Unfortunately, our post season roster review comes to you in January. While other teams battle towards the Superbowl, the Philly fans are left looking ahead to free agency and the 2020 draft in Las Vegas. 🎰
If you read our previous report then this outcome is less than surprising…
The following positional breakdown shows players in Bold if we consider them a lock 🔒for the 2020 53-man roster, contract pending in some cases.
Carson Wentz (27-83 – STAR – 5 year deal)
Chad Kelly (26-60 – 2 year deal)
One quarterback too expensive to move, and one quarterback who’s only redeeming quality is that he is so cheap.
Wentz struggled all season with a 1:2 TD to INT ratio, but it appears there is no chance to replace him, so it will be down to the staff to find a way to get much better performances from a QB that looks suffocated by his massive contract signed last pre season.
Kelly, a former Mr Irrelevant, likely faces a battle for the backup role, from a rookie or low priced free agent.
Matt Breida (25-83 – STAR – 5 year deal)
Jordan Howard (25-81 – STAR – 4 year deal)
Miles Sanders (23-73 – 3 year deal)
Donnel Pumphrey Jr (25-69 – 1 year deal)
Alexander Mattison (22-69 – ERFA)
Matt Breida was a big mid season acquisition, and a rare incomer in a season filled with outgoings. Got off to a flying 🛫start, and although slowed down by injury, cleared 500 yards after signing his 5 year extension.
Despite the acquisition of Breida, Howard and Sanders both ended up around the 500 yard mark for the season. It was slightly surprising that Howard also got extended at the same time as Breida, but this obviously looks like a strong committee going forward.
Pumphrey, and pending free agent, Mattison, showed flashes of potential in limited opportunity, and their future probably depends on the 2 numbers games that the Eagles continue to battle – roster spaces, and cap space.
It will also be interesting to see what the team do at FB. They signed Jamize Olawale on a short term deal, and although he didn’t trouble the stat sheet much, he did feature on a regular basis as a blocker. It remains to be seen whether they bring him back, look for another option, or go without a full back in the future.
Alshon Jeffrey (30-87 – STAR – 2 year deal)
JJ Arcega-Whiteside (23-74 – STAR – 3 year deal)
Shelton Gibson (26-71 – 1 year deal)
Richie James Jr (24-70 – STAR – ERFA)
Zach Pascal (25-68 – 2 year deal)
Terry Godwin II (22-66 – 2 year deal)
The receiving corps has seen a lot of upheaval over the season, with Nelson Agholor traded before he could hit free agency, and DeSean Jackson traded to a playoff bound Miami, to free up future cap space. Alshon Jeffrey led the team until he ended the season on IR as he continues to battle injury 🚑 issues, but it seems likely he will remain the elder statesman of a young group going forward.
Promising rookie WR, Arcega-Whiteside finished season with a team leading 700 yards, and mid season pickup Richie James Jr ended up with over 400 yards, after initially seeing action as a return specialist. He is a restricted free agent, but it’s expected the team will look to extend him before free agency after his late season flourish.
Elsewhere, Pascal and Godwin signed 2 year futures deals after ending season on the Eagles practice squad, but this remains an area of the team that could be targeted in the middle of the upcoming draft.
Dallas Goedert (25-81 – STAR – 2 year deal)
Richard Rodgers (28-75 – 1 year deal)
Dallas Goedert filled the gap left by the pre season departure of Zach Ertz to the Texans, ending the season just under 60 receptions and 700 yards as he became one of the focal points of the offense. Rodgers offers some veteran backup, but after the release of Will Tye at end of season, this is another area that is likely to be added to in the draft.
Jason Kelce (32-95 – SUPERSTAR – 2 year deal)
Brandon Brooks (31-89 – SUPERSTAR – 1 year deal)
Lane Johnson (30-89 – SUPERSTAR – 2 year deal)
Andre Dillard (24-72 – 3 year deal)
Jordan Mailata (23-60 – STAR – 2 year deal)
Matt Pryor (25-60 – 2 year deal)
Michael Jordan (22-59 – ERFA)
Justin Skule (23-58 – 2 year deal)
With a mix of experienced superstars, and promising youngsters, the team would have hoped for a bit more from their o-line. With a middle of the pack run game, and a pass protection that saw Carson Wentz sacked 42 times, the team will know game situation often didn’t help, but that they should expect better. They did trade away a couple of veterans, but even with them the struggles were the same.
It remains to be seen whether the team see Jordan and Skule as reliable depth, or if they look elsewhere. And although the team are known to value Mailata’s potential, he’s likely to face some competition for a starting role at Right Tackle.
Fletcher Cox (29-96 – X FACTOR – 3 year deal)
Malik Jackson (30-80 – STAR – 2 year deal)
Jayln Holmes (24-65 – 2 year deal)
Team captain, and undoubted MVP with 18 sacks, Fletcher Cox is the disruptive star ⭐ that the defense is built around. Through changes from 4-3, to 3-4, and back to 4-3 he continued to be the man for this Eagles defense.
Malik Jackson will return alongside Cox, regardless of scheme going forward, but they’ll hope to add someone better than Jayln Holmes for depth, possibly very early in the draft.
Brandon Graham (32-87 – STAR – 2 year deal)
Derek Barnett (24-78 – STAR – 1 year deal)
Josh Sweat (23-72 – 2 year deal)
Shareef Miller (23-67 – 3 year deal)
Daeshon Hall (25-67 – 2 year deal)
Although he’s not getting any younger, Graham was the star of this group with 9 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and an ability to drop into coverage when required. Barnett is about to enter a contract year, and it seems the Eagles continue to struggle with how to get the best out of him. There is some thought that he maybe has a future on the interior of the D line if he could add a bit more bulk. As for the others, Sweat, Miller and Hall are yet to display much, and may face a battle to stay on the team.
Kamu Grugier-Hill (26-76 – 3 year deal)
Andre Smith (23-68 – 2 year deal)
Nathan Gerry (25-66 – 1 year deal)
Justin March-Lillard (27-67 – RFA)
Ben Heeney (27-65 – RFA)
The linebacker corps took the biggest hit of all, as so many veterans were lost as the team faced the realisation their cap situation would not allow them to extend any of their better linebackers.
There was notable relief around the building when Grugier-Hill agreed a 3 year extension in December, but who will line up alongside him in the middle of the defense is a mystery that the cap space allows the team very few options to answer. What is on the roster now would seem to offer serviceable back up at best.
Ronald Darby (26-83 – STAR – 4 year deal)
Avonte Maddox (24-80 – STAR – 2 year deal)
Sidney Jones IV (24-79 – STAR – 1 year deal)
Rasul Douglas (25-73 – 1 year deal)
Darius Phillips (24-67 – 2 year deal)
Despite a collection of youth and ability at the position, only Ronald Darby recorded an interception all season long, and while they have faith in who they have, they’ll look for a big improvement on a solitary interception in the 2020 season. Whether that comes from a change in approach, or just more consistency doesn’t matter. The play just has to be better from this group, or heads will roll.
Justin Reid (23-86 – STAR – 2 year deal)
Malcolm Jenkins (32-92 – STAR – 1 year deal)
Tarvarius Moore (24-66 – 2 year deal)
Andrew Sendejo (32-79 – RFA)
Johnathan Cyprien (30-79 – RFA)
In all the outgoings, Reid is to the defense, what Breida was to the offense – a new arrival that delivered quickly – with 3 interceptions and 15 pass deflections, as well as being 2nd on the team in tackles. Like Breida, the team hope Reid is here for the long haul. And while Jenkins is getting older, there was no doubt in the team’s mind that he will return for the final year of his contract, after recording a sack, 2 forced fumbles, and 3 interceptions, including a pick 6.
The lightning ⚡speed of Tarvarius Moore may give him the chance to be elevated from the practice squad to being a backup on the 53 for 2020. And while the team has yet to confirm the release of veterans Sendejo or Cyprien, it is difficult to imagine they’d be able to match any offer from elsewhere.
Jake Elliott (25-74 – 3 year deal)
Cameron Johnston (28-68 – 3 year deal)
Both kicker and punter return after signing 3 year extensions towards end of the season. Johnston was particularly impressive, with a 46.1 yard average, and a long of 76 yards in 2019.
2020 Draft Picks
1st x 2 (PHI, HOU), 2nd (TBB), 3rd (PHI), 4th x 3 (PHI, WAS, MIA), 5th x 3 (PHI, HOU, NEP), 6th x 7 (CAR, TEN, HOU, GBP, SFO, TBB, MIA) and 7th x 2 (SEA, TBB)
With a staggering NINETEEN draft picks, the scouting department have a busy couple of months ahead, attending pro days, combine, and finalising their reports on hundreds of potential Eagles. With so many picks late in the draft, a lot of the focus may be on those that aren’t even on the draft board for many teams, but with only 41 players currently signed for the 2020 season all picks will stand a chance of making the 2020 roster for opening weekend.
Where do they have needs? E V E R Y W H E R E. Whether for depth, or for starters, there is barely any position that can be ruled out. On offense, the offensive line and wide receiver may need replacement for aging starters, while a back up QB to pressure Wentz, and a new full back are obvious possibilities.
On defense, there are vacancies for starters in the front 7, whatever scheme they go with, while a Strong Safety to learn from veteran star, Malcolm Jenkins, is another that could be on the cards at some stage in the draft.
With 2 picks in the top 25, including one in the top 10, there are various players being linked to the team in the various mocks that are so commonplace at this time of year. A recent check of these mocks showed that 42% of mocks have that top 10 pick going on a linebacker, 31% have a defensive tackle slated to the Eagles, and 16% have them taking an offensive lineman. The remaining 11% were split between wide receiver and EDGE rusher.
After free agency is underway, our next report will take a closer look at where those 19 picks may be used, what effect free agency may have had, if any, and see if there is any developing consensus on who will be the Eagles 2 1st round picks.