Ranking Eagles' top positional needs this offseason


Here's a ranking of the Eagles' top positional needs this offseason. By Dave Zangaro

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The Eagles are coming off a 4-11-1 season, they have a rookie head coach, a young quarterback and a roster in desperate need of an overhaul.

So, yeah, they have a ton of needs.

But here’s how I’d rank their positional needs with free agency and the draft coming up:














Could the Eagles show up to Week 1 with Travis Fulgham, Jalen Reagor and Greg Ward Jr. as their starter? I guess so. But they also need an upgrade. I’m not sure what the Eagles have in Fulgham or Reagor. They both have potential but are pretty big question marks heading into the 2021 season. And Ward is a solid player but isn’t overly explosive. The Eagles haven’t had a true No. 1 receiver in quite some time so if they have a chance to land one in the draft, it would go a long way.













Surprise, surprise. Receiver and cornerback show up as 1-2 for the Eagles yet again. The Eagles will bring back Darius Slay for his second season in Philly but Avonte Maddox wasn’t a very good CB2 in 2020 and they need to upgrade. On top of that, Nickell Robey-Coleman and Cre’Von LeBlanc are set to be free agents so the Eagles need a new nickel CB. So maybe the Eagles can slide Maddox inside in his fourth NFL season but then they still need to add another CB2. The Eagles will have some real option on Day 2 of the draft.












Jalen Mills is set to be a free agent after the Eagles paid him $4 million on a one-year deal in 2020. Mills is an OK player but they probably overpaid him last year and if they can’t get him for any cheaper it might make sense to move on. The problem is that Rodney McLeod is coming off an ACL tear and is entering a contract year himself. The Eagles have some young safeties in Marcus Epps and K’Von Wallace so there’s a chance the Eagles will want to use the 2021 season to see what they have in them.











Nate Gerry and Duke Riley are going to become free agents, but at least Alex Singleton will return after his breakout season in 2020. After that, the Eagles still have T.J. Edwards, Davion Taylor and Shaun Bradley. The Eagles used a 3rd-round pick on Taylor last year but he was so raw that he barely played on defense as a rookie despite the Eagles’ long-standing weakness at the position. Maybe Taylor develops into a starting-caliber player but that’s a real question mark for now.










All signs are pointing to Jalen Hurts being the Eagles’ starting quarterback in 2021, but when the new league year starts, he’s going to be the only quarterback on the roster. Carson Wentz has been trade to Indianapolis and Nate Sudfeld is going to be a free agent. Even if Hurts is the unquestioned starteR, the Eagles still need a backup who is capable of winning games. We know how much the Eagles value that backup QB position.









Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave are under contract and create a pretty formidable starting duo in the middle. But after that the Eagles won’t have much. They are expected to part ways with Malik Jackson and Hassan Ridgeway is set to become a free agent. Maybe Ridgeway returns on a veteran minimum deal but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy in recent seasons. We’ll see if the Eagles continue to rotate as much under this new staff as the last, but either way, they need backup DTs.








Brandon Graham is expected to return while the Eagles still have to make their decision on Derek Barnett. If Barnett is back in 2021, the Eagles have a pretty good top three with Graham, Barnett and Josh Sweat. But Graham isn’t getting any younger and this is a really important position.







We expect that Zach Ertz will be gone in 2021, leaving Dallas Goedert as the top tight end as he enters the final year of his rookie contract. Richard Rodgers is expected to be a free agent. Maybe the Eagles can bring back Rodgers on a cheap deal but if not, they’re going to need a No. 2 tight end. They will have to get a tight end one way or the other.






I contemplated putting this higher. Because while the Eagles appear set on the interior of their OL, these guys aren’t getting any younger. Jason Kelce is 33, Brandon Brooks is 31 and Issac Seumalo is 27. It’s time to start thinking about the future at these positions and the Eagles don’t have top tier backups ready. They have guys like Nate Herbig, Sua Opeta and Luke Juriga. The Eagles like those backups and they might be able to fill in but none of them appear ready to become full-time starters.





As long as Lane Johnson can get past his ankle injury, the Eagles have two pretty good tackles in Johnson and … well … probably Jordan Mailata. But this speaks to their depth right now. Even if Mailata ends up being out Andre Dillard for the starting left tackle job, that means the Eagles will have a 1st-round pick as their top OL backup. Sure, Dillard might simply be a backup left tackle but Mailata can play on the right side and the Eagles should shuffle if need be. And they even have Jack Driscoll, who did some good things as a rookie in limited appearances in 2020.




The Eagles will bring back Miles Sanders and Boston Scott for this upcoming season. That’s a pretty good 1-2 punch, although you can certainly argue the Eagles should be looking to add/upgrade that rotation. At the top, Sanders has shown the potential to be a very good back in the NFL but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy and he hasn’t gotten enough opportunity. Under a new head coach, he figures to get the rock more.


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Even though the Eagles are letting Cam Johnston test the free agent market, there’s still a chance they re-sign him. Meanwhile, the Eagles are already financially committed to Jake Elliott and Rick Lovato. Elliott had a bad season in 2020 but the Eagles are stuck with him for now.

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