The NFL offseason is the perfect time for arbitrarily ranking things because there's just nothing better to do. Let's take a look at how the Philadelphia Eagles are being ranked by various national outlets.
NFL.com's Elliot Harrison put together a ranking of all 32 NFL head coaches. Chip Kelly ranked lower than expected at No. 18 overall.
18) Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles
Kelly is a man who could shoot up this board awfully quickly. His first year in Philadelphia was a smashing success, as the Eagles won 10 games and took the NFC East title in the process. Kelly's explosive offense lived up to the billing, ranking second in the NFL and causing other teams to look at tempo more closely on both sides of the ball.
I'm not sure I get this one. Putting Kelly below 16 is pegging him as a below average coach by definition. Kelly's only had one year on the job but that shouldn't be held against him to this extent. I'm not sure how guys like Lovie Smith (14), Bruce Arians (13), Jeff Fisher (12), and Mike Smith (11) among some others rank above him at this point. It seems Harrison is putting an emphasis on guys with more experience which I guess is fair. At lest Harrison did point out that Kelly has the potential to move up. Personally, I'd have Kelly somewhere ranked in the top 10.
Here's a look at how other NFC East coaches finished: 5) Tom Coughlin, 23) Jason Garrett, 30) Jay Gruden. Yes, Coughlin has the rings, but I don't buy that he's the fifth best HC in the NFL right now. Garrett should be permanently ranked at 16 to match the Cowboys .500 lifestyle. Gruden is in his first year as a HC so it's not surprising to see him so low.
Now let's move onto the other rankings I wanted to review. Evan Silva of Rotoworld recently released his pre-camp roster rankings. The Eagles rank 7th overall; 4th best in the NFC and 1st in the NFC East.
Offensive Overview: RT Lane Johnson's four-game suspension throws a wrench into this offensive line, although Barbre is a trusty reserve and by Week 5 the league's best front five will be re-stabilized. Offensive wizard Chip Kelly will replace DeSean Jackson's 82 catches with a committee approach, utilizing second-round pick Matthews at slot receiver, Darren Sproles in the passing game, and Maclin along the perimeter. Ertz can also expect a larger role after playing just 41% of Philadelphia's 2013 snaps while Brent Celek handled 77%. Kelly's offense is quarterback friendly in that it manufactures one-on-one chances for its playmakers, and 25-year-old Foles looks to be a rising star in the scheme. He was arguably the NFL's most aggressive passer last season, leading the league in both yards per attempt (9.1) and yards per completion (14.2). This offense has great young skill players, a top-notch offensive line, and is coached by Kelly. There's everything to like.
Defensive Overview: The Eagles will bring first-round pick Marcus Smith off the bench at outside linebacker, likely in all sub-packages after Barwin and now 31-year-old Cole managed 13 sacks between them last year. Although this unit has added some talent, it remains the weakness of GM Howie Roseman's roster as a middling group vulnerable in both the front and back ends. The shortcomings force Philly's offense to respond, which helps in fantasy football. But it doesn't help Super Bowl probability. I don't think Philadelphia's defense is terrible, but it is far from a shutdown force. One plus is being overseen by creative play designer Billy Davis, who got the maximum out of this defense last year by successfully scheming to create unblocked pressure. The defense as a whole improved as the season went on, which earns an additional nod to Davis.
Not much to add to this one. I think it's a pretty fair assessment. The Eagles offense figures to be the strength of the team while the defense is hovering around average.
Around the NFC East, Washington ranks second in the division at 15 overall. The New York Giants rank at 18. Coming in last are the Dallas Cowboys at 20. Silva is especially tough on that dreadful Dallas defense:
The Cowboys' defense was a mess even before MLB Sean Lee tore his left ACL in May. Including DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher, Dallas has lost its best three defenders after allowing the third most yards in league history last year. The Cowboys' defense is now living on prayers. DC Rod Marinelli will *hope* second-round pick Lawrence is ready to be a premier NFL pass rusher as a rookie, and *hope* Melton rediscovers pre-ACL form after teams shied away from him in free agency. Marinelli will *hope* journeyman nose McClain is primed for a huge career leap, and that an underwhelming linebacker corps plays significantly above its head. The Cowboys will *hope* Carr rebounds from a disastrous season, and that 2012 first-round pick Morris Claiborne overcomes his bust label. They’ll also *hope* Wilcox takes major strides in coverage after getting roasted by the pass last year. If more than one of those *hopes* don't pan out, on paper this is a unit talent-poor enough to torpedo the Cowboys' entire 2014 season.
Where would you rank the Eagles coach and roster? How about other NFC East teams?