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May 01, 2017

Where are the Eagles deep, and not so deep, after the 2017 NFL Draft: Offense edition

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Heading into the 2017 NFL Draft, there was no way the Eagles were going to fill all of their many holes, though they did add some players who should help bolster their depth.

Here we'll take a look at each of their positions, and determine where they are strong, and where they still need help, starting with the offense.

Quarterback: Deep

There was a near zero percent chance the Eagles were going to draft a quarterback in the first two or three rounds, given the resources used to trade up to select Carson Wentz a season ago. With Wentz and Nick Foles and their No. 1 and No. 2 quarterbacks, the Eagles look good here, though they spent a lot of unnecessary dollars on Chase Daniel before they landed here.

Running back: Major need

The Eagles drafted Donnel Pumphrey in the fourth round, but they have a glaring need for a bigger back with Ryan Mathews still almost certain to be released whenever he passes a physical. Assuming Mathews is a still a goner (he is), here's a look at the Eagles' top three running backs, and their size:

Player Height Weight 
 Darren Sproles5'6 190 
 Wendell Smallwood5'10 208 
 Donnel Pumphrey5'9 170 
AVERAGE 5'8 189 


The Eagles reportedly tried to trade up for Dalvin Cook in the second round, but failed, according to Jeff McLane of the Inquirer. Instead, the Vikings moved up seven spots from 48 to 41 ahead of the Eagles for Cook, with the cost being their fourth-round pick (128th overall). The Eagles probably could have gotten that same deal done, needing only to give up their 43rd overall pick and pick No. 132 (where Pumphrey was selected) to get the deal done.

Who would you rather have? Dalvin Cook, or Sidney Jones and Donnel Pumphrey? No seriously, I'm curious what you think:

In my view, it is an absolute slam dunk no-brainer that Cook is the far better value.

Wide receiver: Deep

Hey look, the Eagles finally have some depth at receiver after adding Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith in free agency, and then Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson in the draft. A quick look at their depth chart there:

 Eagles WR 1
 WR1Alshon Jeffery  Mack HollinsNelson Agholor 
 WR2 Torrey SmithShelton Gibson  Dorial Green-Beckham
 Slot Jordan MatthewsPaul Turner  Byron Marshall


I still wouldn't completely rule out a Jordan Matthews trade, by the way.

Tight end: Deep

It was a mild surprise the Eagles didn't grab a tight end in this draft, but they are still clearly deep with Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, and Trey Burton.

Offensive tackle: Deep (for now)

The Eagles have a pair of high-quality bookends in Jason Peters and Lane Johnson, with Halapoulivaati Vaitai having gotten some valuable experience last season. The Eagles are set here in 2017, but it is a position they are going to have to address in the very near future.

Offensive guard/center: Deep

The Eagles are loaded up with experienced players along the interior of their offensive line. The number in parentheses next to each player notes the number of games they have started in the NFL:

Eagles OG/C
 LGIsaac Seumalo (4) Allen Barbre (36)Dallas Thomas (26) Aaron Neary (0) 
 CJason Kelce (78) Stefen Wisniewski (83) Josh Andrews (0)Josh LeRibeus (12) 
 RGBrandon Brooks (58) Chance Warmack (48) Darrell Greene (0)  


Their projected second-team unit has 167 combined career starts. There's a still a very good chance the Eagles look to deal Jason Kelce this offseason.

Conclusion

Overall, the Eagles have some nice depth on their offense, although they have a clear, glaring lack of a running back who can pick up a tough first down on 3rd and 1. The Eagles could look to add a veteran back with some size leading up to training camp.


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