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Philadelphia Eagles projected starting lineup: Who will start in Week 1 against the Falcons?

Washington Football Team v Philadelphia Eagles
Washington Football Team v Philadelphia Eagles
ANALYST

The Philadelphia Eagles now have their 53-man roster set, and we can make a clear projection of who's going to start in the Week 1 contest against the Atlanta Falcons.

Expectations for the Eagles in 2021 are unclear. If healthy, this is a good enough team to make the playoffs in the NFC, but they've had so many injury problems over the last three years that it's tough to believe that Philadelphia will be lucky in 2021.

The most important question to be answered is about the development of Jalen Hurts. The second-year quarterback made great strides during training camp, but his first real test against the Falcons will show how much better he is compared to his rookie season.

Without further ado, check out our projections for the Eagles starters against the Falcons on September 12.

Offense:

Quarterback: Jalen Hurts

Hurts is coming for his second season in the league and he's got a year to prove to the franchise brass that they don't need to trade up in the 2021 draft for a new quarterback. He's fast and can make plays with his legs, but his accuracy is still a question mark.

Running back: Miles Sanders

Sanders had a disappointing 2020 season with a number of drops and fumbles. Although his ball security is a concern right now, he's the best runner on the Eagles' roster by a mile. His potential to break in long runs is big.

Wide receivers: DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Jalen Reagor

A young trio of receivers. All of Smith, Watkins and Reagor were drafted in 2020 or 2021. Smith and Reagor, both former first-round picks, are quick, but need to improve their route running. Watkins has been a pleasant surprise with his improvement since year 1. This trio should improve as the year goes on with more and more experience.

Tight End: Dallas Goedert

Goedert can do basically everything a top-tier tight end needs to do, both blocking and receiving. Goedert should get most of the snaps even with Zach Ertz staying at Philadelphia, as he's the better player between the two right now.

Offensive line: Jordan Mailata, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson

The right side of the line, if healthy, has the talent to be the best in the NFL, and the emergence of Mailata on the left side has the Eagles feeling awesome after his three years of development.

Kelce is still playing at a very high level, and if he's in his last year in the league, he'll be a valuable asset, giving help to Landon Dickerson, the second-round rookie. Even though Seumalo isn't a superstar, he's got enough versatility to play all five spots on the offensive line.

New York Jets v Philadelphia Eagles
New York Jets v Philadelphia Eagles

Defense

Defensive End: Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett

Graham and Barnett are a strong duo pressuring quarterbacks through the edge. Barnett is in a contract year and he had a great training camp, so expect him to be a force from the start of the season for the Eagles.

Defensive Tackle: Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave

Another strong portion of the roster is the defensive tackle position. Both Cox and Hargrave are incredible players who should terrorize the interior of opposing offensive lines.

Linebackers: Eric Wilson, Alex Singletary

Wilson, a solid but unspectacular player, is already an upgrade over what the Eagles have had in recent years with Nathan Gerry. Singletary improved year-to-year, and earned his way into the starting lineup with good practice.

Cornerbacks: Darius Slay, Steven Nelson, Avonte Maddox

The Eagles secondary was awful last year, but that was because of the number of injuries they had during the season. There's more depth now and a really good cornerback in Darius Slay.

The Eagles' pass defense should work much better in 2021, and the Atlanta Falcons offense isn't the Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes to put up 40 points.

Safety: Anthony Harris, Marcus Epps

Just like with the cornerbacks, you can expect some improvement in the Eagles' safety position. Harris is an awesome player, even though he's coming from a down year. Epps should start in place of Rodney McLeod, who's going through an injury problem.

Special teams

K Jake Elliott, P Arryn Siposs, LB Rick Lovato

No surprises here, as none of them faced a starting battle during camp. Elliott should bounce back following a dreadful 2020 campaign.


Edited by Prem Deshpande
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