Philadelphia Eagles’ Under-25 Talent Among Worst in NFL
The Philadelphia Eagles better hope their veteran talent is ready to take them on another Super Bowl run, because they just might have some of the weakest group of young talent in the league.
l coming in at No. 29, ahead of only Minnesota (30), New England (31) and the Atlanta Falcons (32).
The Eagles are up at No. 29 after being ranked 32nd last year. With quarterback Carson Wentz, now 27, Jalen Hurts is one of the marquee players under 25, along with former first round picks Derek Barnett and Andre Dillard.
“The Eagles' second-round draft selection of quarterback Jalen Hurts epitomizes their commitment to depth over star power, but their recent inability to draft a blue-chip player will catch up with them if they cannot turn that trend around. Their lone first-round pick from 2017 and 2018, Derek Barnett, has peaked with just 26 hurries and 6.5 sacks in his best of three career seasons. And after one year, the team's 2019 draft looks particularly poor. First-rounder Andre Dillard blew 7.8% of his rookie blocks, the highest rate among left tackles with 300 or more snaps played. His need to further develop might have prompted the team to re-sign 38-year-old Jason Peters if they hadn't already done so to replace injured veteran Brandon Brooks at right guard.”
Both Barnett and Dillard should have bigger roles in 2020, with the former first-round picks both getting starting snaps this season at defensive end and left tackle respectfully.
2019 second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whitesideis is one of the teams young wideouts, but didn't see enough playing time, or preform well enough in his limited snaps to impress.
“Second-round wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside found the field for just 486 offensive snaps in a healthy season and was inefficient with a -12.3% DVOA when he was targeted.”
Running back Miles Sanders will have to prove that he can be a lead back at the NFL level in 2020. He flashed brilliance in Jordan Howard's absence last season when he took over the No. 1 running back role, but will have to show he can do it for a full season.
Among their five picks, only running back Miles Sanders showcased his potential, and his workhorse consideration for 2020 relies more heavily on his excellent receiving (20.0% DVOA) than his demonstrated rushing efficiency (-6.6% DVOA).
On the defensive side of the ball, there is some young talent, but not star talent. Guys like Avonte Maddox, Sidney Jones, Josh Sweat, and some of the young linebackers are all under 25 years of age.
Cornerbacks Avonte Maddox and Sidney Jones excelled in relief of presumed starters Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills, posting impressive 56% and 67% respective coverage success rates. One of them is likely to start across from newly acquired veteran All-Pro Darius Slay.
With 16 hurries and four sacks, defensive end Josh Sweat outpaced the more heralded Barnett in half as many snaps. And the team must like either unproven sophomore linebacker T.J. Edwards or rookies Davion Taylor and Shaun Bradley, because one of them almost certainly will start with just Duke Riley and Jatavis Brown as veteran options at off-ball linebacker.
One guy to keep an eye on is first-round pick Jalen Reagor, who the team hopes can make an impact with his speed as a deep threat for Carson Wentz.
first-round wideout Jalen Reagor is the most important for the team's 2020 prospects, but the immediate need might not mesh with his combination of tremendous skills and lack of polish.
The team also features young wideouts John Hightown and Quez Watkins.