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5 strengths and weaknesses for the Philadelphia Eagles heading into the 2021-22 season

Philadelphia Eagles v Green Bay Packers
Philadelphia Eagles v Green Bay Packers
Luke Ervin
ANALYST

The Philadelphia Eagles had nowhere to look but up after the conclusion of the 2019 NFL season. They finished with a 9-7 record, an NFC East division title, and had a young, ascending quarterback in Carson Wentz.

But things change quickly in the NFL, as the Eagles witnessed themselves throughout the 2020 season, finishing 4-11-1, rock-bottom of the division. The once-promising Wentz had a horrendous season and was traded during the 2021 offseason to the Indianapolis Colts.

Now, as the Philadelphia Eagles head into the 2021-22 season, they seem to be approaching a massive rebuild. Even though the roster has massive holes, there's still cause for optimism as the Eagles enter a rebuilding season.

Philadelphia Eagles strengths

#1 - Defensive Line

The Philadelphia Eagles can flat out get to the quarterback. Last season, the defensive line was one of the lone bright spots for the Eagles as they finished the season with 49 team sacks, third in the NFL.

The main pieces of that dominant 2020 defensive line will all be back with the Eagles in 2021. Brandon Graham, the Eagles' sack leader in 2020, Fletcher Cox, Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett and Javon Hargrave are all returning to wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines.

#2 - Weak NFC East

Sometimes, one of these strengths comes through another's weakness.

While the NFC East shouldn't be as bad as it was in 2020, a 7-9 record winning the division last season, there's still not one dominant force that is unequivocally the favorite to take the NFC East.

The Washington Football Team and the Dallas Cowboys look like the two leaders to win the division, but both have significant weaknesses, making them vulnerable. Even in a rebuilding season, it's possible the Eagles could remain competitive in the division.

#3 - Offensive Line

When healthy, the Eagles have an outstanding offensive line. Unfortunately, the Philadelphia offensive line was battered and bruised the entire 2020 season. Even then, the Eagles were far from the worst offensive line in the league.

Getting a healthy season from Lane Johnson and Brandon Brooks would be massive for the Eagles up front. Johnson and Brooks, along with Jason Kelce, give the Eagles a very strong trio of offensive linemen to rely on.

#4 - Young talent at offensive skill positions

The Eagles' offensive skill positions don't feature a ton of proven talent, but because of their youth, they all offer a decent amount of potential. Take, for example, the wide receiver group: Travis Fulgham, Jalen Reagor, and rookie Devonta Smith are all young wideouts with varying levels of potential.

At running back, the Eagles will feature more young talent in Boston Scott, Miles Sanders, rookie Kenneth Gainwell and Kerryon Johnson. The tight end position has a more proven young talent in 26-year-old Dallas Goedert.

Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts, a second-year player, will be the starting quarterback. Even if some of the Eagles' youth doesn't pan out on offense, at the end of the day, the Eagles needed an infusion of youth on offense and they got it.

#5 No expectations

Nobody is expecting the Eagles to win games this season, and this lack of expectations means the Eagles can roll out their young guys every week and let the chips fall where they may. There is great value in giving young players a chance to shine and grow, even if it means suffering through their rookie mistakes.

Philadelphia Eagles weaknesses

#1 - Corner

The number one need for the Eagles going into the 2021 offseason was the cornerback position and they failed to adequately address the issue. Darius Slay is the only corner on the roster with proven, consistent success in the NFL. The Eagles desperately need to sign a veteran free agent to help fill the void at corner.

#2 - Linebacker

The Eagles added former Vikings linebacker Eric Wilson this offseason to help shore up the unit, but on paper, the group still looks below average.

Like the corner position, the Eagles lack proven linebackers with a history of consistency. This is another area the Eagles could look to add a free agent, otherwise, the linebacking core will be picked apart once again this season.

#3 - Safety

The Eagles' outlook at safety is better than the outlook at corner, but not by much. This offseason, the Eagles signed another former Viking, Anthony Harris, who is a very talented starting safety.

The other projected starting safety, Rodney McLeod, is making a comeback from injury, and his status for the start of the regular season is unclear. If McLeod misses action, the Eagles will be forced to use unproven depth at the second starting safety spot.

#4 - Lack of a veteran presence at wide receiver

While young talent at wide receiver is a strength for the Eagles, they could still use some kind of veteran presence at the position. Not only would a veteran presence help guide the younger receivers, it would also be good for Jalen Hurts to work with proven talent.

There is something to be said about the knowledge and leadership a reliable veteran can bring to a group of young players.

#5 - Lack of depth at tight end

For a while now, the Eagles have been rumored to be interested in trading Zach Ertz. If they were to make a move like that, the Eagles' tight end depth would take a major hit. Granted, Ertz isn't the player he once was, but beyond Ertz and Goedert at tight end, Richard Rodgers is the only other TE with real NFL experience.


Edited by Colin D'Cunha

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