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[War Room] Philadelphia Eagles: confirmation awaited

The 2020 season has just ended, and as of March 16, the 2022 campaign will open its doors. DNA of Sports therefore takes the opportunity to offer you an overview of the different franchises during the off-season. Which players to keep and cut? Which free agent to extend? Which rookies to watch? Here are some ideas, franchise by franchise. In the spotlight today, the Philadelphia Eagles.

Despite the departure of Carson Wentz, the change of coach and a season with 4 wins in 2020, the Eagles have raised the bar in 2021 by even obtaining a qualification in the playoff. This performance can be explained in particular by a good second half of the season during which the group progressed, both in attack and in defence.

The hardest part begins for Nick Sirianni and his men, since it will be worth confirming this good start in 2021 and answering certain burning questions. The most important of which is whether Jalen Hurts is the future quarterback.

The Tauliers

1. Brandon Graham
2. Jason Kelce
3. Lane Johnson
4. Fletcher Cox
5. Jordan Mailata
6. Dallas Goedert

Under the aegis of Howie Roseman, the General Manager, the Eagles have always been built by the lines. The offensive line in the first place, which regained its brilliance in 2021 under the impetus of the duo Jason Kelce – Lane Johnson. The hard-running game may have been key to the Eagles offense only because the line opened up the gaps. But the line has also benefited from a reinforcement of young players, with left tackle Jordan Mailata and guard Landon Dickerson. Mailata is the great story of the season, he the 7th round without experience in this sport and who burned the stages.

The defensive line is no exception. Brandon Graham is 34 years old, and seriously injured in 2021, but he remains the leader of this team in the locker room. If he can return to the field at 100%, he will still be an asset in 2022. The duo of defensive tackles Fletcher Cox – Javon Hargrave is still formidable, even if the first has begun a decline that seems inevitable. If his contract ensures his presence in 2022, nothing is less certain for the future.

Finally Dallas Goedert and Devonta Smith represent the future among the targets of Jalen Hurts, a generally weak group carried by its two individuals. Solid, but not necessarily enough to be competitive today.

Undesirables

–Brandon Brooks (OG)
– Isaac Seumalo (OG)

Brandon Brooks is already no longer a subject of contention, since he has just announced his retirement. An important member of the 2017 team, he suffered too many injuries which made him a financial drag more than anything else. His departure is a logical continuation, financially as well as sportingly.

Isaac Seumalo is a very good NFL guard, who will have a starting place somewhere. But competition for the position and the Eagles’ need to gain financial flexibility should lead to the former Oregon State’s departure.

The summer man

Jalen Hurts (QB)

Unavoidable. The question of Jalen Hurts’ potential has stirred up the entire 2021 season, and will also be a huge topic of discussion in 2022. Simple transition quarterback or long-term starter? In any case, he has already proven that he has the level for the NFL, which is already a clear improvement compared to 12 months ago.

Author of 3,144 yards in the air and 784 on the ground, he is now respected as a double threat. He will have to take a step forward in 2022, and prove that he can also be an excellent pitcher. Progress must be on accuracy and second reading, far from easy on paper.

The main free agents

1. Derek Barnett
2. Anthony Harris
3. Rodney McLeod
4.Steven Nelson
5. Alex Singleton

The extension of Josh Sweat risks de facto the departure of Derek Barnett. Yet author of an honorable season in terms of statistics, his indiscipline and his inconstancy risk making an extension complicated, despite the serious injury of Brandon Graham.

The back line is the main casualty at the free agent level. Three of the four incumbents are free agents, and none are guaranteed to be signed to a new contract. Rodney McLeod is an executive but he’s a decline, while Anthony Harris and Steven Nelson have only shone intermittently this season. The General Manager of the Eagles will have to make choices, and the future is uncertain on these positions.

Alex Singleton shone in 2020, before disappearing in 2021. Constantly behind in coverage, he hasn’t necessarily been well used this season given the weak group of linebackers. Surge in 2022 or departure for other horizons? Again, the possibilities are many.

Top 5 Needs

1. Linebacker
2.EDGE
3.Safety
4. Receiver
5. Runner

D-Fence. The priority is Claire, strengthen the defense on each line. The group of linebackers has no indisputable starter in the NFL, and the need for reinforcements is enormous. In coverage as in running defense, you need new blood and experience. The draft and the free agent market can therefore have an impact.

The pass rusher position is also a job, given Brandon Graham’s injury and age. This defense needs a sack machine, one way or another. The last line of defense also needs reinforcements, since the majority of starters are free agents (see above). Again, you need a variety of profiles, both on the cover and in the box.
The attack does not need a line, but it does need a playmaker. At the receiver’s position a number 2 is expected to support Devonta Smith. AT the level of the riders’ committee, a powerful profile would not be a luxury.

Target

DJ Chark (WR)

Despite the selection of Devonta Smith, which seems to be a success, the Eagles have not always been able to choose receivers for the draft as evidenced by the selections of JJ Arcega Whiteside or Jalen Reagor. What if the solution lay in the wealthy class of free agents?

Tall and fast, Chark has all the qualities to make an excellent number 2 receiver. He complements Quez Watkins and Devonta Smith, and brings a different dimension to the game. Jalen Hurts is going to need it.

The new blood

Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner (CB, Cincinnati)

In addition to having one of the most emblematic nicknames of the vintage, Ahmad Gardner is a complete cornerback. Athletic, versatile, fast and smart, he has all the attributes to dominate the NFL for many years to come.

In a defense looking for benchmarks, his adaptability makes him a perfect profile, which will be able to grow in the shadow of Darius Slay, not the worst of models.

Other possible choices: Devin Lloyd (LB), Nakobe Dean (LB), Tyler Linderbaum (C), David Ojabo (EDGE), Jermaine Johnson (EDGE), George Karlaftis (EDGE), Kenyon Green (G), Zion Johnson (C /G), Jameson Williams (WR), Drake London (WR)

SEE ALSO:  Jets – Eagles (20-14): Jalen Hurts misses
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