The Eagles winning the Super Bowl without Carson Wentz at the helm was a truly stunning feat. However, it was even more surprising that the Eagles were able to overcome the absence of Jason Peters for a good part of the regular season and the entire playoff run. After Peters went down during the first Giants game, Halapoulivaati Vaitai took over the left side of the line. Vaitai had some bright moments throughout the season and playoffs, but ultimately he struggled pretty mightily; especially in relation to the rest of the line. Big V allowed nine sacks, 14 hits and 28 hurries during his time filling in, which is well below average for an NFL offensive tackle.
While Jason Peters is set to come back and it would surprise no one if the future Hall Of Famer still had gas in the tank, the Eagles may still be better off drafting his replacement this draft.
This offensive line class looks deep and generally strong at this point in the process. While players like Mike McGlinchey and Connor Williams won’t make it to pick 32, the Eagles should have a lot of options for players to groom behind Jason Peters.
- Orlando Brown, Oklahoma: Orlando Brown might do some serious rising during the draft process. At 6’8” and 345 pounds; Orlando Brown has immense size for the tackle position. While he might want to lose some weight to pick up some quickness, Brown is an very good athlete who plays with a nasty streak. Son of the late Orlando Brown Senior, teams will be intrigued by his upside and NFL bloodlines.
- Kolton Miller, UCLA: Kolton Miller is another player who will intrigue with his massive frame. At 6’8” and 310 pounds, Miller has ideal size for the tackle position. He is a decent athlete and plays with great attitude.
- Chukwuma Okorafor, Western Michigan: At 6’6” and 330 pounds; Chukwuma Okorafor is a humungous presence on the perimeter of a line. While he is a bit slow footed for the position; his nomination of arm length, strength and play style makes him the exact type of nasty you want in the run game.
- Tyrell Crosby, Oregon: Tyrell Crosby is going to be a player who goes higher than many think. Crosby has great size at 6’5”, 320 pounds and he moves like he weights thirty pounds lighter. He is an excellent run blocker with great feet to move on the edge. After the combine, expect a lot of people to be in on the Oregon product.
- Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State: A 6’5”, 305 pound senior; Martinas Rankin is a blue collar type of offensive lineman. He might not have the most impressive size or athletic ability; but he is a very good technician who plays incredibly hard.
- Brian O’Neil, Pitt: The Pitt product might be one of the best athletes in the class at the position. The former tight end has good quickness, great strength and a great temperament for a blocker. He is a bit smaller, weighing around 290 pounds, and he is technically raw, but people will fall in love with the demeanor and athletic tools.
- Jamarco Jones, Ohio State: Jones was a highly recruited guy out of high school and turned into a solid blocker for Ohio State. Jones will not overwhelm with physical tools, but his long arms and general playing strength make him a dependable part of a line. Jones might get outshone by his peers at the combine, but he could end up having a very steady career.