ESPN: Eagles’ Skill-Position Talent Among Worst in NFL
However, it still wasn't enough to finish in the top half of ESPN’s annual rankings of the best offensive weapons in the league, taking a steep drop from where they were in 2020.
Entering last season, ESPN NFL writer Bill Barnwell ranked their offensive arsenal as No. 10 in the NFL. This year, the Eagles fell all the way down to No. 29.
The biggest drop-off on this year's list belongs to the Eagles, who will be relying on back-to-back first-rounders at wide receiver to kick-start their offense. I'm wildly excited to watch DeVonta Smith after the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner looked like the best player on the field for most of the College Football Playoff, but if Smith isn't an immediate superstar, this could threaten Detroit's receiving corps. It's way too early to give up on 2020 first-rounder Jalen Reagor, but the TCU product was anonymous as a rookie. Behind him is disappointing second-rounder J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Travis Fulgham and Greg Ward, who the Eagles seemingly plan on moving on from every year, only for Ward to be their No. 1 wideout by mid-November. That can't happen again.
As Barnwell points out, the Eagles had the biggest drop-off from last year to this season after replacing quarterback Carson Wentz with last years second-round pick, Jalen Hurts, coupled with a roster filled with unproven players at wide receiver.
Barnwell points out that the team couple get a boost from Smith, but if he doesn't make an immediate impact, the team could actually move down the list instead of up.
As Barnwell mentions, Philadelphia's talent at tight end and running back is better than at wide receiver, but still not enough to move them up this list with so many lingering questions around Zach Ertz and the backup running back position.
While there are big names elsewhere for the Eagles, we haven't seen steady production out of either running back Miles Sanders or tight end Dallas Goedert. Sanders was efficient as a runner last season, but he struggled with fumbles and had no impact as a receiver. A slight uptick in Goedert's numbers was offset by the fact that he missed the better part of five games with injuries before a Week 17 white flag inactive. Zach Ertz is nominally included here, but he's unlikely to be on Philadelphia's Week 1 roster. There are plenty of possibilities here if the young draftees take a step forward, but seeing will be believing in Philly.
Even at No. 29, the Eagles still possess the potential to have a fun offense with new coach Nick Sirianni, Hurts and some young weapons that could make the 2021 a lot of fun to watch.
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