The 2018 NFL offseason has begun for the Philadelphia Eagles, which means Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson will spend the next couple of weeks evaluating the 2017 roster. It’s already time to start figuring out what this team needs to do to repeat as Super Bowl champions next year. We continue this roster outlook series by looking at the center position.
Regular season stats: 1078 snaps, 16 starts, 1st out of 38 centers graded by PFF, 2 sacks allowed, 4 QB hits allowed, 14 QB hurries allowed, 6 penalties
Playoff stats: 203 snaps, 3 starts, 3rd out of 12 centers graded by PFF, 0 sacks allowed, 1 QB hit allowed, 1 QB hurry allowed
Review: Early in 2017, a report emerged stating the Eagles were considering moving on from Kelce. But he was never traded or cut. The Eagles held on to him and it paid off in a big way. Kelce was simply fantastic in 2017. He was the best center in football. He made a number of highlight blocks out in space, which really opened up the Eagles’ running game. He was not a liability in pass protection. When you consider how much Kelce struggled in 2015 and 2016, this turnaround for the 30-year-old blocker was very impressive. Kelce capped off his fantastic season, where he was snubbed from the Pro Bowl but earned All-Pro honors, with the best damn speech you’ve ever heard at the Eagles’ Super Bowl parade. He’s the man.
Outlook: The Eagles will certainly not be considering moving on from Kelce this offseason. He’s signed through 2020 but there is no dead money in his deal after this season, so the Eagles can easily move on if/when the bearded wonder ever declines. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that, but it wouldn’t hurt for the Eagles to have some kind of long-term replacement plan in mind.
Outlook: I already reviewed Wis in the guard section (click here). I’m mentioning him here because he took all the second team center reps last offseason. If Kelce gets hurt (God forbid), Wis could be the replacement in the middle with Chance Warmack or Seumalo filling in at left guard.
Outlook: I already reviewed Seumalo in the guard section (click here). I’m mentioning him here because I think this could be his long-term position. It’s the position Seumalo played the most often in college. The Eagles also gave him a few reps at center in offseason practices last year, and even with the first team at times. BGN’s Jonny Page wrote a good breakdown on why he thinks Seumalo fits at center.
Outlook: Toth spent a short stint on the Eagles’ practice squad before signing a futures contract with Philadelphia after the regular season concluded. Toth is an interesting player to keep an eye on because he was projected to be selected in the 2017 NFL Draft but a last minute injury prevented that from happening. Toth might very well amount to nothing (like Tyler Orlosky last summer) but he’s worth taking a no-risk chance on.
WHO COULD SIGN
Can’t see the Eagles signing a center in free agency for anyting more than the vet minimum. Maybe they bring back Josh LeRibeus, who spent some time on the offseason roster last year, as a camp body.
NFL DRAFT OPTIONS
Maybe the Eagles take a guard/center type late in the 2018 NFL Draft or sign one in undrafted free agency.