Pro Football Focus recently revealed their annual rankings of all 32 NFL rosters from best to worst. The rankings are determined by PFF’s proprietary grading system.
In past years, the Eagles have ranked really high on this list. Philly was fifth in 2014, sixth in 2015, and then fifth again in 2016. This year, the Eagles didn’t fare as well, but they’re still above average. Check out what PFF had to say about the Eagles via ESPN In$ider.
15. Philadelphia Eagles
Biggest strength: Brandon Graham generates more pressure than almost every other edge rusher in the league, though he doesn't always convert those pressures into sacks. He produced 83 total pressures in 2016, trailing only Khalil Mack.
Biggest weakness: Cornerback is a glaring weakness, with much expected of third-round rookie Rasul Douglas. The Eagles are also hoping second-rounder Sidney Jones can recover from his pre-draft Achilles injury and contribute in 2017. Jalen Mills is likely to start again, but the 2016 seventh-round pick allowed 63.7 percent of the passes thrown his way to be caught last season.
By the numbers: Over the first five weeks of the 2016 season, rookie Carson Wentz was the second-highest-graded quarterback, trailing only Derek Carr. From Week 6 onward, however, he ranked 30th. He had a 32.8 passer rating when under pressure in 2016.
Hard to disagree here. The Eagles’ defensive line/pass rush has the potential to be the strength of the team. Philadelphia has invested a lot of resources into that area. Cornerback, meanwhile, is very much a work in progress, and that’s putting it nicely.
Carson Wentz is the x-factor for this team. If he can’t take the next step, the team will likely struggle. If he becomes the player the Eagles hope he can be, Philadelphia should enjoy a lot of success.
In addition to ranking the Eagles’ roster, PFF also released a breakdown of each team’s starters. They group players into several different tiers based on their PFF grades from the 2016 season. Let’s start with the offense.
Good/high quality: Jason Peters, Allen Barbre, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson
Average: Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz, Jordan Matthews, Alshon Jeffery, Jason Kelce
Below average: LeGarrette Blount
Poor: Brent Celek, Torrey Smith
- In years past, Peters has been ranked by PFF as an elite player. Now he’s merely a good starter.
- The offensive line is the strength of the offense here. It remains to be seen if Barbre will be starting for the team this year, however. It could be the younger Isaac Seumalo who gets the nod at left guard.
- Wentz, Ertz, and Jeffery have the potential to move up out of that average category. I think Matthews is properly rated there. Kelce is closer to below average at this point.
- Blount is probably ranked below average due to his lack of efficiency last season (3.9 yards per carry). Over his career, though, he’s been at least average.
- The 32-year-old Celek still contributes as a blocker but he posted career-low receiving numbers last year: 14 receptions, 155 yards, zero touchdowns. Smith is coming off a few bad seasons with the 49ers. He had a good spring so there’s hope he can be not so terrible.
Elite: Brandon Graham
Good/high quality: Fletcher Cox, Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod
Average: Timmy Jernigan, Mychal Kendricks
Below average: N/A
Poor: Jalen Mills, Ron Brooks
Rookie: Derek Barnett, Rasul Douglas
- Some people might disagree with Graham being ranked as an elite player but he did post elite pressure numbers last year. Now he just needs to finish some more of those plays for sacks.
- Given the way the Eagles paid Cox, they need him to be in that elite category. Hicks could easily move up to that category this season. Nothing to dispute with Bradham, Jenkins, and McLeod.
- Jernigan has the potential to be a very good starter in this scheme. His pass rush skills will be featured now more than ever.
- Kendricks only played about 27% of the snaps last year so is he really even a “starter”?
- Mills graded out as PFF’s worst overall corner last year. It’s not a lock that Brooks will be the team’s slot corner considering Aaron Grymes had a good spring and saw some looks there with the first team unit.
- Barnett could be a contributor from Day 1. He’ll likely split time with Vinny Curry, however.
- I wouldn’t fully assume Douglas will be a Week 1 starter. Patrick Robinson is currently ahead of him in that competition. Those two players could split playing time.
- The top five teams: Falcons, Patriots, Titans, Packers, Steelers.
- The bottom five teams: Jets, Rams, 49ers, Browns, Lions.
- The NFC East rankings: Cowboys 7th, Eagles 15th, Giants 16th, Washington 17th.
- The Eagles’ 2017 non-division opponents: Chiefs 9th, Chargers 8th, Cardinals 14th, Panthers 10th, 49ers 30th, Broncos 25th, Bears 18th, Seahawks 11th, Rams 31st, Raiders 6th.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS RANKING?
Is 15th too high for the Eagles? Too low? Or just right? Vote in the poll below.
PFF says the Eagles have the 15th best roster in the NFL. Is the ranking too high, too low, or just right?
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