As you get ready to enjoy some more football today, let’s take another dip into the mailbag.
I answered your first bunch of questions yesterday. We looked at Jordan Mailata’s future, why teams are interviewing Jonathan Gannon and the TE2 position.
Plenty more to get to today:
This is a real possibility. With Jason Kelce, it’ll really just be up to him. If he wants to play another season, he’s back. If he wants to retire, then the Eagles will have to formulate a new plan. And then there’s Brooks, who made three Pro Bowls in a row and has struggled to stay healthy since. The Eagles will probably be moving on from him.
So if both those guys are gone, that would mean the Eagles are without their center and right guard who have combined for eight Pro Bowl appearances. Not great.
But the Eagles are in a better spot to handle these types of departures than most teams. The big question is how would the Eagles replace Kelce? Some might want them to move Landon Dickerson to that spot but I wouldn’t move him. I’d simply leave him at left guard and then put Seumalo in there at center if they don’t draft a center. No, Seumalo hasn’t played center in the NFL but he has the ability and is extremely cerebral.
So even if the Eagles don’t sign or draft another lineman, they’d still be able to replace Kelce and Brooks with what they have. It’s pretty impressive that they’re this deep.
If this scenario were to unfold, this could be the line in 2022:
LT: Jordan Mailata
LG: Landon Dickerson
C: Isaac Seumalo
RG: Jack Driscoll
RT: Lane Johnson
That’s not a bad starting line at all.
The most obvious one that comes to mind for me is Andre Dillard. The former first-round pick in 2022 is entering the final year of his four-year rookie contract and there’s obviously not a starting spot for him in Philly given the way Mailata has really taken over that position.
Trading Dillard would make some sense if the Eagles get a decent offer. Because when he filled it during the 2021 season, Dillard was more than adequate. And if a team is looking for a starting left tackle, he’s not a bad option. While he doesn’t appear to be a star in the making, Dillard showed pretty impressive improvement in 2021 from when we last saw him in his rookie season in 2019.
If the Eagles don’t get an offer they deem worthy, they can hang on to Dillard as a backup. So there’s no rush to trade him. But if they get a decent pick for him, they’d also clear over $2 million in cap space.
You’re not going to like this answer and I feel like Howie Roseman for giving it, but it really depends on how draft night unfolds. What I can tell you is that having three first-rounds picks really does open up a ton of possibilities and Roseman is never one to sit on his hands.
I’d be pretty surprised to see the Eagles sit there at 15, 16 and 19 and take players.
If there’s a player they think is a top 10 pick and the guy slides out of the top 10 because some quarterbacks go earlier than they should, I could see the Eagles pouncing.
Then again, if the Eagles are sitting there at one of those spots and they see value in moving down — basically if there are multiple players valued similarly — then they will try. Right or wrong, the draft for Roseman isn’t just about trying to get the right player, it’s about getting the right player for the right value. It doesn’t always work, but that’s how he thinks about it.
Nelson had a fine season with the Eagles. It was a one-year deal that ended up working out for the Birds. Not only did he play pretty well outside but that move allowed the Eagles to play Avonte Maddox at his more natural spot inside.
Perhaps it’s possible the Eagles re-sign Nelson if the price is right but it would be ideal to get younger at that spot. An early round pick of a cornerback would make a lot of sense this year.
Overall, there’s less stress on cornerbacks in this defensive scheme than there was under Jim Schwartz, but that CB2 spot opposite Slay isn’t necessarily easy either. Because when Slay travels with top WRs, that other corner has to be able to flip sides too. And if that other corner is really weak, then quarterbacks are going to throw his way often instead of testing Slay.
Unlikely. It’s even more unlikely they’d sit back and treat QB like any other position and just draft one with the 15th, 16th or 19th pick. If the Eagles were to draft a quarterback in the first round, it would be because they fell in love with one of them. In that case, they’d probably have to trade up to get him and they’d be aggressive to do it. But I still think Hurts is going to be their guy through the draft.
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