When Peter King speaks, we listen.
He’s one of the best voices in NFL media and whenever he has something to say about our Eagles, it’s typically pretty spot on.
King’s weekly Football Morning in America Monday morning column is always an interesting read, regardless of what team or piece of NFL news he’s discussing. This week, he dropped his annual NFL Power Rankings for all 32 teams.
The new-look Eagles came in at No. 9 this year, rising all the way from 28 in King’s power rankings last year. Here’s his reasoning for the Eagles placement:
I see the Eagles as the best team in the East. I see Jalen Hurts doing enough to be a C-plus quarterback, with the addition of A.J. Brown. I see the receiving corps of Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins and Zach Pascal being good enough to make the Eagles a top-10 offense. I see Haason Redick returning to the scene of his prime (he played college football at Temple) and James Bradberry fortifying a corner depth chart to make this the best defense in the NFC East.
What I like about what the Eagles have done this offseason is this: They’ve created a team with a legitimate chance of winning now, with a legitimate offense to make a judgment on Jalen Hurts as the future quarterback. GM Howie Roseman has done it while still retaining enough pieces for the future to address the quarterback position if he needs in 2023. Roseman has three picks in the first two rounds next year, and three picks in the first two rounds of 2024. He’s done his job: He’s built a team for 2022, and he’s built a team that can do a U-turn in 2023 if need be.
The Eagles are better on both sides of the ball than they were in January, and that was capped by the Bradberry signing. In the end, they have a chance to win a game in January. The biggest addition was Brown, and I think he can be the difference in two or three games. ‘A.J. was a DNA match with us,’ Roseman told me after the trade. ‘He was exactly what we were looking for in a receiver, and he matched our culture.’ Good add.”FMIA: 2022 NFL Power Rankings Has Bills, Chargers, Rams Leading Pack; Pats, Cards, Steelers Stepping Back
While King himself writes in his introduction that he’s not always spot on with these rankings, it’s hard to disagree with anything he says about the Eagles here.
We’ve discussed this before — as has nearly every Eagles fan with two brain cells: Jalen Hurts has absolutely no excuses heading into 2022. From top to bottom, the offensive weaponry surrounding Hurts is borderline elite. All Hurts has to do is play efficient football and make the plays that are there to be had.
From a team building perspective, King makes a great point that isn’t discussed among Eagles fans nearly as much as it should be. There’s always a lot of talk about ‘win now mode’ or ‘going for it’ and some teams do it better than others.
Howie’s team building this offseason has been a perfect example of how to do it the right way, without sacrificing all of the team’s future assets. As King points out, the Eagles have three picks in the first two rounds in 2023 and 2024.
Not only is this team ready to compete in 2022, Howie has afforded himself a lot of flexibility moving forward, which is always an invaluable asset to have in your back pocket.
If Hurts can prove himself this year, Howie will have all the ammo in the world to continue building the team around him. If Hurts fails, then Howie has more than enough capital to make a significant move at the quarterback position. Win-win.
Being excited for the immediate future, while also daydreaming about all the possibilities that could arise down the line is pure bliss as an Eagles fan. It’s reminiscent of the early process days with the Sixers, before Joel Embiid was a two-time MVP runner-up and when we still all had hope Ben Simmons would develop a jump shot. The possibilities were endless with that iteration of the Sixers. This Eagles team gives off a similar vibe — let’s just pray that Eagles management doesn’t fumble the bag as horrifically as the Sixers did.