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 center position.
Numbers: 1191 snaps, 7th best graded C by PFF out of 65, 11 penalties, 2 sacks allowed, 4 hits allowed, 11 hurries allowed
Review: I'm surprised to see PFF thought so highly of Kelce. Based on the eye test, it really seemed like he struggled at times during the 2015 season. He didn't look like the same Kelce who earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2014. Even Kelce admitted he played the "worst game of his career" after losing to the Dolphins. One reason why Kelce struggled was probably due to injury. Check out this description via Birds 24/7:
Jason Kelce‘s left knee was swollen nearly twice its original size, the upper half of his leg black and blue from the strain. Inflammation of the bursa near his knee joint pushed against a nerve, causing pain to the point where he was having difficulty walking leading up to the game. But he played, and stayed in there the whole, disastrous game against the Lions.
Credit Kelce for being tough and not missing a snap the entire season. He never complained about being hurt, either.
Injured or not, however, Kelce needs to be better moving forward. 11 penalties is obviously a big issue that needs to be fixed. Maybe he'll return to form in 2016.
Review: Molk is the only primary center on Philadelphia's roster other than Kelce. Josh Andrews and Barrett Jones have some center experience, but they're primarily guards. This speaks to how thin the depth is behind Kelce.
Molk never played in 2015. He suffered a season-ending biceps injury in mid-September.
It does seem like Molk may have been the anonymous NFL player who wrote a book about how much he hates the NFL. So there's that.
Who Could Leave
Kelce isn't going anywhere. I do wonder how the team feels about Molk potentially being the author of that revealing book. I'd guess Molk sticks around for the offseason. He's on the small side and he only plays center, though, so those are some factors working against him.
Who Could Sign
No big names here. Maybe the Eagles would like to bring in another depth guy to challenge Molk for the backup center spot. I hear Julian Vandervelde is available!
NFL Draft Options
It couldn't hurt for the Eagles to keep an eye on center prospects. Kelce struggled in 2015 and he's going to be 29 in November. The Eagles don't need a new starter but they do need some more depth at the position.