The 2016 NFL offseason has begun for the Philadelphia Eagles, which means Howie Roseman and new head coach Doug Pederson will spend the next couple of weeks evaluating the 2015 roster. The team went 7-9 last season and improvement is clearly needed. By the time NFL free agency starts on March 9, the Eagles will have a good idea of which players they'll want to bring back for the 2016 season. Today we'll continue this offseason review series by looking at the tight end position.
Numbers: 1191 snaps, 59th best graded OG by PFF out of 82, 6 penalties, 1 sacks allowed, 10 hits allowed, 29 hurries allowed
Review: Prior to the 2015 season, Barbre was a solid backup for the Eagles. He was an ideal guy to have as depth at all four non-center positions on the offensive line. Barbre got elevated to a starting role when the team cut Evan Mathis, however. Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland called Barbre "very underrated" last offseason. The team was seemingly high on him. The 31-year-old journeyman didn't play very well, though. Philadelphia's guards were downright atrocious early on in the season. Barbre's 2015 campaign was up and down at best. His best ability was availability. He only missed one snap. Barbre's biggest weakness was pass protection. He gave up the eighth most hurries of any guard.
Numbers: 1014 snaps, 75th best graded OG by PFF out of 82, 2 penalties, 8 sacks allowed, 11 hits allowed, 31 hurries allowed
Review: Tobin was thought highly enough to be a starter at guard in 2014 but then got benched mid-season. He was given a chance to win that job back in the offseason but failed to secure it. He started the season as a backup and was thrust into action due to injuries. Tobin spent most of the season playing right guard. He severely struggled in pass protection. His eight sacks allowed rank tied for second most and his 31 hurries allowed rank as the fourth most. He allowed the most hits of any guard in the NFL with 11. The only thing Tobin had going for him was that he did OK as a run blocker.
Numbers: 177 snaps, 32nd best graded OG by PFF out of 145, 1 penalty, 0 sacks allowed, 4 hits allowed, 3 hurries allowed
Review: Gardner won the competition at right guard. He started the first three games of the season before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 3. Gardner struggled in pass protection but earned a positive grade as a run blocker. He was arguably the least horrendous of all the guards, which is a low bar.
After spending the entire 2014 season on the practice squad, Andrews made the 53-man in 2015. He never really played, though. He has the versatility to play both guard and center.
The Eagles signed Jones away from the Bears' practice squad in late November. He never really played.
Some beat writers, myself included, had Bunche making the 53-man roster before final cuts. He showed some potential in the preseason and the team seems to be high on him. Instead, Bunche spent the entire season on the practice squad.
Who Could Leave
Everyone. OK, that's probably not likely, but the Eagles aren't really committed to any of these players financially. At the same time, none of them are really expensive to keep around. Anyone who does happen to stick around will be fighting for a roster spot. The Eagles clearly need more talent at guard. Two new starters would be most ideal.
Who Could Sign
Evan Mathis will be a free agent! But I doubt that happens. Alex Boone is one of the top guards on the market. Jeff Allen from the Kansas City Chiefs makes sense given the Doug Pederson connection. The Eagles can definitely find at least one good starting guard in free agency if they're willing to pay.
NFL Draft Options
The Eagles can also find some guards in the draft. Taking a guard only at pick No. 13 isn't very inspiring. Taking an offensive lineman who can play guard before eventually kicking out to right tackle to replace Lane Johnson would be ideal. Some options for the Eagles at guard could include Cody Whitehair, Vadal Alexander, and Josh Garnett.