The Philadelphia Eagles are on the up and up.
After a surprising playoff berth last year, Howie Roseman and Co. added solid talent across the board this offseason. Jonathan Gannon has legitimate talent to work with on the defensive side of the ball and you’d be hard pressed to find any glaring holes on offense. From top to bottom, this Eagles team is primed to compete this season.
As Eagles fans, it’s easy for us to point out all the talent Howie has accumulated on both sides of the ball, even if the national media hasn’t given certain players their due yet. There are several Eagles players who could burst into the national spotlight this year, and in turn earn their first Pro Bowl appearance.
Here are five players who could reach that benchmark in 2022 for the first time.
LT Jordan Mailata
Jordan Mailata should have been in the Pro Bowl last season, but as a first-time starter at just 24 years old, it’s somewhat understandable that he wasn’t.
Mailata was dominant last season as the Eagles starting left tackle. He posted a Pro Football Focus overall grade of 88.3, ranking him third among all offensive tackles last season. On 461 pass blocking reps, Mailata only surrendered 3 sacks, 1 quarterback hit, 16 hurries, and 20 pressures.
Simply put, Mailata is one of the freakiest athletes in Philadelphia sports right now. He can move like a full back thanks to his rugby days and he delivers punishing blows whenever he gets into the open field. His technique has come a long way thanks to offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland and he’s only scratching the surface of his potential.
Forget making the Pro Bowl, Mailata has a real shot at earning an All-Pro selection this year. If he takes another step in the right direction in 2022, he may be an unquestioned top-3 tackle in football by season’s end.
TE Dallas Goedert
Entering his first year as the unquestioned TE1, Dallas Goedert is primed for a big year.
In the 11 games after the Zach Ertz trade last season, Goedert totaled 47 catches for 706 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the season, he hauled in 56 receptions and 42 of them went for first downs. That means an astounding 75% of Goedert’s receptions last season moved the chains. He also averaged 14.8 yards per reception, which doesn’t seem too crazy on its surface, but as the great Reuben Frank pointed out in his recent Eagles Observations piece, only eight other tight ends over the past 50 years have averaged 14.8 yards for a full season.
Not only is Goedert a physical tight end who can go across the middle or even take the top off a defense, he’s been one of the best blocking tight ends in football since he entered the league in 2018. He leads all tight ends in run blocking grade since 2018, per PFF.
Goedert will be Jalen Hurts’ safety blanket this year and we shouldn’t be shocked at all if he ends up leading the team in receiving, en route to his first (of hopefully many) Pro Bowl nods.
WR DeVonta Smith
With all the attention A.J. Brown will receive this season, second-year wideout DeVonta Smith should feast on the lesser corners thrown his way. Even as a rookie, it was evident that Smith had what it takes to be a true No. 1 wide receiver in this league. He routinely roasted corners on the outside, though Hurts didn’t always get him the ball.
In year one, Smith totaled 64 receptions for 916 yards and 5 touchdowns. Hurts posted a passer rating of 105.1 when targeting Smith and he only dropped 4.5% of the passes thrown his way. Whether he lines up on the outside or in the slot, Smith is lethal. He has the speed to go deep along with the shiftiness to leave defenders in the dust on short to intermediate routes.
Now that the Eagles have legitimate playmakers across the board offensively, Smith should be open on nearly every play. That’s not an exaggeration. If Smith can eclipse the 1,000-yard mark while putting a few more touchdowns on the board, making a Pro Bowl in his second year is a real possibility.
EDGE Haason Reddick
How has Haason Reddick not made a Pro Bowl yet? Over the past two years, the former Temple Owl has accumulated 23.5 sacks, 27 tackles for loss, and 34 hits on the quarterback. That’s the fifth-most sacks of any pass rusher over the past two years. T.J. Watt (37.5), Myles Garrett (28), Trey Hendrickson (27.5), and Aaron Donald (26) are the only players who have more.
Maybe it’s because Reddick didn’t play for a playoff team during those two seasons, who knows. But that should change in 2022. The Eagles defensive line is completely revamped heading into this year which should allow for Reddick to operate freely from the edge.
If his production continues to be consistent, there’s absolutely no reason Reddick shouldn’t be in the Pro Bowl next season.
LG Landon Dickerson
The left side of the Eagles offensive line could be the best side of any line in football. And both starters are under 25 years old.
Guard Landon Dickerson exceeded expectations as a rookie. In 13 starts, he allowed just 2 sacks and 8 quarterback hits. He was a menace in the running game as well, finishing the year with a PFF run blocking grade of 71.2, which ranked 21st among all guards in 2021. His overall grade of 69.6 ranked 22nd in the league.
When Dickerson was initially drafted, the narrative was that 2021 would a redshirt year for him as he recovered from a torn ACL. He ended up playing by Week 2 and never left the starting lineup after that. Entering his second year under Stoutland’s tutelage, Dickerson will only get better.
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