In less than two months, the 2017 NFL season will be upon us. That means everyone’s favorite activity — NFL Power Rankings — will also be back.
In the meantime, we’ll just have to settle for ESPN’s annual Future NFL Power Rankings which aim to project how teams will fare over the course of the next three seasons. The rankings are generated by a panel that consists of Field Yates, Louis Riddick, and Mike Sando.
Here's how the Eagles ranked in all five future power ranking categories. The number in parentheses represents how the score has changed since 2016. All scores are out of 100.
Roster: 76.0 (+14.3)
QB: 81.3 (+18)
Coaching: 69.7 (+6.7)
Draft: 74.0 (+12.3)
Front Office: 78.3 (+11.6)
Carson Wentz is the biggest reason for the Eagles’ boost from last year to this year. Wentz was far from perfect as a rookie but there’s no question he showed franchise quarterback potential. That bodes well for Philadelphia’s future, especially if he can take the next step moving forward.
The fastest way to rise in these rankings is through quarterback validation. Specifically, if Carson Wentz makes a leap in Year 2, Philly's outlook shifts upward. He surged early as a rookie, leading the Eagles to a 3-0 start. But as the season wore on, Wentz's mechanics regressed and his play fell off. But big-picture, Wentz still has plenty of traits you look for in a potential franchise quarterback, which gives the Eagles plenty of hope for the future. -- Field Yates
One of the Eagles’ biggest weakness, as determined by ESPN, is their head coach. Doug Pederson is still a mystery heading into Year 2. He did some nice things last year scheme-wise despite working with limited offensive talent. Now Pederson has some real weapons to work with. We should be able to get a better sense of Pederson’s coaching ability this season.
Doug Pederson is a relatively young head coach (age 49) coming off a respectable 7-9 first season. He has a promising young quarterback to build around. The Eagles' coaching situation would appear to be a glass-half-full scenario under the circumstances, but Philly ranked just 26th in coaching outlook. Beating those low expectations shouldn't require a miracle. -- Mike Sando
Another area of concern highlighted by ESPN is the Eagles’ obvious weakness at cornerback.
When will 2017 second-round CB Sidney Jones be ready to play (Achilles tear)? And how long will it take 2017 third-round CB Rasul Douglas to develop? Until those two questions are answered, this team's upside is capped in the NFC. Even with the help of a Fletcher Cox-led pass rush, the Eagles simply do not have any other corners good enough to compete against the quality WRs they will face in their own division and conference. -- Louis Riddick
There’s not much else the Eagles can do about their corner situation at this point. They’re going to have to take their lumps there in 2017 and hope the young players can develop into good players.
I don’t think ESPN’s overall ranking is unfair. I’d probably have the Eagles ranked a few spots higher (around 16), but whatever.
The Eagles can climb even higher in these rankings if Wentz looks really good in 2017. Hopefully that’s the case.