It’s hard to remember when this recent lovefest for the Philadelphia Eagles began. The Hasson Reddick signing was solid, and it was announced on the first day of the NFL’s free-agency frenzy. Still, there were grumblings that Howie Roseman and company hadn’t been aggressive enough, so it didn’t begin with Reddick.
Maybe it began on the first night of the NFL Draft. Philly landed what might turn out to be the best interior defensive lineman of 2022’s class. They also struck gold by trading a first-round and third-round selection to the Tennessee Titans to acquire the rights to A.J. Brown.
There was a definite buzz then, but it wasn’t as heavy as it is now.
Things began to crescendo when Nakobe Dean, a prospect that had first-round talent, was landed by the Eagles in Round 3. That was major, but there were still questions. Fans were pumped, but there were questions about the safety position and who might play at the starting outside cornerback position opposite Darius Slay. The Birds satisfied those needs in May and June.
That’s when it happened. That’s when the buzz surrounding the 2022-2023 Philadelphia Eagles went through the roof.
Pro Football Focus adds to the already constant discussions about this talented Eagles roster.
There isn’t an Eagles fan on Planet Earth that didn’t know about the acquisitions of James Bradberry (May 18th) and Jaquiski Tartt (June 17th) about an hour after they happened… or, in many cases, much sooner.
It was then that Howie Roseman looked like Thanos after he had collected all of the Infinity Stones. It was then that this Eagles team began to be seen as one that could not only make the playoffs but also do some damage when they get there. We mentioned earlier that there’s a buzz, right?
Miles Sanders has been mentioned a lot for his ‘all-star team’ comments, even though he said more than that and people are responding without reading the entire quote. Nakobe Dean has mentioned that he wants to bring ‘a couple of Super Bowls to Philadelphia’. It wasn’t to long after that when Peter King named the Eagles as the fourth-best team in the NFC. Now, Pro Football Focus is joining in on the fun.
According to Ben Linsey, who recently ranked every NFL team’s roster, the Birds have the seventh-best. Here’s his top ten:
Here’s some of what he had to say about Philadelphia:
"If they don’t have the best offensive line in the NFL entering the 2022 season, the Eagles are near the top of the list… The James Bradberry addition alongside Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox eliminates a lot of the questions surrounding the cornerback position, but safety remains a potential weak point on defense… Their X factor for 2022 (is at quarterback)… They’ll go only as far as Jalen Hurts takes them. (He) showed real signs of progress in his second season out of Oklahoma last year, as he finished the season ranked 14th out of 32 qualifying quarterbacks in overall grade — a performance that offered real value on a rookie deal. However, his 45.3 PFF grade in their postseason loss to the Buccaneers highlights the issues that the Eagles will run into late in the campaign against defenses that force Hurts to beat them if he doesn’t take another step forward in 2022."
It’s hard to disagree with any of that. It’s also hard to deny that games aren’t played in PFF postings or in Peter King’s imagination, but hey, let’s stop taking ourselves so seriously and crack a smile.
We’ve all been watching the Birds long enough to know the offseason discussions could be a lot more negative. This feels much better.
We’re less than a month away from training camp. Many questions will be answered there and during the preseason, but throw this in the ‘so far-so good’ category. After a rough 2020 campaign and after a tough ending to their most recent run with that loss in Tampa to the Buccaneers, it’s fun to finally talk about some good news.