By Quentin Smalls –
Last season, under new coach Nick Sirianni, the Philadelphia Eagles finished the season 9-8 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2019. With a team consisting of quarterback Jalen Hurts, wide receiver Devonta Smith and the #1 rushing offense last season, the Eagles are looking to make another run at the playoffs and even winning the NFC East for the first time since 2019 as well. A few new players were signed, and expectations are high.
Hurts had a decent season last season as the starter. He threw 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions, which may be good numbers to some, but it seems like Hurts would want to improve in 2022. At backup, the Eagles will have Gardner Minshew, who is a solid backup for Philadelphia in case Hurts gets sidelined with injury.
Miles Sanders is the starting running back for the Eagles and despite being less than 100 percent in the past few years, he had a career high in yards per catch (YPC). Kenny Gainwell and Boston Scott are solid backups and will be essential in keeping the rotation going for the Eagles this season.
Philadelphia’s receiving core added another playmaker during the draft as they traded with the Tennessee Titans to acquire A.J. Brown. A combination of Brown, Devonta Smith, Quez Watkins and Zach Pascal, the Eagles have a deadly receiving core.
A question mark is will Jalen Reagor, a former first-round pick, stay on the roster or will the Eagles decide to trade him before the season starts? The top tight end on the Eagles will be Dallas Goedert, one of the more solid tight ends in the league.
Philadelphia’s offensive line consists of Jordan Mailata, Jason Kelce, Landon Dickerson, Issac Seumalo and Lane Johnson, to name a few. There will be difficult decisions to make during training camp on the o-line, but there is still time to construct the roster before week 1.
Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave lead the defensive tackle position. Jordan Davis, the Eagles first round draft selection this past draft, will be a candidate for defensive rookie of the year. Milton Williams will be a backup to the defensive line, and it rounds out the defensive line for Philadelphia.
Philadelphia’s defensive ends include Brandon Graham, who only played two games last season. Josh Sweat, who had seven and a half sacks last season, Derek Barnett who is a seasoned vet. Finally, we have Tarron Jackson, a former sixth round pick, who can be a solid backup to the Eagles.
At SAM Linebacker, the biggest signing on defense in the offseason was Hasson Reddick and he will be the starting SAM linebacker. Kyron and Patrick Johnson, who were late-round selections in consecutive years, will be competing for slots on the team, but don’t be surprised if both make it on the 53-man roster.
At linebacker, Nakobe Dean is the star player who was drafted to secure the starting linebacker position. Also, players like T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White, Davion Taylor and Shaun Bradley will be competing for starting roles and playing time in the upcoming season. This position will be competitive during training camp.
At cornerback, Darius Slay is considered one of the top corners in the league. James Bradberry, a former first round draft pick who is looking to make waves in Philadelphia, and Avonte Maddox, round out the starting unit. Zech McPhearson will be the back up corner for the Eagles and Tay Gowen is a player to watch for in training camp.
Finally, there’s the safety position. Anthony Harris, Marcus Epps and Jaquiski Tartt will be competing for the starting role. K’Von Wallace and Andre Chachere will be fighting for the fourth and final spot in the rotation. Wallace has not been able to stay healthy or even stick to a consistent role on defense, while Chachere has done most of his work on special teams, so a spot on the team would go to Andre due to his special teams efficiency.