Inside NFL Team Projections: Philadelphia Eagles
The NFL season is always filled with unlikely talent that few people could predict to bloom with their teams. This year, the Philadelphia Eagles are one of the clear favorites for a successful season.
With the New York Giants losing Odell Beckham Jr. and continuing to rely on substandard Eli Manning, the Washington Redskins being injury-ridden and rebuilding with Dwayne Haskins, and the Dallas Cowboys being led by the inconsistent Dak Prescott, the Eagles will see themselves as favorites to win the NFC East. The talent they’ve acquired this offseason will manifest that as well.
The Eagles’ backroom staff has been one of the more harder-working franchises this offseason, acquiring bundles of talent in multiple positions. DeSean Jackson returns to the Eagles after his spell with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who acquired him for a 2019 sixth-round draft choice. They signed much-needed LBs in L.J. Fort and former Redskins free-agent Zach Brown. To lessen the workload for RB Clement Corey, the Eagles picked up former Chicago Bear Jordan Howard and drafted Miles Sanders out of Penn State with their second-round pick. The Eagles also gained better protection for Wentz with the selection of Andre Dillard, who has been compared to his fellow tackle counterpart, Jason Peters.
Doug Pederson and his coaching staff have been thinking long term for the past few years under his tenure. Coming into the 2019 season, the Eagles have locked QB Carson Wentz for a four-year extension to his contract that would see him there for the remainder of his prime years. They have signed receivers Alshon Jeffery and Jackson long-term, TE Zach Ertz and defensive linemen Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson as well. The team went 9-7 last year under Nick Foles after Wentz continued to battle through injuries. With a full offseason to prepare, expect Wentz to return to his 2017 form.
Perhaps the most competitive position for the Eagles is the only position group not mentioned so far, the secondary. The Eagles defense has been built off their secondary as depth is anything but a problem for them. During OTA’s, Sidney Jones and Avonte Maddox started as their corners, but Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills have started for the Eagles before. Maddox seems to have his spot locked for now, as he will be looking to build off his 23-tackle and two-interception rookie season. In the back end, Malcom Jenkins has been their defensive leader for a number of years. Jenkins is seeking more money from his team, which he will surely get. Tre Sullivan, Andrew Sendejo or Rodney McLeod will be competing for retired Corey Graham’s spot during the start of the year.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) June 17, 2019
With a deep roster and plenty of assets locked for the future, the Eagles will have to focus on the smaller, mental things that hurt them last season. For the defense on first down last season, the Eagles gave up an averaged 6.88 yards. Only needing three yards in two other downs is a given for most NFL offenses. Also, the Eagles have fumbled 38 times since 2013, the second-most in the NFL. With new acquired talent in the backfield, RB coach Duce Staley will have a fresh plate to work with.
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