7 biggest positions of need for the Eagles after the opening wave of free agency?

Eagles chauncey Gardner-johnson
PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 27: Philadelphia Eagles safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson (23) is carted off the field after an injury during the first half of the National Football League game between the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles on November 27, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

It’s been a busy week or so for the Philadelphia Eagles. The new league year has brought with it a hurricane of chaos with countless free-agent decisions all facing Howie Roseman. Now that the storm is beginning to settle and the roster is taking shape ahead of the NFL Draft, it’s time to revisit the key needs for the Eagles this offseason.

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Losing both Marcus Epps and Chauncey Gardner Johnson wasn’t on the bingo cards of many Eagles fans this offseason. Reed Blankenship will return as a starter and someone who flashed considerable upside as a UDFA in 2022, but beyond that, depth is thin.

The Eagles have plenty of options ahead of them, from current free agents such as Jalen Mills or Adrian Amos, to draft targets such as Alabama’s Andre Branch. It will be interesting to see how the team fills that void.

Chauncey Gardner-johnson
GLENDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 12: Philadelphia Eagles safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson (23) flexes during Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles on February 12, 2023 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)


The linebacker position hasn’t been truly valued by the front office for years now. Don’t expect a significant investment here, but help is needed. Nakobe Dean is great, but he can’t play two spots at the same time.

Sean Desai’s defense may contain more 5-2 looks, which would utilize two linebackers and take the strain off the need to find a devout MIKE/WILL. Dean has played both spots at Georgia and should be competent enough to handle either task on a Sunday. The Eagles may look for a fringe starter on a cheap prove-it deal, but with the versatility of guys like Haason Reddick coming into play, this won’t be a huge need for the team.

Nakobe Dean
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 02: Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Nakobe Dean (17) enters the field during training camp on August 2, 2022 at the Novacare Complex in Philadelphia, PA (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

Defensive end

Brandon Graham’s return is a significant one given that he should’ve won the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award last season, but again, depth isn’t ideal.

Josh Sweat had a stellar year but names like Robert Quinn will hit free agency without much of a fight. Derek Barnett being brought back again would probably be unideal, although cheap and understandable.

There are some other names to note including young EDGE Tarron Jackson, but the Eagles need to stock the shelves here.

Interior offensive line

Jason Kelce’s final rodeo is fantastic for the Eagles, but Isaac Seumalo is still on the open market and it’s likely that Kelce’s backup, second-year C Cam Jurgens, will slide over to that vacant RG spot. Both recent draftees have now been thrust into starting roles and that means that once again, there is little in the way of a contingency plan for injuries.

Sua Opeta is one of the more experienced names on the roster, but we’ve seen cluster injuries tear through the o-line before. Whether it’s more UDFA talent for Jeff Stoutland to develop (IE Nate Herbig 2.0), or a low-end free agent, the Eagles could do with some additional help.

Defensive tackle

Fletcher Cox is back, but Javon Hargrave is not. This means the trio of Cox, Jordan Davis, and Milton Williams will headline the position group in 2023. DT is no longer a huge roster need, but losing Hargrave is a big hit to take, even if it was expected. The Eagles need to add a name or two on the back end to ensure they have a healthy rotation of pass-rushers to keep the pressure coming in Desai’s defense.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 26: Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (91) chat during the game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles on December 26, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)


Simply put, the Eagles miss Cameron Johnston. When Aryn Siposs went down with injury, it became even clearer that there was an even greater gulf in quality between him and his backup. It’s not an expensive position, but an important one.

Wide receiver

The Eagles have one of the best one-two punches in the league, but the uppercut could use an upgrade. Quez Watkins had a solid year but left a lot of meat on the bone and mediocrity no longer makes the cut on a championship-winning team. Zach Pascal has also just signed a deal with the Cardinals. A speedy slot wideout with a secure pair of hands would be optimal.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 19: Philadelphia Eagles WR Quez Watkins (16) carries the ball in the first half during the game between the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles on September 19, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire