Are the Eagles a top-tier offense on paper?
Recently, NFL Writer Chris Wesseling put together a top-ten list of offenses in the NFL. Being that the Eagles were included, he clearly didn’t factor in what he saw last year as an ongoing issue. The Eagles upgraded positions of need, and they expect to get their franchise quarterback back into the mix after getting a full offseason of work in without any rehab or setbacks. So with that, let’s take a look at what Wesseling described as the third-best offense in the NFL.
A generous grade for the quarterbacks:
"“Wentz’s raw talent is undeniable. If he returns to the form that placed him in the driver’s seat for MVP honors in 2017, the Eagles might just boast the most improved offense in the league.”"
The Eagles got a ‘B+’ for the quarterback position. Wentz, when healthy could be one of the NFL’s best. Despite looking rusty last year, Wentz did post his career-high passer rating and completion percentage. No Nick Foles could be concerning, but Nate Sudfeld has shown some subtle flashes during last year’s preseason.
The backfield is crowded with more promise
"“Sanders was rated by some evaluators as the best back in the 2019 draft class. Saquon Barkley’s understudy at Penn State, the second-round rookie is a more versatile playmaker compared to bull-dozing power back Jordan Howard, who came over from Chicago in a pre-draft trade. A position that loomed as a liability throughout the 2017 season is suddenly flush with depth.”"
For the backfield, the Eagles get a ‘B.’ They brought in Jordan Howard to be their most reliable back on board for a low price. Then, the Eagles are hoping they found the future of their backfield with Miles Sanders out of Penn State. Those two could lead the pack, and suddenly we could see a much more productive Corey Clement once again since the pressure is off of him.
"“The most sure-handed tight end in football, Ertz hauled in 66 first downs as Philly’s primary chain-mover last season. He’s joined by an upgraded rotation that now includes premier deep threat DeSean Jackson, jumpball specialist J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, resurrected AAF star Charles Johnson and second-year tight end Dallas Goedert. Much like the backfield, the Eagles’ receiving corps has graduated from question mark to exclamation point.”"
“Rags to riches” is a term I’d like to use to describe the Eagles’ 2018 wide receiver corps in comparison to the 2019 wideout corps. No deep threat? Bring in the NFL’s leader in yards-per-catch. Alshon and Jackson might get injured at some point? Here’s a second-rounder for depth. Oh, and don’t forget, Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert are weapons, too – very good weapons, might I add.
What happened to the protection?
"“Vaitai held his own at times but was too often exploited as the stand-in for a declining Peters or absent Johnson over the past two years. Trading up for Dillard should ensure not only a smooth transition at left tackle in the future, but will also provide premium depth until Peters retires to begin his five-year wait for Canton.”"
A ‘B-‘ for the Eagles offensive line seems strange. For a unit that was their best two years ago, it’s odd to think that might be their worst now. Jason Peters is serviceable, but not durable. Brandon Brooks is currently nursing a significant injury, and Isaac Seumalo has two different playing personalities. One is good at blocking, the other is bad at blocking – no in-between. If healthy, the Eagles could be in good shape up front. But getting healthy can be tough for the big men in the trenches. It’s a tough position to play, and it’s hard to be a top unit in the league.