Over the last month and a half, the betting favorite position for the Philadelphia Eagles to select with the 10th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft has been along the offensive line. With the free agent loss of Isaac Seumalo and the aging stars of Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson, the right guard/tackle position has been a focus of need for Howie Roseman and the team.
But that roster need may be overblown as we get closer to Day One for one reason and one reason only.
The Eagles’ offensive line coach has been well-known to be the best offensive line coach in the league. He’s made late-round draftees into plausible All-Pro players. He’s gotten the most out of top talent as well.
It’s that reason precisely why the offensive line need may be overblown as the team gets ready to make a decision about their top-10 pick. Tackles like Peter Skoronski and Paris Johnson are two favorites to land with the Eagles due to their size, potential, and versatility.
They aren’t the only offensive linemen in this draft that have that combination though.
Players like Cody Mauch, Matthew Bergeron, and Blake Freeland could all be picks for the team in the second round or later. All three have the athleticism and potential to be excellent picks for the Eagles at pick 63 without needing to waste a top-10 pick on a player that may not play right away.
That’s the beauty of having Jeff Stoutland as the coach of the offensive line. He’s shown the ability to make great players out of late-round selections.
Allowing Stoutland to cook in the later rounds also means the team could be able to address more pressing needs on the defensive end like at tackle, safety, or even end. If it ends up being a decision between a player like Skoronski, or defensive tackle Calijah Kancey, an argument can certainly be made that the team should go the defensive tackle’s route and allow the later rounds to fill out the need at guard.
Isaac Seumalo’s departure leaves a big hole in the Eagles’ offensive line – there is no doubt about it. But that doesn’t mean the Eagles should use a top pick on a position that has historically not been a major concern for the team throughout the last decade.
As long as Jeff Stoutland is the offensive line coach in Philadelphia – the need for the positions to be filled in the first round just isn’t that big. Especially when the Eagles have a track record of finding gems in the later rounds like Jordan Mailata and Jason Kelce They have also found players like Landon Dickerson and Cam Jurgens in the second round.
The Eagles may have a need at offensive line but they’re not in a desperate position. Their player development has been been off the charts because of Stoutland and his teachings.
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