“Way-Too-Early Power Rankings” has Eagles at No. 23
While the Patriots just finished becoming a five time Super Bowl champion, every other team in the NFL has been given a head-start in making plans to overtake them next season.
ESPN writer Kevin Seifert, has his “2017 Way-Too-Early Power Rankings" placed the Philadelphia Eagles 23rd in his pre-draft, pre-free agency rankings.
Why they're here: There is high optimism for quarterback Carson Wentz, but his rookie season demonstrated the large learning curve he brought with him to the NFL. He finished the season ranked 26th in QBR (52.8) but displayed all the tools necessary to develop into a much better player. It's fair to question whether the Eagles have surrounded him with enough of an offense, however, to ensure that happens. Without many playmakers and with a receiving corps that had the NFL's sixth-highest drop percentage (5.1), the Eagles averaged just 5 yards per play (29th in the NFL) in 2016.
What could change: The Eagles are poised to make a jump if Wentz continues his development and the Eagles collect more explosive players. Even after surrendering four draft picks to acquire Wentz last season, they have the No. 14 or No. 15 overall pick after trading Bradford to the Vikings. (They'll participate in a coin toss with the Colts at the scouting combine.) This team's priorities should be clear.
If Seifert’s rankings were to hold true, the Eagles would again finish last in the NFC East and out of the playoffs in 2017. The NFC East featured the Dallas Cowboys (ranked third) with the New York Giants (ninth) and Washington Redskins (12th).
That would mean the Eagles would have failed to reach the playoffs for the fourth straight season, the last time they made the 12 team playoff field was back in 2013, Chip Kelly's first season as head coach.
Even with Carson Wentz heading into his second year, the Eagles still have a lot of uncertainty on both sides of the ball going into the offseason, as they need to find receiver or two for Wentz and find some more talent at cornerback as the most pressing areas to help move up the list.