March 27, 2017
ESPN.com asked all four of their NFC East team beat writers which free agent acquisition will have the biggest impact on the division in 2017, and unsurprisingly, all four believe that the answer is the Eagles’ Alshon Jeffery.
Sometimes, it’s more interesting to get a view from the outside. And when it came to the other NFC East reporters, they all seemed to notice how bad the Eagles’ receivers were last season. See, it’s not just us! Here’s Giants writer Jordan Ranaan:
Did you see their wide receivers last season? If Jeffery is on the field (injuries are always the question with him) he’s such a substantial upgrade from what they had last year, when Jordan Matthews was their No. 1 receiver. Jeffery gives quarterback Carson Wentz a weapon on the outside that he didn’t have during his rookie year. He can go up and get the ball and make tough catches in tight spaces. Was Nelson Agholor going to do that for him last year? Dorial Green-Beckham? Please.
Cowboys reporter Todd Archer expressed similar sentiments:
If he can stay healthy and on the field, I think the Eagles have found Carson Wentz a bona fide No. 1 receiver to make his life a lot easier. I’ve spent the last 10 years covering Tony Romo and he always had a top receiver -- Terrell Owens, Miles Austin (at least for a short run), Dez Bryant -- to help his development and ascension up the quarterback ranks. Jeffery is a matchup nightmare for most cornerbacks.
Well, at least it’s good to see that the lack of production from the Eagles receiving corps wasn’t going unnoticed outside of the Delaware Valley this season. If he can stay healthy, Jeffery should indeed be a major upgrade.
NFL Power Rankings: ESPN.com
The Eagles come in 21st on this list. The Cowboys, Giants, and Washington are 4th, 9th, and 20th respectively:
Eagles wide receivers combined for the second-fewest yards, yards per reception and touchdowns last season. So what did the team go out and do this offseason? It got Carson Wentz some help. Welcome to Philadelphia, Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith.
Will the Eagles trade Jason Kelce and Mychal Kendricks? Brandon Lee Gowton, Bleeding Green Nation
Gowton doesn’t believe that Kendricks will be on the 53-man roster by the time that the season rolls around:
No. The coaching staff isn’t high on him. I really believe he’ll be traded. I can’t imagine they’d cut him considering they kept him past the date part of his salary became guaranteed.
Momentous Change Will Mark NFL Annual Meetings: Peter King, The MMQB
King applauded Jeffrey Lurie for his piece on autism in TIME:
I think it was smart for Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to write for Time about autism, and what our elected officials should do about it. Lurie speaks cogently about the bitter divisiveness in Washington and then about the disease that is felt in so many American families.
Ranking the NFL's best teams at every position post-free agency: Aaron Schatz, ESPN.com
The Eagles grade out as a Top-10 unit around the NFL in the following categories: Offensive line, front seven against both the pass and run, and special teams. So yeah, there is some work left to do:
Houston is counting on the return of J.J. Watt to return it to the ranks of the league's best pass rushes. You may not think of Philadelphia as a strong front seven, but the Eagles ranked fifth in pressure rate despite blitzing less than 20 percent of the time.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann