffen might be available at a decent price. There’s depth to be filled in the RB room. Should the Eagles lockdown the CB2 spot via the market? I don’t believe they will, but do think Logan Ryan is very tempting. Look out over the next few weeks for additional moves to the roster. Go Birds!