Philadelphia Eagles training camp 2018 is almost here. Players report to the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday, July 25. The Eagles’ summer schedule, including information on practices open to the public, can be found by clicking here. As we count down the days together, Bleeding Green Nation will be previewing every position on the Eagles roster. We continue today by taking a look at the offensive line.
OFFENSIVE TACKLE: Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Taylor Hart, Jordan Mailata, Toby Weathersby
Peters was legitimately playing like one of the best offensive linemen in the league prior to suffering an ACL injury last year. He finished the season as PFF’s fourth highest graded offensive tackle. It’s fair to wonder if the 36-year-old will be the same player coming off injury. But considering Peters is a genetic freak who is super motivated to get another ring, I wouldn’t bet against that man. Peters has averaged 13.2 games played per season ever since becoming a full-time starter back in 2005.
Peters is one of the best tackles in the league and yet he might not even be the best tackle on his own team. Johnson, who turned 28 in May, is coming off a season where he dominated as a run-blocker and stone-walled elite pass rushers week after week. He only allowed one sack the entire year. The Eagles legitimately have two of the best bookends in the league and that’s a very comforting feeling.
The confidence level in Vaitai varies. On one hand, he shut down Everson Griffen in the NFC Championship Game and was ultimately good enough for the Eagles to win a Super Bowl with him filling in for Peters. On the other hand, Vaitai allowed the ninth worst pressure rate in 2017, per PFF. At the very least, I think we can all agree Vaitai can be a serviceable swing tackle. He’s made 16 starts and played in 23 games over the first two years of his career so he doesn’t lack experience. If all goes well, the Eagles won’t have to play him much in 2018.
There was some thought Hart might sneak on to the 53-man roster last year. I think the Eagles would’ve kept the former defensive tackle on the practice squad if he was still eligible ... but he isn’t. Hart will try to make another roster push this summer but it won’t be easy. The combination of his size and athleticism gives him a fighting chance.
Mailata is simply not ready to play football right now. That’s not an insult; it’s just the reality of the Aussie’s situation. He’s very green to the game. I think he’s so raw that his preseason playing time could be limited since you don’t want to have him blowing assignments and getting people hurt.
Weathersby wasn’t really getting many reps in spring drills due to so many guys being ahead of him on the depth chart.
OFFENSIVE GUARD: Brandon Brooks, Stefen Wisniewski, Chance Warmack, Isaac Seumalo, Matt Pryor, Darrell Greene, Aaron Evans
‘Bodacious Brooks’, as Peters calls him, was named to the Pro Bowl last year but got snubbed from All-Pro honors. He’s reliable as a guard as they come. He doesn’t allow pressure as a pass protection and he can open holes in the run game.
Wisniewski can be viewed as the weak spot of the o-line. But if Wis is a team’s worst blocker, that’s a good problem to have. He provided stability at left guard last season when it was apparent that intended starter Seumalo wasn’t cutting it.
Warmack doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence and doesn’t offer position versatility but he played fine enough when forced into action last season. He’s an acceptable backup guard.
Seumalo finds himself in the dog house one year after being the undisputed starter at left guard. I don’t think he’ll get cut since he’s young, cheap, and versatile but he might be end up being trade bait if the coaching staff has completely lost faith in him.
Pryor is an interesting player due to his versatility. The Eagles lined him up at second-team right guard and third-team right tackle. I think the team is realistically hoping he can eventually develop into their new Allen Barbre.
Greene and Evans are fightning an up-hill battle.
CENTER: Jason Kelce, Jon Toth, Ian Park
I feel like there’s a case to be made Kelce is the Eagles’ most indispensable player. The team’s success has gone as his personal success has gone since he’s been in Philly. He’s not the greatest pass protector ever but he’s such a weapon when it comes to opening holes and blocking out in space. Kelce is one of the best centers in the league. Also one of the league’s best orators, for sure.
Toth and Park are long-shots to make the roster. Wisniewski and Seumalo are likely ahead of them on the backup center depth chart.
How will it play out?
The Eagles are one of only five NFL teams to return all five starters from last year:
Left tackle - Jason Peters
Left guard - Stefen Wisniewski
Center - Jason Kelce
Right guard - Brandon Brooks
Right tackle - Lane Johnson
This line has the perfect mix of talent and chemistry. We know that the depth is pretty good as well.
PFF rated the Eagles’ offensive line as the best in the league heading into last year and that’s the case for this year as well. Their dominance up-front should make life easier on Carson Wentz, who is returning from injury. The Eagles’ running game, which averaged 4.5 yards per carry in 2017, should be strong again as well.
Ultimately, this group will play a big factor in giving the Eagles a chance to repeat as Super Bowl champs.
Who could be a surprise cut?
One of Seumalo or Warmack could be on their way out before the season starts. Mailata getting cut shouldn’t be a surprise since he’s just not ready to play.
On a scale of 1-10, what’s your confidence level in the Eagles’ offensive line? (10 being the most.)
This poll is closed