Eagles Depth Chart Projections: Will Dean start from day one?

With the offseason coming to a close and rookie camp underway, it’s time to look ahead to the 2022 season.

The Eagles have made a handful of big moves this offseason. From acquiring Haason Reddick on the first day of free agency, to trading for A.J. Brown during the first-round of the NFL Draft, Howie Roseman has been a busy man this calendar year.

With all these moves, the Eagles depth chart will look a bit different than it did last season. Let’s take a crack at this year’s depth chart now that the offseason is winding down.

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Quarterback: Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew, Carson Strong

This one is pretty self explanatory. We all know Jalen Hurts is going to be the day one starter barring a major injury, Gardner Minshew will slide in nicely as a top tier backup, while undrafted rookie Carson Strong gets a roster spot for development purposes. Reid Sinnett gets left off here because he feels like more of a practice squad player than anything else. As always, the Eagles will have a strong quarterback room from top to bottom.

Running Back: Miles Sanders, Kenny Gainwell, Boston Scott, Jason Huntley

Another position that’s pretty straight forward. Miles Sanders is entering the final year of his rookie deal, so look for him to get an increase in touches this season. Kenny Gainwell surpasses Boston Scott as the primary RB2 this year, mostly because he’s younger and did a lot of great stuff as a rookie. Along with his receiving prowess, Gainwell showcased some solid balance and power when running between the tackles in 2021. His development will be exciting to watch. And then we have Jason Huntley, who should finally crack the RB rotation with Jordan Howard out of the picture — for now.

Wide Receiver: A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward

There could be surprises here, like Devon Allen or Britain Covey cracking the 53-man roster and overtaking Greg Ward’s spot, but Ward is a veteran who is a solid WR6 to have at the end of the depth chart. Overall, this receiving corps looks very good on paper. Whether you want to call A.J. Brown the WR1 or give that label to DeVonta Smith, it really doesn’t matter. They’ll both line up all over the formation and more than likely be effective. Quez Watkins took a big leap in development last season as the primary slot option and I’m expecting him to get even better in 2022. He’s the fastest receiver on the team and provide a lot of big play ability from the slot. Then we have Jalen Reagor, who’s slowly becoming the forgotten man in Philly. He still has potential to pop in year three and I wouldn’t be shocked if he and Watkins start splitting reps in the slot as the season goes on.

Tight End: Dallas Goedert, Grant Calcaterra, Jack Stoll, Tyree Jackson

Sorry JJAW, but transitioning to tight end won’t save your Eagles career, especially after drafting Grant Calcaterra in the sixth-round of the draft this year. Calcaterra is probably the best receiving tight end on the team not named Dallas Goedert, even as a rookie. He’s big, physical, and has a solid route running acumen. I expect him to takeover the TE2 role in Nick Sirianni’s offense. Jack Stoll is a very solid blocker so he should still get playing time, especially around the goal line. Tyree Jackson is the wildcard here. If he can somehow stay healthy, his potential is sky high. He’ll be an interesting name to watch throughout training camp.

Right Tackle: Lane Johnson, Jack Driscoll, Le’Raven Clark

Lane Johnson has been a staple at right tackle for years, that won’t change until he’s gone. Jack Driscoll is one of my personal favorites along the Eagles offensive line. He can play any position outside of center and has done a tremendous job when filling in for numerous injuries across the line. Driscoll is the type of invaluable, versatile lineman every team wants on their roster.

Right Guard: Isaac Seumalo, Kayode Awosika

With Brandon Brooks hanging up the cleats, I imagine Isaac Seumalo will fill in as his replacement at right guard. He’s a very competent player who often gets overlooked because of all the name recognition across the Birds’ offensive line. Seumalo should do a fine job as the starting right guard. Kayode Awosika is similar to Driscoll in that he can really fill in for any position across the offensive line. He’s another valuable backup to have in today’s NFL.

Center: Jason Kelce, Cam Jurgens, Brett Toth

Like Johnson, Jason Kelce is the man at center until he leaves. He’s easily the most valuable player along the line. Behind him we have rookie Cam Jurgens, who will act as his successor in a year or two. He does have some versatility to play guard, but for long-term purposes, keeping him at center and only center is probably best. Brett Toth is another guy who can play multiple positions along the interior and he should fill out the depth chart nicely behind Kelce and Jurgens.

Left Guard: Landon Dickerson, Sua Opeta

After an impressive rookie season, Landon Dickerson will start from Week 1 at left guard. He has the potential to become a staple of this offensive line for years to come. Behind him we have the reliable Sua Opeta, who’s filled in numerous times throughout the past few seasons.

Left Tackle: Jordan Mailata, Andre Dillard

There will be no left tackle competition during training camp this time around. Jordan Mailata was one of the best tackles in football last season and should only get better — a truly scary thought for any defensive end who faces him. Former first-round pick Andre Dillard is a high-end backup, but he brings no versatility to the table. He’s a left tackle only, which will naturally cap his value. Regardless, if Mailata goes down for a few weeks, Dillard is more than capable of filling in when need be.

Left Defensive End: Brandon Graham, Tarron Jackson

Yes, Haason Reddick will likely get some run along the edge, but for depth chart purposes, he’ll be listed as the SAM linebacker. Brandon Graham coming back will be huge for the Eagles defensive line. They never lived up to their potential last season and a big part of that was the absence of Graham. Tarron Jackson should get some more playing time in his second year as well.

Defensive Tackle: Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Jordan Davis, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu

The Eagles, on paper, are stacked along the interior of their defensive line. Entering the second year under Jonathan Gannon, both Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave should be more comfortable in his scheme, and in turn be more productive. Both Milton Williams and Jordan Davis could probably start for a handful of other teams across the league. Having those two rotate in in appropriate situations should make the interior of this defensive line very dangerous.

Right Defensive End: Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, Matt Leo

Josh Sweat, somewhat surprisingly, made his first Pro Bowl in 2021. Even if that does come as a surprise, he certainly has the potential to be a double-digit sack guy in the near future. Not many fans are excited to have Derek Barnett back in the fold, but as a rotational piece, he’s a fine edge rusher to have and provides solid depth behind the starters.

WILL Linebacker: Kyzir White, Davion Taylor, JaCoby Stevens

Davion Taylor did some nice things in year two in 2021, but the signing of Kyzir White may hinder how much playing time he sees in 2022. White brings a lot to the table as a WILL backer. He’s fast, explosive, and has a nose for the football. He has the best coverage ability of any backer on the team right now, which should give him the edge over Taylor early on.

MIKE Linebacker: Nakobe Dean, T.J. Edwards, Shaun Bradley

As solid as T.J. Edwards was last season, the acquisition of Nakobe Dean will inevitably move him down the depth chart. We shouldn’t be surprised if that happens as early as training camp. Dean was one of the best defensive players entering this year’s draft and he’s already the most well rounded backer on the team. His leadership and pure nose for the football should propel him into a starting role in no time.

SAM Linebacker: Haason Reddick, Kyron Johnson, Patrick Johnson

Haason Reddick should be a force for the Eagles as soon as he hits the field. He’s a no brainer starter here. Behind him, sixth-round pick Kyron Johnson gets the nod over Patrick Johnson. He’s a fast, explosive pass rusher who can do a handful of different things as the SAM backer. I still like what Patrick Johnson brings to the table, but Kyron Johnson’s ceiling is a bit higher.

Left Cornerback: Darius Slay, Tay Gowan, Kary Vincent Jr.

Darius Slay is going to once again hold down one of the starting outside corner spots. Behind him we have Tay Gowan, who may compete for the starting spot opposite of him. But ultimately, he’ll likely fall to a backup role. Kary Vincent is another young corner who has potential.

Right Cornerback: Zech McPhearson, Tay Gowan, Josh Jobe

As it stands right now, Zech McPhearson is the frontrunner to win the starting corner job opposite of Slay. That could change pretty quickly once camp rolls around, or if the team signs a veteran. McPhearson did some nice things during his rookie year, albeit in limited playing time. Gowan will once again fill in as the backup, with undrafted rookie Josh Jobe filling out the depth chart.

Nickel Corner: Avonte Maddox, Josiah Scott, Mario Goodrich

Avonte Maddox had a resurgent season as the team’s nickel corner last year and he’ll remain in that role for the foreseeable future. Behind him, Josiah Scott is another natural slot who backed up Maddox last season. That should continue into 2022. Then we have undrafted free agent Mario Goodrich, who can play a handful of positions in the secondary. Placing him at the nickel makes sense for the time being.

Free Safety: Anthony Harris, Andre Chachere, Reed Blankenship

With Anthony Harris coming back for a second year, he should resume his role as Gannon’s free safety. The depth behind him is pretty bleak, but Andre Chachere has proven to be a versatile player who can fill in on occasion. Reed Blankenship is the undrafted rookie of the group and due to the low amount of depth at the position, he gets the nod as a third safety.

Strong Safety: Marcus Epps, K’Von Wallace

Howie failed to land the Honey Badger in free agency, so it appears the team is comfortable with Marcus Epps manning the starting role. He was pretty impressive in his limited snaps as the third safety last season. For the Eagles sake, hopefully his upward trajectory continues. With K’Von Wallace, he felt like the prime option to play the third safety role last season. Injuries threw a wrench into things and he ended up getting replaced my Epps. Now that Epps will have amore expanded role in 2022, perhaps Wallace can finally stake his claim to the third safety role.

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