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The top 25 Eagles of 2018

Ranking the better half of the team’s projected roster

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 NFL season will be here before you know it, and with it, a chance for the Philadelphia Eagles to win a second straight Lombardi Trophy (yes, they really already won one.)

As the new year approaches, here’s one observer’s ranking of the Eagles’ top 25 players entering 2018 (a more difficult task, we should note, when dissecting a Super Bowl-winning roster):

Top 25 Eagles of 2018

25 LB Jordan Hicks If he stays healthy, he could easily be a top-10 play-maker here.
24 K Jake Elliott Sorry, but you won't find many other kickers who are quite as clutch.
23 CB Ronald Darby The talent is top-10 material. Can he stay healthy and consistent?
22 WR Mike Wallace Surprised? Don't be. Bigger and better than Eagles' deep threats of 2017.
21 RB Corey Clement Don't forget about him. He's built like a future No. 1 but perfect in his role.
20 RB Darren Sproles The effort he gives at RB and on special teams is unmatched.
19 DE Chris Long High for his age? He's still a turnover machine on limited snaps.
18 SS Rodney McLeod As solid a No. 2 safety as you'll find. Roams and hits naturally.
17 DE Derek Barnett Primed for a breakout sophomore season. Has an awesome motor.
16 RB Jay Ajayi Fumble problems aside, he's more of a complete back than you think.
15 CB Jalen Mills Doubt him all you want. The guy has an edge.
14 OT Jason Peters Too high? Too low? A team leader and top-10 LT when healthy.
13 OG Brandon Brooks Solid and sturdy. Helps form a dominant right side.
12 QB Nick Foles He'll never be MVP material, but he comes through when you need him.
11 DE Michael Bennett He's older, but his production and disruptive nature speak for themselves.
10 WR Nelson Agholor Went from despised backup to big-play threat. Still hasn't peaked.
9 C Jason Kelce Makes up for his limitations with grit and athleticism. Anchors the line.
8 OLB Nigel Bradham Emerged as a leader. The defense's most physical force.
7 WR Alshon Jeffery Underrated 2017. Makes the catches when you need him most.
6 DE Brandon Graham Persistence is his name of the game. Top-15 NFL edge presence.
5 TE Zach Ertz Forget "breakout" years. He's one of the NFL's steadiest.
4 OT Lane Johnson By positional value, he's probably No. 2 or 3. Athletic and dependable.
3 FS Malcolm Jenkins Coaches the defense. His versatility still tops the DBs.
2 DT Fletcher Cox Still in his prime. A game-wrecker when he's on.
1 QB Carson Wentz They won it all without him, but they couldn't have won it all without him. He's the perfect dual-threat package even if his health dictates a slight regression.

Additional notes:

  • Had DT Tim Jernigan not suffered what looks to be a lengthy injury and narrowly avoided an outright release from the roster, he would’ve been included, although his decline in production late in 2017 would not have guaranteed him a spot above the 20s.
  • LB Mychal Kendricks has a case to be included, especially in light of three RBs making the list, but would you rush to take Kendricks straight up over either Ajayi, Sproles or Clement?
  • Two of the hardest names to slot were Nick Foles and Jason Peters, namely because their roles and impacts are so fluid. Foles deserves to be valued after his playoff run and yet remains a limited QB overall, while Peters is an aging question mark but remains in high standing after his hot 2017 start.
  • Jordan Hicks might’ve been a top-five candidate in 2017, but his future depends so much on countering a spotted injury history that he’ll have to settle as “Mr. Irrelevant” at No. 25. Initially, OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai had his spot, but with Peters back, his role should wane.
  • Derek Barnett may have appeared on a 2017 top-25 list based on upside alone, but no rookies are included here. That speaks to the depth of a championship-caliber roster.
  • Nelson Agholor would’ve been nowhere to be found on a 2017 top-25 list, so his No. 10 spot is probably the most eye-opening in turns of each player’s own career arc. But after what he did on the way to the Super Bowl, how can he not be ranked one of the team’s top weapons?

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