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June 28, 2016

NFL age inventory: Offensive line

Eagles NFL
062716JasonPeters Steven Senne/AP

Jason Peters and Allen Barbre discuss how much a gallon of gas used to cost, and how good Werther's Originals are.

All week long we're taking inventory of the Eagles' age at various spots on their roster. Yesterday we took a look at the offensive skill positions, where the Eagles are very young. Today we'll tackle the offensive line.

For the second consecutive year, the Philadelphia Eagles have the oldest projected starting offensive line in the NFL. Last year they had an average age of 29.6. This year, they're slightly younger, at an average age of 29.2. Here is where they rank compared with the rest of the NFL:

Rank Team Average age
Youngest Titans 23
2 Lions 24.4
T-3 Seahawks 24.6
T-4 Colts 24.6
T-5 Bears 24.8
T-5 Chiefs 24.8
T-7 Rams 25.2
T-7 Dolphins 25.2
T-9 Giants 25.6
T-9 Broncos 25.6
T-10 Cowboys 25.8
T-10 Patriots 25.8
13 Buccaneers 26
14 Texans 26.2
T-15 Redskins 26.4
T-15 Jaguars 26.4
T-17 Packers 26.8
T-17 Saints 26.8
T-17 Ravens 26.8
T-17 Browns 26.8
21 Panthers 27
22 Bills 27.2
23 Steelers 27.4
24 Raiders 27.8
25 Chargers 28.2
T-26 Vikings 28.4
T-26 Jets 28.4
28 Bengals 28.6
T-29 Cardinals 28.8
T-29 49ers 28.8
31 Falcons 29
Oldest Eagles 29.2

For the Eagles' starters, we projected the following lineup.

 Jason PetersAllen Barbre Jason Kelce Brandon Brooks Lane Johnson 

The only real spot that was seemingly up for grabs was LG, although Doug Pederson said that job was Allen Barbre's to lose.

"Right now it is Allen Barbre's job," Pederson said back in May, "and I think again that's something we did through the draft and a little bit of free agency is to kind of shore up that spot. I really like where we're at. I like the depth at that position right now. But yeah, Allen Barbre is my guy and he's our starter."

We'll see if that changes. The Eagles drafted Isaac Seumalo in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He has yet to practice with the full team, as his school (Oregon State) runs on the quarters system, which hurts his immediate chances to start. Still, Pederson said that Seumalo will be working specifically at LG, where Barbre is the only player in any danger of losing his spot. That's a good sign for Seumalo to have a legitimate chance to win that job.

Should Seumalo (22) win the starting LG job, he would lower the Eagles' average age considerably. They would go from an average age 29.2 to 27.2, and would be tied for 22nd with the Bills.

Here is where each of the Eagles' projected starters rank individually at their respective positions:

 PlayerPositional rank 
Jason Peters 2nd oldest LT 
 Allen Barbre2nd oldest LG 
 Jason Kelce11th oldest C 
 Brandon Brooks10th oldest RG 
 Lane Johnson24th oldest RT 

Obviously, Peters and Barbre bring the Eagles' average age up quite a bit. In fact, there are only 12 projected OL starters in the NFL who are 32 years of age or older, two of whom are on the left side of the Eagles' line:

Player Position Team Birthday Age
Evan Mathis RG Cardinals 11/1/1981 34
Andrew Whitworth LT Bengals 12/12/1981 34
Jason Peters LT Eagles 1/22/1982 34
Erik Pears RT 49ers 4/21/1982 34
Chris Chester RG Falcons 1/12/1983 33
Donald Penn LT Raiders 4/27/1983 33
Richie Incognito LG Bills 7/5/1983 33
Zach Streif RT Saints 9/22/1983 32
Eric Winston RT Bengals 11/17/1983 32
Nick Mangold C Jets 1/13/1984 32
Doug Free RT Cowboys 1/16/1984 32
Allen Barbre LG Eagles 6/22/1984 32

This offseason the Eagles put some legitimate draft and free agency resources toward the offensive line for the first time since the Eagles drafted Lane Johnson with the No. 4 overall pick in 2013. During the Chip Kelly era, the Eagles did a terrible job reloading with youth and depth, and it bit the Eagles in the ass, as we predicted it would this time last year. 

This offseason, the Birds signed Brandon Brooks to a big money deal in March, and they selected Seumalo and OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai in the draft.

While the Eagles are in much better shape heading into this season than they were a year ago, they are far from done reloading along their offensive line, which should remain a major priority in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski