2020 NFL Offseason: Philadelphia Eagles




Philadelphia Eagles (Last Year: 9-7)



2020 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
WR Marquise Goodwin, NT Javon Hargrave, LB Jatavis Brown, CB Darius Slay, CB Nickell-Robey Coleman, S Will Parks.
Early Draft Picks:
WR Jalen Reagor, QB/WR Jalen Hurts, LB Davion Taylor, S K'Von Wallace, OT Jack Driscoll. Eagles Rookie Forecast
Offseason Losses:
QB Josh McCown, RB Jordan Howard, WR Nelson Agholor, OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, DE Vinny Curry, DT Timmy Jernigan, LB Nigel Bradham, LB Kamu Grugier-Hill, CB Ronald Darby, S Malcolm Jenkins.

2020 Philadelphia Eagles Offense:
Carson Wentz had absolutely no help last year when many starters around him suffered injuries. At one point, Wentz was handing the ball off to Boston Scott, while someone named Greg Ward was his top receiver. Despite this, the Eagles found a way to win their division. They had a chance to defeat the Seahawks in the wild-card round of the playoffs, but Wentz suffered a concussion on a dirty hit from Jadeveon Clowney.

The Eagles didn't obtain an upgrade at receiver in free agency. They had a chance to trade up for CeeDee Lamb in the 2020 NFL Draft, but instead allowed Dallas to secure him. Philadelphia then opted to select Jalen Reagor, a dynamic speed threat. Reagor is a raw receiver with a low floor, but his downfield play-making potential is something the Eagles didn't have, outside of DeSean Jackson, who barely played in 2019.

Reagor will join a receiving corps comprised of Jackson and Alshon Jeffery, both of whom are very injury-prone. The Eagles also have Ward, a pair of dynamic tight ends, Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. There are a wide range of outcomes regarding Wentz's weapons. If everyone stays healthy - Jeffery may not be ready for the opener - and Reagor thrives immediately, Wentz will have an unstoppable arsenal at his disposal. Conversely, more injuries and Reagor's struggles will make things very difficult once again.

Meanwhile, there are some major questions about the offensive line. Long-time left tackle Jason Peters is no longer on the team. Andre Dillard, the first-round pick from the 2019 NFL Draft, will be asked to step in for Peters. The problem is that Dillard struggled mightily last year. Dillard was seen as raw entering the NFL, so it's possible that he could make a big jump in his sophomore campaign. Either way, Philadelphia will continue to get great blocking from the best right tackle in the NFL, Lane Johnson.

Dillard was the only question mark heading into June, but the Eagles received devastating news when All-Pro guard Brandon Brooks tore his Achilles. This was a horrible turn of events, as Wentz has never won a single NFL game in which Brooks has played 50 percent or fewer snaps (0-6). The Eagles don't have a viable replacement for Brooks, so they won't reach their full potential in 2020. Meanwhile, the other guard, Isaac Seumalo, is just mediocre. Center Jason Kelce is the lone bright spot in the interior of the offensive line.

The Eagles figured to have a strong ground attack before the Brooks injury. Miles Sanders showed some of his electric play-making ability as a second-round rookie last year. Meanwhile, the aforementioned Scott proved that he can be a capable backup. Sanders, however, could struggle to find running lanes without Brooks leading the way for him.





2020 Philadelphia Eagles Defense:
While receiver wasn't a position of weakness until injuries were suffered, cornerback was always a problem last year. Ronald Darby's health was in question, but Philadelphia had very little else at the position. Thus, the Eagles made sure to bolster their cornerback group this offseason.

The Eagles acquired Darius Slay from the Lions in an important move for them. Slay is a legitimate No. 1 shadow cornerback. He covers receivers at every position, including the slot, and he has a great history of shutting down Amari Cooper. The Eagles also signed Nickell Robey-Coleman, who is an excellent slot corner. There's still the need for a No. 2 corner, which is currently occupied by the sub-par Avonte Maddox.

Despite the Slay and Robey-Coleman additions, Philadelphia's secondary won't be much better in 2020 because of the Malcolm Jenkins departure. The long-time Philadelphia safety is now in New Orleans, so that's an enormous loss. Jenkins was such an important, versatile weapon in the Eagles' defensive backfield that it'll be extremely difficult to replace him. Philadelphia will, at least, get a healthier Rodney McLeod this season. McLeod had a poor 2019 campaign because he was coming off a brutal knee injury. The Eagles were confident enough that he would rebound that they gave him a contract worth $6 million per year. There's not much else at safety, however, so Jalen Mills will have to move from cornerback to this new position.

An improved pass rush would help the secondary, but Philadelphia didn't address that area during the offseason. However, there's still hope, as Josh Sweat, a fourth-round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft, will be able to thrive when he handles more snaps this year. Sweat will play behind Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett in a promising rotation. Graham is an excellent defensive end, while Barnett needs to step up after not quite living up to expectations as a former first-round pick.

While the Eagles didn't add a defensive end, they secured a run-stuffing presence by signing Javon Hargrave away from the Steelers. This was an excellent signing, as Hargrave will be an upgrade over the oft-injured Timmy Jernigan. He'll start next to Fletcher Cox, who remains an elite defensive tackle.

The weakness of Philadelphia's defense is now the linebacking corps. Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham departed in consecutive offseasons, and neither has been replaced, aside from the third-round choice used on Davion Taylor. Otherwise, the Eagles will have to count on mediocre players like Nathan Gerry and Duke Riley, as well as T.J. Edwards, who was an undrafted free agent in 2019.





2020 Philadelphia Eagles Schedule and Intangibles:
Philadelphia had an awful home-field advantage entering 2016. The team hadn't put together a winning record at the Linc in five of the previous six seasons, owning a 22-28 record in that span. However, things changed with Carson Wentz, as the Eagles are 23-10 as hosts the past four years.

Jake Elliott made a name for himself when he drilled a 61-yard, game-winning kick against the Giants in 2017. He was 22-of-26 last year, going 2-of-4 from 50-plus.

Cam Johnston did well last year, finishing eighth in net punting average.

The Eagles have three easy games (Redskins, Rams, Bengals) before a very difficult stretch in which they'll battle the 49ers, Steelers, Ravens, Giants, Cowboys, Giants, Seahawks, Packers and Saints.



2020 Philadelphia Eagles Rookies:
Go here for the Eagles Rookie Forecast, a page with predictions like which rookie will bust and which rookie will become a solid starter.



2020 Philadelphia Eagles Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):
Quarterbacks
Offensive Line
Secondary
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams
Receivers
Linebackers
Coaching


2020 Philadelphia Eagles Analysis: The Eagles are in a highly contested three-horse race in the NFC East. They'd probably be ahead of the Cowboys and Giants if they still had Jason Peters and Brandon Brooks available on their offensive line. However, the decline in their blocking, which was highly prevalent during their Super Bowl run, could vault the Cowboys and Giants over them.

Projection: 9-7 (2nd in NFC East)

2019 Projection: 12-4. 2019 Actual Result: 9-7.
2018 Projection: 13-3. 2018 Actual Result: 9-7.
2017 Projection: 12-4. 2017 Actual Result: 13-3.
2016 Projection: 5-11. 2016 Actual Result: 7-9.

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NFL Draft Team Grade: D Grade

Goals Entering the 2020 NFL Draft: The Eagles did nothing to cure their receiving woes in free agency, so they should think about spending two early selections on the position. Even moving up for CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy would be a great decision. Aside from receiver, the positions of major need are cornerback, linebacker and safety. Some offensive line depth should be added as well.

2020 NFL Draft Accomplishments: I've been covering the NFL Draft for 20 years after building this Web site in the fall of 1999. In those 20 years, I've never seen a draft pick worse than the Eagles' selection of Jalen Hurts. I tried, but can't think of one. I discussed this with FantasyJabber in this video, so I won't rehash it:



The NFC East is a very tight three-horse race, and the Eagles need as many quality starters as possible to beat the Cowboys and Giants. Hurts won't allow them to do that. Their inability to find a starter in the second round, or use that pick to move up for CeeDee Lamb automatically disqualifies them from having a grade above a "C," especially when their reluctance to part with No. 53 allowed the Cowboys to secure Lamb. Making matters worse, the Eagles gifted the Cowboys their new starting center on Day 3.

Elsewhere, Jalen Reagor may end up being a good player, but he was a slight reach at No. 21. Some teams expected Reagor to be available on Day 2 after his poor combine performance. Still, that was an acceptable pick if the Lamb situation is disregarded. However, Reagor wasn't the only reach, as Davion Taylor can be described as such at No. 103.

I won't completely fail the Eagles because they made some nice selections on Day 3, including K'Von Wallace, Shaun Bradley, Casey Toohill and Quez Watkins. However, Philadelphia allowed Dallas to improve twice during the 2020 NFL Draft, which was just a disastrous series of events.





NFL Draft Individual Grades:

21. Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU - C- Grade
The Eagles usually do well in the draft, but tonight was not a positive for them. They had an opportunity to trade up for CeeDee Lamb, yet watched the Cowboys snatch him as a major steal at No. 17. Then, they obtained no value with Jalen Reagor. The TCU product is one of several receivers the Eagles could've chosen here, so they should've traded down. Reagor obviously fills a huge need, but he's a raw receiver and doesn't project to be as good as Justin Jefferson.


53. Jalen Hurts, QB, Alabama - O'BRIEN- Grade
What the hell is this? Unless the Eagles have a trade lined up where they can ship Jalen Hurts, this makes absolutely no sense, and I think Howie Roseman has lost his mind. There's no reason to take a quarterback here, period, with Carson Wentz not even in his prime yet. And yet, this is a major reach. Jalen Hurts' ceiling is very low, so he should've been a fourth-round pick. This is the worst pick of the draft so far unless a trade is pending.


103. Davion Tayor, LB, Colorado - D Grade
Did the Eagles not think Jacob Eason was available? Davion Taylor is a tremendous athlete, but he's extremely raw as a player. He may have to be relegated to special teams until his second or third season - not exactly what you want from a third-round prospect. I had Taylor in the sixth or seventh frame in most of my mock draft updates, so this is another poor pick.


127. K'Von Wallace, S, Clemson - B Grade
I thought the Eagles might go with a seeker here to catch the snitch. Instead, the Eagles actually made a semi-decent pick. K'Von Wallace makes sense as an athletic safety in the fourth round. With Malcolm Jenkins gone, Philadelphia needed help at the position.


145. Jack Driscoll, OT, Auburn - B Grade
Jack Driscoll needs to continue to get stronger for the NFL. He's a developmental project who could eventually become a starter. I imagine he'll likely be a swing tackle, however, but he makes sense here at the bottom of Round 4.


168. John Hightower, WR, Boise State - B Grade
The Eagles picked Jalen Reagor and traded for Marquise Goodwin, but they're still adding speed to their offense. John Hightower is a speed threat, but will struggle to come down with contested catches until he gets stronger. He was considered a fifth-round prospect, so this is a decent pick.


196. Shaun Bradley, LB, Temple - A- Grade
This is a bad vibe for Philly fans because Shawn Bradley was a huge bust for the 76ers. Shaun Bradley should be better though. Bradley had speed concerns, but he answered those at the combine. Given the Eagles' issues at linebacker, I could see him cracking the starting lineup at some point.


200. Quez Watkins, WR, Southern Miss - B+ Grade
Nothing will make up for the worst draft pick we've seen in 20 or more years, but the Eagles made a nice selection with Quez Watkins in the sixth round. Watkins is a terrific athlete with loads of potential. It wouldn't surprise me if he eventually became a starter.


201. Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn - A+ Grade
Prince Tega Wanogho - who is an actual prince - would have been chosen much earlier in the 2020 NFL Draft had there not been any injury concerns. You could say he's a risk, but aren't most draft picks risks? I love taking the chance on someone so talented in Round 6.


233. Casey Toohill, DE/OLB, Stanford - B Grade
I'm not sure about Casey Toohill's fit in the Eagles' 4-3. He's more of a 3-4 player, but I'm sure the Eagles have a plan for him to rush the quarterback somehow. Philadelphia needed to upgrade its pass rush, and Toohill is a nice value.






Follow @walterfootball for updates.



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Season Summary:
The Eagles suffered countless injuries throughout the 2019 season, but the worst one was saved for last when Carson Wentz suffered a concussion in the opening half of the first playoff game against the Seahawks. Philadelphia still fought hard, but ultimately lost with Josh McCown's offense bogging down in the red zone.






Offseason Moves:
  • Eagles sign CB Nickell Robey-Coleman
  • Eagles sign S Will Parks
  • Eagles sign LB Jatavis Brown
  • Eagles acquire CB Darius Slay from Lions
  • Eagles sign NT Javon Hargrave






    Team Needs:
    1. Two Wide Receivers: The Eagles were down to Greg Ward and a bunch of scrubs at the end of the year. Alshon Jeffery can't stay healthy, while DeSean Jackson is not a long-term solution.

    2. Two Cornerbacks: It's fairly obvious that this position needs to be addressed, given how horrible Philadelphia's secondary was this past season. Traded for Darius Slay; re-signed Jalen Mills; signed Nickell Robey-Coleman

    3. Two Linebackers: Philadelphia had just one linebacker, Nigel Bradham, who isn't a liability in coverage. The Eagles cut Bradham. Signed Jatavis Brown



    4. Safety: Rodney McLeod is Philadelphia's top defensive free agent, so he'll need to be re-signed or replaced. Re-signed Rodney McLeod; signed Will Parks

    5. Defensive Tackle: Timmy Jernigan will need to be replaced if he departs via free agency. Signed Javon Hargrave

    6. Backup Quarterback: Josh McCown was signed for just one year, so the Eagles will need someone new unless they re-sign the 41-year-old.


      Follow me @walterfootball for updates.






    2020 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Javon Hargrave, NT, Steelers. Age: 27.
      Signed with Eagles (3 years, $39 million)

      Javon Hargrave is a monster nose tackle. He stuffs the run and gets decent pressure on the quarterback. He's still young, so he could improve his game even more.

    2. Will Parks, S, Broncos. Age: 26. -- Signed with Eagles





    Philadelphia Eagles Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.
    1. Jason Peters, OT, Eagles. Age: 38.
      Re-signed with Eagles

      Jason Peters is somehow still blocking at a Pro Bowl level despite his age. Peters is bound to regress soon, but there have been no signs of any sort of impending decline.

    2. Malcolm Jenkins, S, Eagles. Age: 32.
      Signed with Saints

      Malcolm Jenkins enjoyed six terrific years with the Eagles, as he was part of a great defense that helped the team win the Super Bowl in 2017. Jenkins turns 33 in December, so a decline is coming, but he still performed on a very high level last year. Jenkins can play multiple positions in the secondary, so teams will undoubtedly be interested in his versatility.

    3. Rodney McLeod, S, Eagles. Age: 30.
      Re-signed with Eagles (2 years)

      Rodney McLeod is coming off a down year because he suffered ACL and MCL injuries during the 2018 campaign. He'll be two seasons removed from these maladies in 2020, so I expect him to rebound.

    4. Timmy Jernigan, DT, Eagles. Age: 27.
      Timmy Jernigan is an impactful defensive interior presence when he's on the field, but he has a very checkered injury history.

    5. Ronald Darby, CB, Eagles. Age: 26.
      Signed with Redskins (1 year, $4 million)

      Ronald Darby used to be a terrific cornerback, but he was atrocious this past season. Darby has dealt with a number of injuries, which clearly affected his play in 2019. He'll be a nice buy-low option for his new team, presumably on a 1-year "prove it" deal.

    6. Jordan Howard, RB, Eagles. Age: 25.
      Signed with Dolphins (2 years)

      Jordan Howard fell out of favor in Philadelphia, but it wasn't his fault. Miles Sanders and Boston Scott simply thrived when Howard missed some time with an injury. Howard is still very young, so he has a bright future ahead of him.

    7. Vinny Curry, DE, Eagles. Age: 32.
      Vinny Curry failed in Tampa Bay, but he returned to Philadelphia and once again performed well as a rotational edge rusher. Unfortunately for Curry, he turns 32 this summer.

    8. Jalen Mills, CB, Eagles. Age: 26.
      Re-signed with Eagles (1 year)

      Jalen Mills didn't have a positive 2019 campaign because he was coming off a foot injury that caused him to miss nearly two months of action. He should improve in 2020 with better health.

    9. Nigel Bradham, LB, Eagles. Age: 30.
      Signed with Saints (1 year)

      Nigel Bradham's play declined this past season. He was still fine in coverage, but he was a liability in run support and missed too many tackles. Bradham turns 31 right before the start of the 2020 season.

    10. Kamu Grugier-Hill, OLB, Eagles. Age: 26.
      Signed with Dolphins (1 year)

      Kamu Grugier-Hill is a quality run defender. He's not very good in coverage, but he's just 26 (as of May), so he could improve his game.

    11. Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT, Eagles. Age: 27.
      Signed with Lions (5 years, $50 million)

      Halapoulivaati Vaitai, commonly known as "Big V," has been one of the best backup tackles in the NFL. He has earned the right to compete for a starting job at right tackle somewhere.

    12. Josh McCown, QB, Eagles. Age: 41.
      Despite his age - 41 in July - Josh McCown is one of the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL.



    13. Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles. Age: 27. -- Signed with Raiders
    14. Corey Clement (RFA), RB, Eagles. Age: 25.
    15. Nate Sudfeld, QB, Eagles. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Eagles (1 year)
    16. Hassan Ridgeway, DT, Eagles. Age: 25. -- Re-signed with Eagles (1 year)
    17. Darren Sproles, RB, Eagles. Age: 37.
    18. Deontay Burnett (RFA), WR, Eagles. Age: 22.


    NFL Free Agent Tracker:
    QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Rumors


    NFL Picks - Nov. 25


    2021 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 25


    2022 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 15


    NFL Power Rankings - Nov. 14


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 9


    2020 College Football Recruiting Rankings - April 14


    2020 NBA Mock Draft - Sept. 27


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