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Matt Hennessy could have prominent role on Eagles' new-look offensive line

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Sua Opeta started 10 games on the offensive line since 2020 and Jack Driscoll started 17. And the Eagles let both go without putting up a fight for one reason.

Matt Hennessy.

Opeta and Driscoll were both long-time offensive line backups for the Eagles and pretty good ones, Opeta first arriving as an undrafted rookie in 2019 and Driscoll as a 4th-round pick in 2020.

But Jason Kelce’s retirement set into motion a number of moves, with Cam Jurgens expected to move from right guard to center, Opeta signing with the Buccaneers, Driscoll signing with the Dolphins and the Eagles signing Hennessy.

What’s his role? Remains to be seen.

“I’m here to compete,” Hennessy said. “Position flexibility is a huge deal to (Jeff Stoutland). I played a couple different spots in the NFL, so I don’t know exactly what it will look like yet but I’m here to compete and help the team win.”

In his three seasons with the Falcons, Hennessy played 1,038 snaps at center and 232 at left guard. He started two games at center in 2020, all 17 games at center in 2021 and two games at left guard in 2022. He missed all of last year with a knee injury.

“No preference really,” he said. “I played center in college, played center a little bit in the league, played some guard in the league, I feel like all the interior three you can kind of move them interchangeably and you need to be able to do that to be able to stick around in the NFL so that’s something I’m willing to do and want to do.”

Hennessy’s versatility gives the Eagles some options.

He could compete at right guard with Steen, who started the first Dallas game at right guard, and Jurgens, who was OK last year but not great and missed six games. He could back up all three interior spots. He could conceivably play left guard if the Eagles at any point toy with the idea of moving Landon Dickerson to center.

Stoutland loves versatility, and Hennessy said it’s helped him understand the game more playing both guard and center in the NFL.

“When you cross train at different positions you definitely gain a more holistic understanding of the offense,” he said. “You’re playing center, then you’re paying guard, you know what the center is processing in his head or the other way around. It’s certainly helpful.”

The Eagles were an attractive destination for Hennessy for a few reasons. Winning tradition. Outstanding offensive line. Same city as Temple, where he played college football. And Stout.

Hennessy got to know Stoutland during the pre-draft practice in 2020. The Falcons wound up drafting him in the third round with the 78th pick, 11 spots after Julian Okwara, four spots after Zack Baun, two other Eagles offseason acquisitions, and 25 spots before the Eagles selected Davion Taylor, who’s not currently in the league.

“It was good to circle back with him,” he said. “Spent a lot of time at the combine and that stuff getting to know him, so I was excited to see him again. He picked up right where he left off. He’s a guy who the players clearly love and he’s highly regarded and I’m excited to play for him.”

Hennessy missed all of 2023 with that knee injury from training camp and had surgery before the season even began. He said he’s 100 percent now and plans to be a full participant in spring practices.

“It’s an organization I’ve always admired from afar,” he said. “The players, the coaches, the fan base. It’s somewhere that’s close to home for me. I went to college at Temple, loved it there, loved the city. So I’m excited to be back.

“Driving past the Linc, I had goosebumps. I’m so excited to be home.”

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