Virtually everything the Eagles touched in 2017 turned to
gold silver. With free agency around the corner and the draft to follow, we look back at the top 10 moves the Eagles made on their path to the Super Bowl.
Over the course of the 2017 season, the Eagles signed, traded for, or drafted 26 players. So far we’ve counted down 9 of our top 10, as decided by vote by the BGN staff. You can guess who the #1 is. (Hint: it’s not Will Beatty.) But before we get to our #1 tomorrow, I wanted to take a moment to recognize those worthy of an honorable mention.
It would be a surprise if Torrey Smith is with the Eagles in 2018, as his play doesn’t warrant his cap hit. But let’s not forget that he did give the offense a legitimate deep threat that defenses had to respect, that in the playoffs he stepped up with 157 yards and a touchdown, or his contributions to the Eagles tight knit locker room that made the team special.
A year ago the Eagles were paper thin at cornerback. This season saw a complete reversal: Rasul Douglas barely played after Ronald Darby returned from injury, logging just 16 snaps on defense in Weeks 10-15, and it wasn’t that big a deal. It wasn’t like Douglas earned a trip to the bench either, having picked off Eli Manning in a 3 point win and Cam Newton in a 5 point win. Sidney Jones return (his 43% of snaps in Week 17 were essentially a preseason game) will grab headlines, but his fellow rookie corner has already shown some bonafides.
Going into the 2017 draft the Eagles could have used another safety for depth, and coming out of it… they still needed another safety for depth. Enter Corey Graham, signed early in training camp. With a third safety that Jim Schwartz could trust, he was able to maximize the versatility of Malcolm Jenkins, who lined up all over the field in 2017. And it Graham’s interception (after Rasul Douglas’s overturned interception) that gave us the celebration of the year.
Celebration of the Year? It's electric.#FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/B76AoIyEIo— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) February 4, 2018
There was also someone who might have ranked fairly high on our list if we didn’t only consider players. Mike Groh was a difference maker for the Eagles. Obviously as his position coach he had a key role in the reformation of Nelson Agholor (moving to the slot certainly helped as well), was responsible for the play that resulted in Zach Ertz’s Super Bowl winning touchdown came from him, and had a hand in the Philly Special. He’s earned his promotion.
Finally, for all the key additions the Eagles made, it was a couple of non-subtractions that were just as big. It was surprising that Mychal Kendricks wasn’t traded, and he rewarded their faith in him with a strong season, stepping up his play when Jordan Hicks went down. And where would this team be in 2017 without the new mayor of Philadelphia, Jason Kelce? Sometimes the moves you don’t make are just as valuable as the moves you do.