Johnson takes a top 5 spot on list of most important Eagles


Over the next few weeks leading up to training camp, we’ll be counting down the top 25 most important Eagles for the 2022 season.

25. Quez Watkins
24. Gardner Minshew
23. T.J. Edwards
22. Marcus Epps
21. Landon Dickerson
20. Jake Elliott
19. Brandon Graham
18. Jordan Davis
17. Kyzir White
16. Avonte Maddox 
15. Nakobe Dean
14. Fletcher Cox
13. James Bradberry
12. Miles Sanders
11. Josh Sweat
10. DeVonta Smith
9. Dallas Goedert
8. Javon Hargrave
7. Jordan Mailata
6. Darius Slay
5. Lane Johnson

Last December, when Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson was snubbed from the Pro Bowl roster, he was not happy.

Not at all.

“I was pissed. I’ll leave it at that,” Johnson said. “I was really pissed. As far as that, it just motivates me (for) whatever’s left of the season.”

Something tells me it’s going to motivate Johnson going into 2022 too.

Johnson, who turned 32 in May, has been playing at a consistently high level for many years now. He’s a three-time Pro Bowler, a one-time All-Pro and last season he finally appeared to be past the ankle injury that cut his 2019 and 2020 seasons short.

Johnson last year started 13 games, missing three in the middle of the season as he dealt with mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. Johnson spoke publicly about those issues and last December theorized that his battle with mental health led to his Pro Bowl snub.

“I think it did a lot of good for a lot of people,” Johnson said in December. “For me, I don’t know if it did.”

While his fellow offensive tackle Jordan Mailata (No. 7 on our list) was also a Pro Bowl snub last year, he seemed more upset that Johnson didn’t get the nod.

"I care more for Lane,” Mailata said last year. “I think Lane’s one of the best tackles in this game. I know, for me, if I look at myself in the mirror, I know I have a long way to go before I ever make those Pro Bowls. There’s so much stuff that I need to clean up on my own tape. If there’s one tackle I model myself after, it’s Lane. I just feel for Lane in that regard, more for him than myself.”

Even without the recognition, it’s pretty clear how important Johnson is to the Eagles’ success. The Eagles went 1-2 without him during those three games last year. And since 2016 (including playoffs), the Eagles are 46-27-1 with Johnson in the lineup and 9-21 without him.

According to ProFootballFocus, Johnson had 426 snaps in pass protection last season and didn’t give up a single sack. Since the start of the 2019 season, Johnson has played a total of 1,088 snaps in pass protection and has given up a grand total of … drumroll please … two sacks.

Johnson has been so good for so long in Philadelphia. And it shouldn’t be overlooked that he was the No. 4 overall pick in what ended up being a pretty weak first round back in 2013.

Ten years later, Johnson is still on top of his game. PFF ranked Johnson as the 10th-best overall tackle in the NFL in 2021. And if he’s not the best right tackle in the league, he’s pretty close, perhaps behind just Tampa’s Tristan Wirfs.

Johnson is one of the dwindling number of Super Bowl starters left on the roster and has a chance to eventually be the final position player from that roster left on the team. Johnson is under contract through the 2025 season, so the Eagles are counting on him continuing to be his reliable, dominant self in 2022 and beyond.

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