Eagles top 25

Changing of the guard: Second-year player on most important Eagles list

Tyler Steen takes his spot on the list of most important Eagles of 2024.

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Over the next few weeks leading up to training camp, we’ll be counting down the top 25 most important Eagles for the 2024 season.

25. Brandon Graham
24. Nakobe Dean
23. Milton Williams
22. Jake Elliott
21. Nolan Smith
20. Cooper DeJean
19. Reed Blankenship
18. Tyler Steen

The retirement of Jason Kelce is having a minor domino effect on the Eagles’ offensive line. Because with Kelce gone, that means Cam Jurgens is sliding from right guard to center, leaving the right guard spot open.

That job now belongs to Tyler Steen.

The third-round pick from Alabama didn’t play much as a rookie and even when Jurgens missed time with injury, it was veteran Sua Opeta who filled in. The only start Steen made was against the Cowboys in Week 9 before the bye when Opeta was banged up too.

The Eagles won that game 28-23 but Steen didn’t play very well. In that game, he gave up a team-high six pressures and a quarterback hit, according to ProFootballFocus. And that performance stuck with him.

“When I look back at it, I mean, probably didn't play as well as I wanted to play,” Steen said.

“We won the game, so that was great. But as far as individually, I was kind of a little disappointed. And I really just want to prove that I'm a better player than that. So that's kind of what I want to focus on.”

During the five spring practices open to reporters, Steen was the Eagles’ first-team right guard. And it’s clear that offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland wants to get the five starters as much time together as possible. So unless Steen really struggles this summer, it’s probably safe to assume he’s going to be the starting right guard between Jurgens and Lane Johnson.

The one area that Steen really wanted to work on this offseason was his strength. His teammates have taken notice.

“He’s been good,” Johnson said. “I mean, he’s night and day stronger than what he was last year. He’s put in the work. We have a lot of bodies and as you know, OTAs is limited contact. Everything is looking good, footwork, but we really won’t tell until training camp when we get the pads on.”

Last summer, some folks expected Steen to challenge Jurgens for that starting right guard spot and it never happened. It’s worth noting that Steen played left tackle in college so a switch to right guard is pretty dramatic. Not only did he change positions but he flipped sides of the line. That’s not easy.

Just having more practice reps under his belt has helped Steen feel a little more at home at right guard.

In recent Eagles history, there’s one right guard that stands out above the rest. Three-time Pro Bowler Brandon Brooks is clearly the prototype for Stoutland.

“That's who you're looking for. Ain't many of them around. But that's who you're looking for,” Stoutland said this spring. “Size, length of arms, explosive power, all these things. Lower body flex. All these things are like all into one. It's like, ‘Holy cow, how do you find these?’ And so you're always comparing everybody. 

“In my mind, I'm comparing [Steen] to [Brooks]. He has a little bit of that. Like, a lot of that, actually, Tyler does.”

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