clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What the Eagles should do at offensive guard

Eagles roster outlook: position-by-position.

San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Our Philadelphia Eagles roster outlook series continues by examining the offensive tackle position. PREVIOUSLY: Quarterback | Running back | Tight end | Wide receiver | Offensive tackle.

THE PLAYERS

LANDON DICKERSON

STATS: 859 snaps, 13 starts, 22nd out of 88 guards graded by PFF, 2 sacks allowed, 8 hits allowed, 23 hurries allowed, 5 penalties

PLAYOFF STATS: 66 snaps, 1 start

REVIEW: Dickerson spent the entirety of training camp on the active/non-football injury list while recovering from the injury he suffered in December 2020. The rookie blocker hardly had time to be eased in since Brandon Brooks’ injury thrust him into action in Week 2. Dickerson started his first game in Week 3 and struggled early in the year, especially when it came to pass protection. But Dickerson eventually settled in at the left guard spot. He was a starter for arguably the league’s best offensive line. He was able to use his size and strength effectively as a run blocker, paving the way for one of the league’s best rushing attacks. Given his previous injury concerns, it was good to see Dickerson avoid missing games. [For a great All-22 analysis of Dickerson’s 2021 season, CLICK HERE.]

OUTLOOK: The Eagles have seemingly found a long-term starter in Dickerson, assuming his injury issues are truly behind him. The question is: where will he be playing in 2022? If Jason Kelce retires, there’s a chance he could move inside to center. But since it looks like Kelce might return, the Eagles could just keep him at left guard next to Jordan Mailata. But do the Eagles then move Isaac Seumalo to right guard, where he hasn’t played much in the NFL? The guess here is the Eagles keep Dickerson at left guard but we’ll just have to see if that’s the case. Whichever spot he’s at, it would be nice to see him improve a bit in pass protection (48th out of 88 guards in pass blocking grade). Having a full healthy offseason could be good for his development.

MY TAKE: Stay.

Poll

Landon Dickerson: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 98%
    Stay
    (3928 votes)
  • 1%
    Go
    (47 votes)
3975 votes total Vote Now

JACK DRISCOLL

STATS: 512 snaps, 9 starts, 20nd out of 88 guards graded by PFF, 1 sack allowed, 3 hits allowed, 14 hurries allowed, 1 penalty

REVIEW: Driscoll got hurt in training camp and began the season on injured reserve. He was activated in October and immediately started in place of Lane Johnson, who was away from the team for mental health reasons. Driscoll then shifted to right guard, where he remained until suffering a season-ending injury in late November.

OUTLOOK: Driscoll has played fairly well when healthy, especially relative to backup expectations. But the problem is that Driscoll hasn’t been able to stay healthy. He’s been on the injured reserve list three times over the past two seasons. If Driscoll can put the injury issues behind him, he has a chance to be the Eagles’ top backup at left guard, right guard, and right tackle in 2022.

MY TAKE: Stay.

Poll

Jack Driscoll: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    Stay
    (3543 votes)
  • 4%
    Go
    (159 votes)
3702 votes total Vote Now

NATE HERBIG

STATS: 481 snaps, 5 starts, 31st out of 88 guards graded by PFF, 1 sack, 4 hits allowed, 11 hurries allowed, 3 penalties

REVIEW: Herbig didn’t see regular starts until after both Brooks and Driscoll were out for the season. He was somewhat surprisingly inactive for the Eagles’ playoff game against the Bucs.

OUTLOOK: The Eagles like Herbig enough to go to him if they really have to ... but they’re not really eager to get him out on the field. Herbig is a restricted free agent this offseason. It would cost $2.4 million to tender him at the lowest level. He’s not worth that much when the Eagles are regularly able to find quality depth with Jeff Stoutland around. The Eagles should gauge his interest in signing a short contract extension that gives him some money up front but keeps him cheap and under team control for an extra year. Otherwise, let him test free agency and only bring him back if he doesn’t receive interest on the market. I could see the Jaguars potentially having interest in Herbie with the Doug Pederson connection down there.

MY TAKE: Go.

Poll

Nate Herbig: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Stay
    (1777 votes)
  • 47%
    Go
    (1598 votes)
3375 votes total Vote Now

ISAAC SEUMALO

STATS: 168 snaps, 3 starts, 17th out of 137 guards graded by PFF, 0 sacks allowed, 0 hits allowed, 1 hurry allowed, 3 penalties

REVIEW: Seumalo was off to a good start in 2021 before suffering a season-ending Lisfranc injury in Week 3.

OUTLOOK: Injury issues have caused Seumalo to miss 22 games over the past two seasons. That’s concerning. There’s still reason to believe Seumalo has plenty of good football left in him considering he’s entering his age 29 season. But the Eagles need more durability from Ike. If Kelce retires, Seumalo might actually be the top option to replace him at center. If Kelce is back, Seumalo could be asked to move to right guard to keep Dickerson in place at left guard. Seumalo does have experience playing right guard; he made nine starts at that spot in his final year at Oregon State. He also played 137 snaps at right guard during his rookie season in 2016 ... but hasn’t really been at that spot since then. 2022 is a big year for Seumalo because his contract will void after this year. The Eagles would ideally be able to sign him to an extension now to lower his $7.7 million cap number but the injury concerns might prevent them from doing that.

MY TAKE: Stay.

Poll

Isaac Seumalo: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 84%
    Stay
    (2864 votes)
  • 15%
    Go
    (534 votes)
3398 votes total Vote Now

SUA OPETA

STATS: 163 snaps, 2 starts, 22nd out of 137 guards graded by PFF, 1 sack allowed, 1 hit allowed, 9 hurries allowed, 1 penalty

PLAYOFF STATS: 66 snaps, 1 start

REVIEW: Opeta saw his first start right before Christmas when Dickerson missed a game while on the COVID list. Opeta started again in Philly’s meaningless Week 18 game against the Dallas Cowboys. And then a third time when the Eagles played the Bucs in the playoffs.

OUTLOOK: Opeta is signed through 2022. Easy call to bring him back as a cheap depth option who has some game experience under his belt.

MY TAKE: Stay.

Poll

Sua Opeta: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    Stay
    (2347 votes)
  • 19%
    Go
    (582 votes)
2929 votes total Vote Now

BRANDON BROOKS

STATS: 96 snaps, 2 starts, 105th out of 137 guards graded by PFF, 0 sacks allowed, 0 hits allowed, 3 hurries allowed, 1 penalty

REVIEW: Brooks missed some time in training camp before returning to the field ... but not for long. He suffered a chest injury in Week 2 and landed on injured reserve. Lane Johnson suggested Brooks had a eight-week recovery timeline but Brooks never returned to action. The three-time Pro Bowler announced his retirement following the season.

OUTLOOK: It’s a shame that Brooks just couldn’t stay healthy. He had to go through two Achilles injuries, one separated shoulder, and one torn pectoral muscle since January 2019. Though Brooks’ career didn’t exactly end on a high note, he will be remembered fondly as a great Eagle. He’s an incredibly smart guy who will undoubtedly thrive in life after football. Brooks said he plans on applying to Penn’s business school.

MY TAKE: Go and prosper in a post-playing career.

Poll

Is Brandon Brooks the greatest?

This poll is closed

  • 100%
    Yes
    (2530 votes)
2530 votes total Vote Now

KAYODE AWOSIKA

STATS: 43 snaps, 11th out of 137 guards graded by PFF, 2 sacks allowed, 0 hits allowed, 1 hurry allowed, 0 penalties

REVIEW: Awosika showed some promise last summer; there was thought the undrafted rookie free agent signing could earn a roster spot. The Eagles instead kept him on the practice squad, often using protections on him to make sure he wasn’t poached. Awosika finally got to see some playing time in Week 18.

OUTLOOK: Awosika is an intriguing player to watch moving forward. He’s demonstrated some potential and offers guard/tackle versatility. The Eagles might be able to develop him into a nice backup player. He’s stuck behind some other guys on the depth chart so he’ll need a good offseason to prove he deserves to stick around.

MY TAKE: Stay.

Poll

Kayode Awosika: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    Stay
    (1868 votes)
  • 19%
    Go
    (455 votes)
2323 votes total Vote Now

OTHER PLAYERS WITH GUARD VERSATILITY

Jack Anderson is officially listed as a center/guard on the Eagles’ roster. He played 31 snaps at guard in Week 18. Brett Toth played 14 snaps at right guard in 2021. Toth also played seven snaps at offensive tackle, where he’s mostly lined up in practice and preseason settings. But he curiously played 30 snaps at center in Week 18, so I’m putting him in the center position review since maybe the Eagles are most interested to see what he can do at that spot?

FREE AGENCY OR TRADES

The Eagles won’t be spending big money on the guard position.

NFL DRAFT APPROACH

If Kelce retires, there’s thought the Eagles can draft Tyler Linderbaum to replace him and keep Dickerson/Seumalo at guard. We’ll touch more on Linderbaum in the center position outlook post.

With uncertainty surrounding Seumalo’s future (injuries/contract), the Eagles could afford to add a guard at some point. Perhaps late Day 2 or some point on Day 3.