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PFF says the Philadelphia Eagles' roster ranks better than you think


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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

As they do each offseason, Pro Football Focus ranked all 32 NFL rosters from best to worst. You can read the entire list of rankings on ESPN In$ider. Note that PFF's rankings are determined by their own grading system. You'll probably be surprised to learn that the Philadelphia Eagles rank as ... the fifth best team in the NFL.

Top five players: DE Fletcher Cox, OT Jason Peters, S Malcolm Jenkins, DE Brandon Graham, QB Sam Bradford

Starters who should be upgraded: LB Nigel Bradham, OG Allen Barbre, WR Nelson Agholor, LB Jordan Hicks, CB Nolan Carroll

The Eagles imploded around Chip Kelly, but the roster still has a lot of good players, and more may see the field after their offseason of personnel moves designed to move away from Kelly's way of doing things as fast as possible. Cox has been a monster and could improve with a transition to a four-man line in which he will no longer have two-gap responsibilities, allowing him to simply attack gaps and wreak havoc in the backfield. Graham and Vinny Curry are both able edge rushers, and Bennie Logan should be a fine nose tackle in a 4-3 scheme, giving the Eagles a formidable front. Jenkins and Rodney McLeod look on paper to be one of the league's best safety tandems, and if Eric Rowe can take a step forward, this defense looks very impressive.

There are still a lot of pieces in place on offense. The line has talent, but it has been inconsistent. Skill position players Zach Ertz, Darren Sproles and Jordan Matthews provide dangerous weapons from their roles. Second-year receiver Agholor needs to be much better in 2016. Plus there's the quarterback competition, which will be the headline grabber, but Bradford played pretty well in 2015.

And now for some thoughts.

• Part of the reason why the Eagles rank so highly is because PFF's ranking methodology accounts for previous years. The Eagles ranked fifth before the 2014 season and sixth before 2015.

• With that said, the Eagles are too high. There's just no way they have a top five roster in the NFL right now. They have plenty of holes and no proven answer at quarterback. The defense has talent, yes, but the offense is very suspect as a whole.

• Even PFF doesn't agree with themselves. They recently projected the Eagles to finish as the 11th worst team in the NFC with a 6-10 overall record.

• Again, Sam Bradford did not play pretty well in 2015. He ranked: 11th in completion percentage, 25th in yards per attempt, 33rd in touchdown/interception ratio, 26th in passer rating, 34th in ESPN's QBR stat, 24th in DVOA, and 24th in DYAR. His PFF grade ranked 12th, which is why they're not as down on him, but that's still not overly impressive. Even if you take Bradford's best seven game stretch of 2015 and compare it to the best seven game stretches of other quarterbacks, he still only ranks 21st overall.

Jordan Hicks needs to be upgraded?! The kid was on pace to be Defensive Rookie of the Year had he not gotten injured.

• Nigel Bradham does not need to be upgraded, either. The Eagles signed him to be a starter. He may have struggled last season in Rex Ryan's 3-4 defense but he was good for Jim Schwartz in 2014.

• Allen Barbre is currently the favorite to start at left guard but there's expected to be competition for his job. Stefen Wisniewski, Isaac Seumalo, and Malcolm Bunche are players in the mix at that spot.

• Nolan Carroll isn't projected to be a starter as of right now. It's looking like it's going to be Leodis McKelvin and Eric Rowe.

• The top five teams: 1) Patriots, 2) Packers, 3) Panthers, 4) Steelers, 5) Eagles.

• Here's how the NFC East stacks up: 5) Eagles, 12) Cowboys, 21) Washington, 25) Giants.

• Chip Kelly's 49ers are dead last at No. 32.

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