Training Camp is slowly but surely approaching and while the City of Philadelphia can catch its breath after another chaotic sporting year, it’s time to look at what the next steps are for its beloved Eagles franchise. The Birds have had a transformative offseason, but the real fun is only just beginning.
Don’t break my Tartt, my achy-breaky Tartt
The intuition of Howie Roseman knows no bounds. His late move to sign Jaquiski Tartt proved to be one of the most effective of the offseason on paper, adding starting-level depth to a position that lacked it.
However, this may come at the expense of Marcus Epps, who seem all but guaranteed to finally inherit a starting role after grinding his way up the depth chart. The real question now is whether or not Epps can snatch that spotlight back over the Summer, which is absolutely a possibility.
Both players are in their contract year, so it really is all to play for. Tartt gives the Eagles a reliable and versatile safety, while Epps sees his main strength in the box, wrapping up ballcarriers. Will Gannon want a DB who can move across the defense, or stick to a rigid confine where he has a roaming free safety in Harris and a complementary talent in Epps? Only time will tell, but that starting role is by no means solidified.
Who’s telling porkies?
Jalen Hurts has reportedly been taking sacks in practices where: there is no live tackling. However, the report of his struggle-burdened series can’t just be instantly ignored because of that.
Hurts has notable weaknesses in his game. He has to improve this offseason. That’s not a knock on the young QB, but it’s clear that he has to display a leap forward if he is to truly prove the front office and coaching staff correct in their move to double down on him.
The Oklahoma product has reportedly sought out QB Coaching help this offseason and has been grinding with his new-look WR group. But is that enough to to make the kind of leap that is expected? Can he get to that level? Whatever the case, he has a whole City rooting for him to do so.
Will there be an Eagles Offensive line shake-up?
Jason Kelce hand-picked his successor during this year’s NFL Draft and that’s not the only cog turning. Nate Herbig is no longer on the roster and with Landon Dickerson entrenched at LG (surprisingly displacing Seumalo, who in his own right needs to prove he can stay healthy) and there now being plenty of optionality at the other guard spot, it’s clear that the Eagles are ready to usher in a new era for their offensive line, but what does that mean for the guys on the cut-line?
Isaac Seumalo has a lot to prove this year. Versatile Auburn product, Jack Driscoll, has to show that he can play in whatever spot becomes available in order to boost his value. Has anyone heard a peep about Andre Dillard recently?
Expect a few surprises this Summer when it comes to this talented group.
Is Nakobe Dean ready to go?
The fact that Nakobe Dean gracefully fell into the lap of Roseman in round 3 of the NFL Draft still blows my mind. The Eagles GM was quick to double down on the heartbeat of the Georgia defense by saying he’ll be ready for the start of the regular season, but what if he isn’t?
It would be understood by just about everyone, but depth at that spot isn’t exactly awe inspiring. The LB group is still extremely young and developmental beneath the surface and it’s not worth rushing Nakobe back for the sake of it, when the Eagles can have three full years of healthy play if it comes to it.
This should be a pretty tame question to answer, but it’s one that could pop up if we see Dean missing the odd practice here and there.
Do the Eagles need help at EDGE?
The Eagles upgraded just about everywhere this offseason and you can argue that the EDGE spot was no exception thanks to the addition of Hasson Reddick, but his presence may only be felt there for a percentage of plays while he splits between playing different roles in the linebacking and defensive line rotation.
The old trio of Sweat, Graham, and Barnett remains and there were no other additions this offseason, like, at all. Would it surprise me to see Howie spring a late-offseason move on us like he has on several occasions? Absolutely not. But it will be intriguing to see how the Eagles deploy their defensive ends and whether or not they decide to fill that void with versatility, leaning on guys like Milton Williams instead now that Jordan Davis is on the scene.
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