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What the Eagles should do at offensive tackle

Eagles roster outlook: position-by-position.

NFL: DEC 13 Saints at Eagles Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Today we continue our Philadelphia Eagles roster outlook series by examining the offensive tackle position. Previously: Defensive end | Defensive tackle | Linebacker | Cornerback | Safety | Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight ends.

THE PLAYERS

JORDAN MAILATA

STATS: 733 snaps, 10 starts, 42nd out of 93 tackles graded by PFF, 7 sacks allowed, 7 hits allowed, 18 hurries allowed, 3 penalties

REVIEW: Mailata didn’t have the best training camp. We talked about him being a potential cut before Dillard’s injury. Good thing the Eagles kept him because he showed promise as soon as his first career regular-season start in Week 4. Mailata continued to pass the eye test until he was sent back to the bench in Week 10. Thankfully, the Eagles were eventually willing to shift Peters to right guard and get Mailata back in the starting lineup, where he finished the season.

OUTLOOK: Hard not to be impressed with Mailata’s 2020 season. This was a guy who had never played a single snap of American football at any level until the 2018 preseason! And never a regular-season snap until last season! This is a 23-year-old player with more room to grow. Mailata deserves a legitimate chance to compete for the starting job in Week 1. At worst, he seems like a quality swing tackle to have around.

MY TAKE: Stay.

Poll

Jordan Mailata: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 99%
    Stay
    (4438 votes)
  • 0%
    Go
    (41 votes)
4479 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who should start at left tackle in 2021?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    Jordan Mailata
    (3718 votes)
  • 14%
    Andre Dillard
    (639 votes)
4357 votes total Vote Now

JASON PETERS

STATS: 508 snaps, 8 starts, 55th out of 93 tackles graded by PFF, 8 sacks allowed, 4 hits allowed, 16 hurries allowed, 0 penalties

REVIEW: The Eagles re-signed Peters in July after Brandon Brooks suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. The plan was to have Peters be a full-time starter at right guard for the first time in his career. After Dillard suffered a season-ending injury of his own, Peters remained at right guard until the Eagles gave in to his demands to pay him more to play left tackle. Peters repaid the team by struggling at left tackle and going on injured reserve after Week 3. The Eagles later activated Peters from IR to have him start at left tackle again despite Mailata’s success at that position. Just silly. Peters struggled in pass protection as he played through a toe injury. He was eventually shut down for the season ahead of Week 14.

OUTLOOK: Peters is one of the greatest players in franchise history. He’s a future Hall of Famer. But his time with the Eagles should FINALLY be over. There’s no place for the 39-year-old on a “retooling” team. JP should probably just retire but it sounds like he still wants to play. Perhaps he’ll try to chase another ring.

MY TAKE: Go.

Poll

Jason Peters: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Stay
    (133 votes)
  • 96%
    Go
    (4151 votes)
4284 votes total Vote Now

LANE JOHNSON

STATS: 404 snaps, 7 starts, 12th out of 93 tackles graded by PFF, 1 sack allowed, 2 hits allowed, 2 hurries allowed, 2 penalties

REVIEW: Johnson unexpectedly missed a good portion of training camp and it wasn’t known until later that he sat out due to having ankle surgery. Johnson said his ankle hadn’t really been 100% since originally injuring it midway through the 2018 season. Johnson seemed hopeful the procedure would put his issues behind him but that didn’t end up being the case. He played through pain in 2020 and even had to have fluid drained from his ankle (gross!) on multiple occasions. Despite his ailment, Johnson played at a relatively high level when he was able to stay on the field. He graded out strongly in pass protection but wasn’t quite the same as a run blocker with limited mobility. In late November, Johnson told reporters his ankle “collapsed” (yikes) and he’d miss the rest of the season.

OUTLOOK: Johnson is a beast. One would hope he can finally get back to full health and continue to play at a high level for the foreseeable future since he’s signed through 2025. While I wouldn’t be one to bet against Johnson, the Eagles do have to monitor low-cost contingency plans. He turns 31 this offseason and he’s been through some serious wear-and-tear. Not to mention Johnson is also one failed PED test away from being suspended for two seasons.

MY TAKE: Stay.

Poll

Lane Johnson: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    Stay
    (3909 votes)
  • 5%
    Go
    (235 votes)
4144 votes total Vote Now

JACK DRISCOLL

STATS: 300 snaps, 4 starts, 79th out of 93 tackles graded by PFF, 3 sacks allowed, 3 hits allowed, 12 hurries allowed, 2 penalties

REVIEW: Driscoll was the Eagles’ Week 1 starter at right tackle with Johnson recovering from a surgical procedure. The fourth-round rookie returned to the bench before Johnson started to struggle to make it through entire games. Then Driscoll himself got hurt and returned to start two more games before suffering a season-ending MCL sprain.

OUTLOOK: Anecdotally, Driscoll seemed to be an adequate backup. The numbers paint a different picture. He actually graded out OK in pass protection but he was a poor run blocker. The 23-year-old showed some potential worth developing so maybe he’ll improve moving forward. Driscoll figures to be the top backup behind Johnson next year and maybe a future starter at some point. Driscoll can also kick inside to play guard if ever needed.

MY TAKE: Stay.

Poll

Jack Driscoll: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    Stay
    (3533 votes)
  • 6%
    Go
    (226 votes)
3759 votes total Vote Now

BRETT TOTH

STATS: 97 snaps, 1 start, 89th out of 137 tackles graded by PFF, 1 sack allowed, 0 hits allowed, 8 hurries allowed, 0 penalties

REVIEW: The Eagles claimed Toth off waivers after the Arizona Cardinals — who claimed him off waivers from the Eagles back in September 2019 — waived him in early October. Offensive line injuries forced Toth into playing time in Week 6. He didn’t play much again until starting at right tackle in Week 17. In a small sample size, Toth didn’t get totally embarrassed out there.

OUTLOOK: Toth needs reps. He didn’t pass protect much while playing his college football at Army. A full offseason for the 24-year-old might be able to help him develop into a quality reserve option at right tackle. No guarantee he makes the 2021 roster depending on how the Eagles add at that position. But the team seems to like his potential.

MY TAKE: Stay.

Poll

Brett Toth: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Stay
    (2113 votes)
  • 33%
    Go
    (1072 votes)
3185 votes total Vote Now

ANDRE DILLARD

REVIEW: Ideally, last offseason would’ve been about the Eagles confidently turning the page at left tackle from Peters to Dillard. That’s not exactly how it went, though. There was a report that the Eagles “dangled [Dillard] out there as possible trade bait” at one point. I had heard some buzz prior to the 2020 NFL Draft about how the Eagles were looking to package Dillard in an effort to move up. I heard the Eagles viewed Dillard as “soft.” Alas, no deal happened. But there was still talk about the Eagles inevitably re-signing Peters, and even before Brooks got hurt. Had that injury not occurred, it’s not clear if Dillard would’ve been replaced by Peters as the first-team left tackle. In any case, Dillard did take the starting reps in training camp. I think it’s fair to say he had an uneven summer at best. The 2019 first-round pick got absolutely flattened by a Joe Ostman bullrush during an 11-on-11 setting. He sure didn’t dominate in 1-on-1s and instead actually suffered his season-ending biceps injury in those drills.

OUTLOOK: The Eagles might just hand the starting left tackle job to Dillard ... but they shouldn’t. There are real concerns about his outlook and not just externally. I think he was worse in 2019 than some realize. Maybe Dillard gets healthy and takes a big step forward in Year 3. Maybe he makes his offseason struggles look meaningless, not unlike like Mailata did. But Mailata also never got bull-rushed into oblivion as Dillard did as a rookie and in practice last year. If Dillard doesn’t look good this offseason, that’ll be pretty concerning. He turns 26 this season so it’s not like he’s this super young and raw prospect. The feeling here is that competition with Mailata is in order. And if Dillard loses, his value as a backup is limited since he doesn’t have the versatility to swing over to the right side.

MY TAKE: Stay.

Poll

Andre Dillard: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    Stay
    (2460 votes)
  • 32%
    Go
    (1208 votes)
3668 votes total Vote Now

PRINCE TEGA WANOGHO

REVIEW: Many thought the Eagles got a “steal” when they selected PTW with a sixth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Nigerian native showed some promise in the offseason before sticking around on the practice squad. He opted not to sign a futures deal with the Eagles after the season, instead choosing to join the Kansas City Chiefs. The guess here is that PTW didn’t see a future for himself in Philly with other tackles ahead of him. And while there’s some validity to that sentiment, still a bummer for the Eagles to lose this developmental project.

FREE AGENCY OR TRADES

Don’t really see the Eagles looking to add any veteran tackles, except maybe for the minimum. Le’Raven Clark (28) and Chaz Green (27) have experience with Nick Sirianni after playing for the Indianapolis Colts.

NFL DRAFT APPROACH

The Eagles could potentially draft Penei Sewell if he makes it to No. 6. I don’t tend to think they’ll go in that direction with Mailata and Dillard in the fold. They could look to add a tackle with a Day 3 pick.