Howie Roseman has been a busy man this offseason. On paper, he’s filled nearly every hole that populated the Eagles roster after the 2021 season.
Adding a veteran wideout to complement DeVonta Smith: Check
Revamping the secondary with reliable veterans: Check
Stabilizing an aging defensive line: Check
Getting legitimate players in the linebackers room: Check
That’s a pretty damn good offseason. Asking for much more would have been greedy. But, there are still some weaknesses scattered across the roster that Howie neglected to address in a meaningful way.
Will these weaknessesses hinder the Eagles success in 2022? Some of them will, some of them won’t. Some of these perceived weaknesses could end up being strengths once the 2022 season gets rolling. That’s the beauty of it all.
With that being said, let’s go through some of the areas of weakness on the roster as the team prepares for training camp.
Let’s just address the elephant in the room right away.
As much as I want to believe Jalen Hurts will be the face of the Eagles franchise for years to come, he still has a ways to go before cementing his status. Although there are certain aspects of his game that physically won’t be able to improve much (i.e. arm strength), the mental side of the game can be developed drastically. At the end of the day, that’s where Hurts struggled the most in 2021.
His accuracy was iffy at times, especially on deep throws, but his ability to read a defense and allow plays to develop is where he really needs to improve his game. Far too often, Hurts would simply not see a wide open receiver streaking down the field. He relied on his legs way too much in 2021. Rather than using his legs as the focal point of his game, Hurts needs to learn how to use his legs as a complementary asset.
We’ve heard from coaches and players alike that Hurts looks like he’s in command of the Eagles offense this offseason — far more than he was last season. If that’s the case, we should see tangible evidence of improved play in 2022. Only time will tell.
The signing of Jaquiski Tartt will certainly help the safety position, but the position group still has a lot of question marks heading into the 2022 season.
Anthony Harris will be back this year. He was just OK in 2021, recording 72 combined tackles and 3 pass defensed. He posted a Pro Football Focus defensive grade of 61.9, which ranked 53rd out of 92 qualifying safeties. At 30 years old, Harris is clearly on the backend of his prime. This could very well be his final year with the team.
With Tartt now in the fold, Epps will play the third safety role, something he thrived in last season. The depth behind the starters is where the real concern lies. K’Von Wallace hasn’t shown much since being drafted in 2020, Andre Chachere is primarily a special teams player, and Reed Blankenship is an undrafted rookie.
I wouldn’t call the Eagles group of safeties bad, they’re just slightly below average. Thankfully, with a solid core of corners, the safeties’ jobs should be easier.
Tight End (depth behind Dallas Goedert)
Dallas Goedert is one of the better tight ends in the game. We all know that. The depth behind him, however, is a huge question mark.
After Zach Ertz was traded last season, Jack Stoll became the TE2. He was primarily used as a blocker and he was good at it, but he left a lot to be desired on the receiving end of things. He finished the season with just 4 receptions for 22 yards. Guys like Tyree Jackson and rookie Grant Calcaterra have plenty of potential, but they probably won’t reach their ceilings this season.
The team could always opt to bring back veteran Richard Rodgers, who’s contributed sparingly to the Eagles offense over the past few years. He’s a fine veteran backup to have, but he’s nothing special.
The organization seemingly has faith in their young depth at this point. With the additions at wideout, two-tight end looks won’t be as necessary as they were last season, but it’s still something Nick Sirianni is going to want implemented in his offense. Hopefully, one of the young bucks will step up and become a serviceable TE2 for the Eagles offense.
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