With the 2022 NFL Draft slowly but surely approaching, let’s take stock of the Eagles roster, the talent of the upcoming draft class, and where it leaves the team in terms of how to address needs. This will be a position-by-position review with draft outlook incorporated. Let’s take a look at the offensive line.
The Eagles fielded the NFL’s best offensive line in 2021. While injuries caused some shuffling early in the season, eventually the unit settled in and was the main reason why the Eagles had a dominant rushing offense that carried them to the playoffs.
On the left side of the line, the Eagles are set for a long time with the combination of tackle Jordan Mailata and guard Landon Dickerson. Jordan Mailata thrived in his first year as a full-time starter and Dickerson emerged as a dominant blocker midway through the season. The two are a dominant duo and will be cornerstones of the Eagles offense for a long time.
The right side is of course led by Lane Johnson. The perennial star tackle is not going anywhere soon and is a key player in the Eagles offense. At right guard, the picture is a bit murkier. Brandon Brooks has retired after yet another season-ending injury. The Eagles will miss Brooks, who was an elite guard when on the field. Then there’s Isaac Seumalo, who is coming off a major injury. The Eagles have solid depth along the line with Jack Driscoll and Matt Tobin both contributing at guard, but neither figures to be anything more than a mid-tier starter. Andre Dillard figures to be a trade candidate this offseason.
The center position will be held down by eventual Hall of Famer Jason Kelce if he returns in 2022, but the future of the position beyond next season is unclear. Dickerson was drafted as a potential Kelce heir but he looks so good at guard the team might want to keep him there.
This draft is rich in the trenches. The offensive line class is talented and deep from tackle to tackle. Good news for an Eagles team that tends to reload on offensive linemen on a regular basis. This draft figures to have a few tackles go very high with Evan Neal, Ikem Ekwonu and Charles Cross slotted to be top ten picks. Beyond them, Kenyon Green, Tyler Linderbaum, Trevor Penning, Zion Johnson, Daniel Faalele, and Darian Kinnard could all be first round picks. Linderbaum might be the best pure offensive lineman in the class, but his being a center knocks down his value for NFL teams.
Beyond the top guys, the class is still very deep. Plenty of big, athletic players from across the country who could be drafted as developmental options if teams don’t need immediate starters.
The big questions for the Eagles offensive line will be long term security at the center and right guard spots. While the team could address these areas through a solid free agency class, they would be remiss to ignore how much help they could get through the draft.
The Eagles could get starting interior linemen in the first two rounds of the draft. However, if they opt to address more pressing needs with their high draft picks, they could take advantage of the class depth and rely on their excellent coaching staff to develop mid and late round picks.