Eagles mailbag: Picking the 1st 2020 starter to get demoted


As always, thanks for all your great questions. I answered the first bunch yesterday and will get to the rest today. 

I hope everyone is having a fun and safe Memorial Day Weekend. 

Let’s go! 


This is an interesting question and there were two positions that came to mind first: Cornerback and safety. 

Let’s start with corner. For now, it seems like Avonte Maddox is the starter penciled into the CB2 spot. He hasn’t won that job yet, but he’ll probably get the first crack at it during training camp this summer. I think Sidney Jones has a chance to win the job but if he can’t, I wonder how long Maddox’s leash would be. 

And at safety, Jalen Mills will get the first chance to start at Malcolm Jenkins’ old spot next to Rodney McLeod, but the Eagles also signed Will Parks and drafted K’Von Wallace. Because of the potential to rotate, I’m not sure this would be a benching as much as it would be a phasing out. We have no idea how Mills will handle this new role and if he struggles, there seem to be two viable options behind him in Parks and Wallace. 

The answer here is second-year player T.J. Edwards, who had a somewhat minimal role as an undrafted rookie in 2019. Edwards isn’t the most athletic specimen, but he’s smart and instinctive and does everything the coaching staff asks of him. In my mind, the three starters for now are Edwards, Nathan Gerry and Jatavis Brown. I think the top two are clearly Gerry and Edwards. Davion Taylor was a third-round pick, but he needs a lot of polishing, so he might be more of a special teams contributor in Year 1. 

I do not. Now, if Wentz were to get seriously hurt to the point where the Eagles really couldn’t rely on him or he decided to step away from football, I guess it’s possible. But I think Wentz will be the Eagles’ quarterback for at least the next 5-6 years; he’s their long-term starter. That makes Hurts a backup for most of his time in Philly. 

This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot over the last couple months. As long as Jason Peters doesn’t have a job, there’s still a possibility that he could return to the Eagles. Now, Doug Pederson’s strong endorsement of Andre Dillard last week was notable. Pederson’s comments on Dillard were as strong as anyone’s so far (see story). 

I’m starting to envision a scenario where we get into training camp and the Eagles see how Dillard looks. If he looks stronger and ready to hold down the left tackle spot, great. If not, they can hope Peters still needs a job and give him a call. What I just can’t see is bringing Peters back as Dillard’s backup. 

I think there’s a good chance of that. I know they have cross-trained Mailata some at right tackle but it might make sense to have him be the backup left tackle and draft pick Jack Driscoll work as the backup right tackle. In the past, the Eagles have used a swing tackle, meaning they back up either side, but in this situation, it might behoove them to specify positions. 

Hey, third question isn’t bad! It is a little strange right now. The way these Zoom calls are working is when we have a question, we use the raise hand feature and then the PR staff picks the person to call on. These calls don’t have much flow because of the format, which also means the chance for natural follow-up questions isn’t there. But it’s a little less chaotic than the typical question face-offs at the NovaCare Complex. 

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