Here's something you might not have realized before: the Philadelphia Eagles have the most athletic offensive line in the NFL. Pride of Detroit writer Kent Platte put together an interesting study of offensive lines in the NFL ranked by something called Relative Athletic Score (read more about "RAS" here). The Eagles finished No. 1 overall and it wasn't even close. Here's a look at the top 10:
|Rank||TM||Left Tackle||Left Guard||Center||Right Guard||Right Tackle||Average|
Pretty interesting, but what does it actually mean?
Possibly nothing. Platte writes that there isn't a definitive answer if athleticism leads to NFL success. He does note, however, that a lack of athleticism is virtually guaranteed to lead to failure. (On a sad note for Lions fans, Detroit has the least athletic offensive line in the league. Go figure.)
The Eagles' most athletic offensive lineman is free agent signing Brandon Brooks. He's set to start at right guard. Starting right tackle Lane Johnson and starting center Jason Kelce are close behind Brooks. Then there's a bit of a drop-off to Allen Barbre, who is the team's left guard. Surprisingly, left tackle Jason Peters is actually the Eagles' least athletic offensive lineman.
Even if the Eagles don't start Barbre at left guard, they'll still have the league's most athletic offensive line. Replacing Barbre with Isaac Seumalo (7.11) drops the Eagles' overall RAS average down to 8.94, which is still .40 higher than the second closest team.
Having athletic offensive isn't something new to the Eagles. Former starting guards Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans were some of the best athletes at their position when they used to play for Philadelphia. It's interesting to see how the Eagles still retained their athleticism despite moving on from those players.
Philadelphia's offensive line was neglected during Chip Kelly's tenure over the past few years. The team did nothing serious to address the position after selecting Johnson in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. That focus has changed with Kelly gone. The Eagles drafted two offensive lineman this year (Seumalo, Halapoulivaati Vaitai) along with signing two proven veterans in NFL free agency (Brooks, Stefen Wisniewski).