The NFL Draft and free agency is in our rearview mirrors. There is very little day to day NFL news aside from random minor transactions across the league and conversations about where/when this star or that future Hall of Famer will be traded. The NBA and NHL playoffs are in full swing. Baseball is gearing up for a long, hot summer. The dog days of Summer are upon us. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look down the line at what else the coming summer months hold for us: NFL mini camps and Training Camp. 

Which leads us to a new feature here on The Grueling Truth – The State Of The League. We will be doing a deep dive on all 32 teams, division by division: their offseason player personnel moves, coaching changes, and projected preseason depth charts. Between the beginning of June and the 3rd week of July (Dallas and Pittsburgh can report to training camp as early as July 21st; Tampa Bay can report as early as July 24th; the rest of the league will be reporting on July 27th), new team reports will be released every few days until the start of training camp. We’ve already reviewed the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, so let’s continue on in the NFC East with the Philadelphia Eagles

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Philadelphia Eagles Pre-Training Camp Projected Depth Chart

PositionStarterBackup
QBJalen HurtsJoe Flacco
RB1Miles SandersKenneth Gainwell
RB2Boston ScottKerryon Johnson
WR1Devonta SmithGreg Ward
WR2Jalen ReagorQuez Watkins
WR3Travis FulghamJohn Hightower
TEDallas GoedertJason Croom
LTJordan MailataAndre Dillard
LGIsaac SeumaloLandon Dickerson
CJason Kelce
RGBrandon BrooksNate Herbig
RTLane JohnsonJack Driscoll
DEDerek BarnettJosh Sweat
DTJavon HargraveMilton Williams
DTFletcher CoxHassan Ridgeway
DEBrandon GrahamRyan Kerrigan
LBEric WilsonDavion Taylor
LBT.J. EdwardsShaun Bradley
LBAlex SingletonGenard Avery
CB1Darius SlayZech McPhearson
CB2Avonte MaddoxCraig James
CB3Kevon SeymourJosiah Scott
SK’Von WallaceMarcus Epps
SAnthony HarrisAndrew Adams
KJake Elliott
PArryn Siposs
LSRick Lovato
KRBoston ScottJohn Hightower
PRGreg Ward

***BOLD PLAYER NAME = 2021 ROOKIE***

 

Philadelphia Eagles 2021 NFL Draft Class

Round 1 (10th overall): WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama

Round 2 (37th): G/C Landon Dickerson, Alabama

Round 3 (73rd): DL Milton Williams, Louisiana Tech

Round 4 (123rd): CB Zech McPhearson, Texas Tech

Round 5 (150th): RB Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis

Round 6 (189th): DL Marlon Tuipulotu, USC

Round 6 (191st): EDGE Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina

Round 6 (224th) S/OLB JaCoby Stevens, LSU

Round 7 (234th): EDGE Patrick Johnson, Tulane

 

Philadelphia Eagles Free Agent Moves

Expired Contracts
Player NamePositionAge2020 Team2021 Team
Alshon JefferyWR32PHI
Jason PetersT/G39PHI
Nickell Robey-ColemanCB29PHI
Crevon LeBlancCB27PHI
Richard RodgersTE29PHI
Joshua PerkinsTE28PHI
Blake CountessS28PHI
Arrivals
Player NamePositionAge2020 Team2021 Team
Joe FlaccoQB36NYJPHI
Anthony HarrisFS30MINPHI
Andrew AdamsS29TBPHI
Eric WilsonLB27MINPHI
Ryan KerriganDE33WSHPHI
Le’Raven ClarkT28INDPHI
Departures
Player NamePositionAge2020 Team2021 Team
Carson WentzQB28PHIIND
Malik JacksonDT31PHICLE
DeSean JacksonWR35PHILAR
Jalen MillsS27PHINE
Vinny CurryDE33PHINYJ
Duke RileyOLB27PHIMIA
Cameron JohnstonP29PHIHOU
Johnathan FordS26PHIJAX
Nate GerryOLB26PHISF
Nate SudfeldQB28PHISF
Corey ClementRB27PHINYG
Treyvon HesterDT29PHIBUF
Re-Signed
Player NamePositionAge2020 Team2021 Team
Boston ScottRB26PHIPHI
Alex SingletonLB28PHIPHI
Greg WardWR26PHIPHI
Jason CroomTE27PHIPHI
T.Y. McGillDT29PHIPHI
Hassan RidgewayDT27PHIPHI

 

Philadelphia Eagles Offseason Review

The Philadelphia Eagles go into this season led by a 2nd year quarterback with only four NFL starts under his belt, and a new coaching staff/system. This is a team that went from Super Bowl winner to firing head coach Doug Pederson, trading it’s former top pick/MVP candidate star quarterback, and starting fresh in just three years. There are a few reasons this team fell off: they got old quick, Wentz regressed badly (Due to injury? Or a deteriorating relationship with his former head coach? Was he difficult to coach/deal with as reported?), and injuries decimated the offense. The team hired former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni to replace Pederson, and offer a new approach, but it wasn’t enough to sway Wentz to stay. Trading him to the Colts for a potential 1st round pick in 2022 was a good deal, and it opened up the path for Jalen Hurts to take over as the unquestioned starter at quarterback. An athletic spark plug during his 4 game audition, how will Hurts fare over the course of a full 17 game season? Can the Eagles surprise this upcoming season and contend in 2020’s weakest division? 

Coming into last season fresh off a 3rd straight playoff appearance, there were hopes this team could contend for a division title and maybe more. But then injuries ravaged the offense and Wentz wasn’t quite right; in 12 games, he led the league in turnovers committed with 19 (15 interceptions and 10 fumbles with 4 fumbles lost). Injuries limited Miles Sanders to 12 games, both Ertz (likely to be traded or released) and Goedert missed a few games, receivers Jackson and Jeffery missed a majority of the season, and the only projected starting offensive lineman who played/started in all 16 games was center Jason Kelce – all the rest missed big chunks of the season. The battered offensive line allowed Wentz to be sacked 50 times in 12 starts. Philly has the makings of a solid offensive line if the starters can stay healthy, and they added Dickerson early in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft to add depth to the interior of the offensive line. He has starting ability at both guard and center, and was one of the best offensive linemen in the country when healthy. A battle at left tackle between Mailata and Dillard is one worth watching during training camp and preseason. 

The Eagles absolutely had to address the wide receiver position this offseason, even if Jackson and Jeffery were re-signed. Philadelphia is haunted by passing on Justin Jefferson in favor of drafting Jalen Reagor in round 1 (2020) and passing on DK Metcalf/Diontae Johnson/Terry McLaurin for JJ Arcega-Whiteside in round 2 (2019) of the NFL Draft. The team seemed determined to rectify those errors when they selected Alabama star wide receiver DeVonta Smith. The Giants were set to take Smith 11th overall before the Eagles jumped them via trade with Dallas. Smith profiles as an immediate WR1 for Philly from the get go, and they’ll need him to be because of all the question marks around him. With Smith and a healthy Reagor (missed 5 games in 2020), the team hopes to get more consistency out of the passing game, and that one of Fulgham/Watkins/Hightower/Ward can take over the third receiver slot. Sanders is one of the best young runningbacks in the league, but they need him to stay healthy and be more productive in the passing game. Scott was solid as a fill-in last season, and Gainwell was added in the Draft to add depth and competition for the RB2 spot Scott currently holds. 

The defense got some needed reinforcements as well after losing some key veteran contributors this offseason. Harris will start at one of the safety spots, but his running mate is yet to be determined – Rodney McLeod is still coming back from a torn ACL. As of now, Wallace, Epps, and Adams are likely the top competitors for that other starting safety slot. Each brings a different element, so it will be interesting to see who emerges out of training camp if McLeod isn’t cleared for week 1. Wilson will likely start at one of the linebacker spots, and brings a veteran presence/steadiness to a young linebacking group. The defensive rookie who might see the most immediate playing time might be corner Zech McPhearson. The only guaranteed starter at corner as of now is Darius Slay – the rest are either unproven or didn’t perform particularly well last season. As many as five or six different players will be vying for starting outside opposite Slay and for the starting nickel job. The defensive line is the unit with the least questions on defense, as they offer a nice combo of quality veteran leaders (Cox, Graham, Kerrigan) and youth/athleticism (Barnett, Sweat, Williams). 

It was a weird offseason in Philadelphia, but with a new coaching staff and “new” starting quarterback, they hope to right the ship and get back to the playoffs in a division lacking a clear top team. Health, how this team responds to new leadership, and Hurts showing improvement as a passer from year one to year two will dictate just how good (or bad) this team is. Philly might have won the most recent Lombardi trophy of the teams in this division, but (at least on paper) they seem to have the most question marks and are the only NFC East team with a new coaching staff.