Last year I provided illustrations, by color, of the Eagles offense and defense, using it to identify weaknesses and strengths. Today I want to take that to the next level, for two main reasons. First, PFF is now providing the same visuals. Maybe they did this before and I didn’t know about it, but in any case, there’s no reason for me to duplicate what they’ve already done. Here is their projected line-up. You can see the full write-up here. Brandon wrote his own take on this PFF post last week.
Now we get to the fun part, the defense. It won’t shock anyone to learn that the defense has a lot more holes than the offense. There are some tough calls to make here, as far as projections go. Can Earl Wolff go "green"? Yes, but I think the odds still favor him being just OK as a starting safety. Similarly, some people will probably argue that Bennie Logan deserves a better rating. Again, its possible, but I’m not convinced. Additionally, it’s very harmful to the construction process if you assume guys will hit their "ceiling". Many don’t, or rather their ceiling gets adjusted downwards as their career progresses.
Most notable here is the lack of good players in the secondary. Boykin might be able to slide over to the #1 or #2 CB spot, but that still leaves a hole to fill. Also, remember not to focus on just the first year. Look at year 3 above. Naturally, the team has a few offseason to address the issues, so their not urgent, but it has to be accounted for. Demeco Ryans isn’t getting any better, and how much longer do you think Trent Cole can play effectively for?
You surely noticed the thick black box in both graphics above. That’s what I’m looking at as the "strike zone" for this team. If I’m Howie Roseman, I want to turn as many of those boxes green as I can, even if it’s at the expense of next season. Also, I want to eliminate every red box. This is what I mean when I mention accounting for time. You’re not just trying to build the best team you can. You’re trying to get a lot of different pieces to fit come together at the right time. It won’t work if your young players improve to "good" just in time for your veterans to decline.
Again, some more work to be done here, and I’m hoping to do a little research into the general career arcs of different positions (so we know things like what age an OT should be expected to decline). Keep this in mind though when you hear about potential FAs. How well to they fill those boxes?
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