The Eagles may well have one of the more underrated offenses in the NFL. This is mostly due to the unknown of how QB Jalen Hurts will do now that the spotlight is completely on him. The team had Super Bowl expectations whenever Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson touched the field but now it seems they have low-tier expectations with a first-time head coach and a 2nd round QB.
All in all, this could be one of the more effective units in all of the league if they hit all the right buttons. To do so, they’ll need the help of some breakout candidates. A few of these have been mentioned already, but it’s time to take a closer look now that the dust of the offseason has settled.
The Eagles brought back Jordan Howard, claimed Kerryon Johnson, and drafted Kenny Gainwell this offseason. While Howard and Johnson were brought in for pass blocking and short-yardage situations, it’s down to Miles Sanders to fill in the blanks,
Head Coach Nick Sirianni has preached competition all offseason because of the culture he wants To implement. Sanders is hands down the best running back on this roster but health concerns and inconsistency have slowed him down tremendously in his first two seasons. The potential is there but Sanders has to jump to the next level to secure his role.
Goedert’s role will be the most looked at one this offseason due to all of the noise surrounding Zach Ertz. It isn’t a secret to say that Ertz regressed last season, but poor QB play and several injuries hardly helped.
Money remains the biggest issue between Zach and the franchise, but that doesn’t bode well for him since Dallas Goedert is entering a contract season and the negotiations have already begun.
Goedert could be a top 5 tight end in the NFL this season but for that to happen, the young pass-catcher has to find a way to play all 16 games. His availability has declined in each of the first three years of his career. Even so, in the last two seasons, he’s tallied 1,131 receiving yards on 104 receptions with 8 touchdowns.
He truly has the ability to be a next-level tight end in this league but it’s going to take a full 16 game slate of him starting. Goedert is as dynamic as Kelce and Kittle but hasn’t had the same opportunity to show it with the shadow of Zach Ertz looming over him.
The Eagles are completely set at WR1 and WR2 which leaves last year’s leader in receiving yards for the team in a position where he may have to compete with Greg Ward Jr for that WR3 spot. The good thing about Fulgham is that he is a more dynamic receiver than Ward and presents a mismatch nightmare as a potential big-slot option. But what we saw in 2020 was a receiver who struggled when volume declined.
Despite finishing with 539 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns, Fulgham disappeared towards the end of the season. Many felt as if it was mostly due to the nagging injury that he had on his foot or the return of Alshon, but the truth was that he struggled to separate as often due to facing more attention at the line and that eccentric catch-radius could only do so much.
Fulgham at WR3 could bode well for this offense after seeing how talented this kid is but he has to learn how to adjust to the way that defenses will play against him now.
First and foremost, let me state how big of a fan I am in the fact that the Eagles selected Gainwell. He was a true steal in this year’s draft. Gainwell brings a receiving dynamic to a running back room that’s searching for an identity. The key to Kenny and this offense will be how much Head Coach Nick Sirianni plans to play the rookie. In years past we saw how Pederson limited several of the young players but over in Indianapolis, Nick Sirianni unleashed Jonathan Taylor after Marlon Mack went down.
Gainwell is the perfect sidekick for a player like Miles Sanders but in a crowded running back room, it could become difficult to see. He could become the biggest x-factor for this offense, especially if he could learn to pass block better than Boston Scott.
The most important man on this roster this season. Jalen Hurts holds all the keys for the Eagles’ future in his pocket. If he balls out this season then the team doesn’t need to worry about drafting a QB next year and instead invest in more weapons to support their young signal caller.
The Eagles have surrounded Hurts with well-rounded offensive minds but what he does with that knowledge bestowed upon him is another thing. The Eagles need more consistent QB play this season if they’re looking to make some noise down the stretch. With Carson Wentz gone and no real threat sitting behind him, Hurts has been allowed to truly blossom with no restrictions.
For the Eagles to go return to previous heights, the team will need Hurts to work on his ball-security, read progression, and accuracy.
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