Eagles 2020 breakout candidate: Isaac Seumalo is better than you think he is

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Over the next two weeks, I’m taking a look at 10 Eagles players who might be primed for a breakout season in 2020. I have already looked at Boston Scott, K’Von Wallace, Sidney Jones, T.J. Edwards and Jalen Reagor

Up today: Isaac Seumalo 

Age: 26

How acquired: 2016 3rd-round pick 

Entering: Year 5

During the last few years, Isaac Seumalo has become one of the more unpopular players on the team for fans but that really isn’t fair. The former third-round pick got off to a slower start in his career than many hoped for but he has settled into his role as the Eagles’ starting left guard. 

There are two reasons for this perception of Seuamlo: 

1. The four other members of the Eagles’ offensive line in the last few years have been multiple Pro Bowl guys. Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson are some of the best offensive linemen in the league.

2. When Seumalo has a bad game, he has a really bad game. In 2017, he was demolished by Chris Jones in Kansas City and in 2019 he was terrorized by Grady Jarrett against the Falcons. 

In Week 2 of 2017 against the Chiefs, Seumalo gave up 4 sacks, 2 hurries and 6 pressures. 

In Week 2 of 2019 against the Falcons, Seaumalo gave up 2 sacks, 6 hurries and 8 pressures. 

It’s fair to want more consistency from an offensive linemen. A game like the ones Seumalo had in 2017 and in 2019 can get a quarterback injured. But unlike in 2017 when he was benched for Stefen Wisniewski, Seumalo got back on track last season and ended up starting every game in the season, including the playoff game in January. 

“But outside of that he was as solid as any guard in the NFL,” Jason Kelce said earlier this offseason. “So I’ve been really happy to watch him go out and prove to all of you guys and everybody else who doesn’t get the opportunity to see how good he is on a daily basis that he’s one of the premier guards in this league.” 

Kelce might think that Seumalo is one of the “premier” guards in the league but he probably isn’t quite there yet. Even though this is Year 5 for Seumalo, he has more room for growth. He’s always had the physical tools and his technique is catching up. 

According to ProFootballFocus, Seumalo actually graded out as the 22nd-best guard in the NFL in 2019. So aside from one horrendous game, he was actually a decent player last year. And he’s improved every year in the league. After replacing Stefen Wisniewski early in the 2018 season, he’s held on to that left guard position and he’s  under contract at reasonable prices through the 2022 season. If he becomes a really good player, his $7 million cap figure in 2022 is more than manageable. 

Eventually, there’s still a chance that Seumalo will still end up being the Eagles’ center after Kelce leaves. But in the meantime, he has a chance to become a really good guard. 

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