Seumalo vs. the field in Eagles' right guard competition


We're getting close to Eagles training camp so we’re taking a look at five notable camp competitions.

Up first: Right guard.

The Eagles went into last season hoping three-time Pro Bowler Brandon Brooks would finally be over his injuries and return to his prime. But it didn’t happen. Brooks got hurt in Week 2 and the Eagles ended up using five different right guards last season.

This offseason, Brooks retired and now the Eagles have to figure out how to replace him.

One of those five players to start a game at right guard last season was second-round pick Landon Dickerson. But the Eagles are planning on leaving Dickerson at the left guard position, where he began to thrive as a rookie.

That leaves the right guard spot as the only question mark on an offensive line that might just be the best in the NFL.

Let’s look at the players:

Isaac Seumalo

Age: 28
Experience: Year 7 (64 games, 43 starts)
Size: 6-foot-4, 303 pounds

The veteran Seumalo is the heavy favorite to win this job. The Eagles put their former starting left guard on the right side during OTAs and this starting position appears to be his to lose.

When he’s healthy, Seumalo has proven himself to be a quality starting guard in the NFL. If you still think he stinks, it’s time to get over his early-career struggles. Because from 2018 on, Seumalo’s been fine. The biggest problem for him has been injuries. Since he started all 16 games in the 2019 season, Seumalo has played just 12 games over the last two years. And now he’s coming off a Lisfranc injury that ended his 2021 season during the third game of the season. But if — and it’s a big if — Seumalo is healthy, he should be the starter at right guard.

Jack Driscoll

Age: 25
Experience: Year 3 (20 games, 13 starts)
Size: 6-foot-5, 312 pounds

The Eagles used a fourth-round pick on Driscoll out of Auburn in 2020 and he’s proven himself to be a versatile backup who can play both guard and tackle spots. Driscoll has started 13 games in his career, including eight at right guard in 2021. ProFootballFocus ranked Driscoll as the 20th-best guard in the NFL last season. In fact, Driscoll finished with a higher grade than Dickerson.

But, like Seumalo, Driscoll has struggled to stay healthy too. Driscoll’s 2021 campaign ended in late November, when the team put him on IR for the second time in the season. Ideally, Driscoll would remain the offensive line’s sixth man, ready to fill in if just about anyone else gets hurt.

Sua Opeta

Age: 25
Experience: Year 4 (18 games, 4 starts)
Size: 6-foot-4, 305 pounds

Opeta has been with the Eagles since they signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Weber State in 2019. Opeta was kind of a project back then, but offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland has turned him into a viable option on the offensive line. He has been behind Driscoll on the depth chart, but Opeta was actually called upon to start the playoff game in Tampa last January. In that game, he was solid, giving up just two pressures. But he probably figures in as a backup player in 2022.

Cam Jurgens

Age: 22
Experience: Rookie
Size: 6-foot-3, 303 pounds

The Eagles drafted Jurgens as their eventual replacement for legend Jason Kelce. But Kelce is still on the roster in 2022 and the Eagles have been cross-training Jurgens at center and guard. The second-round pick definitely projects as a center in the NFL but all backups need to be able to play multiple spots. He’ll have a chance this summer to prove he can play guard.

The rest

Aside from those names, the Eagles have a few other guards on the roster who will be fighting for roster spots but won’t have a legitimate shot to win a starting gig. Kayode Awosika, Josh Sills, William Dunkle, Jack Anderson and even Brett Toth represent the other backup offensive lineman who can play guard.

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