Free Agency has been a wild ride up to this point. Howie Roseman’s ability to sift through the bargain bins and find value remains unparalleled and with two first-round picks, the Philadelphia Eagles are primed for a big NFL Draft. While many of the immediate needs have been checked, there are a few under-the-radar that we may be overlooking.
Backup Tight End
Remember when the Eagles drafted Dallas Goedert? A lot of fans scoffed at the idea due to the presence of Zach Ertz. Fast forward a few years and the SDSU product is among the fan favorites and a pivotal cog in the offense.
Unfortunately, Philadelphia has struggled to keep the conveyor belt moving. Despite a moneyball approach involving projects like Tyree Jackson and late-round selections such as Grant Calcaterra, the Birds have been sorely missing a backup TE which not only hurts the offense when Goedert is injured, but can limit their ground game given their adoration of 13-personnel and nub TE’s.
That’s not to say the Eagles need to spend a high pick at the position, but it’s certainly a hole that will some attention.
Slot receiver (WR3)
The Eagles have one of the best one-two punches in the league in A.J Brown and DeVonta Smith, but the uppercut could use an upgrade. Quez Watkins had a solid year but left a lot of meat on the bone when it came to dropped passes and sheer whiffs.
Unfortunately for him, the Eagles are much better than they were when he first entered the fray mediocrity no longer makes the cut on a championship-level 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.
Simply put, the Eagles never truly replaced 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.
Siposs ranked 27th in average punt yardage in 2022 (45.6) while Johnston ranked inside the top half of the league once again. The Eagles’ defense was able to negate a lot of that, but it won’t always be that easy, and confidence in your punter is critical. It would be wise for the Eagles to set up a training camp battle with Siposs and a new contender.
Interior offensive line
Good news: Jason Kelce is returning next year.
Better news: The pipleine keeps moving, with Landon Dickerson now starting at LG and Cam Jurgens expected to train at RG.
Bad news: Depth is now lacking.
I have faith the Eagles could draft my next-door neighbor and Jeff Stoutland could turn him into an all-pro, so again, I don’t expect the Eagles to invest an early pick into a young guard who will realistically be a swing backup. But with guys like Nate Herbig and Sua Opeta developing blissfully under Stout’s wing, there should at least be a new addition or two to that OL room this Summer.
Brandon Graham’s return was an important one, but depth behind himself and Josh Sweat is still just developmental talent. It said a lot that the Eagles were able to fill that void last year with names like Robert Quinn. Some late-round developmental guys to join the likes of Tarron Jackson as potential future starters.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke