(Photo: DAVID MAIALETTI / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)
2019 was a year that was filled with players needing to step up, players like Boston Scott, Greg Ward Jr., Joshua Perkins, TJ Edwards, Anthony Rush, and Craig James to name a few. The bizarre year of 2020 makes it tough on young players, but there are a number of potential breakouts I am looking forward to this season.
ANDRE DILLARD- OT
Dillard who now is up to 335lb (315 in 2019), improving his strength was crucial this off-season. In his 4 games started he showed flashes of his extreme athleticism and why he was taken in the 1st round. Many remember the disastrous Seattle game where he played RT, but I believe in OL Coach Jeff Stoutland to have him ready in 2020. Dillard had some trouble with bull rushes but adding weight and strength will help in that area and protect Carson's blindside.
SIDNEY JONES- CB
The 2nd round selection in 2017 has not lived up to the hype whether because of injuries (Achilles recovery, soft tissue ailments) or scheme fit (Slot cornerback), Sidney has worked tirelessly this off-season to be ready to prove he deserves the 2nd cornerback job. My prediction is Jones will overtake Maddox for the CB2 spot during the season. This is a make or break year for Sidney.
Eagles acquired Riley on September 30th from Atlanta for S Johnathan Cyprien, He provided depth at LB. Riley was a Special Teams standout, the former 3rd round pick will have a shot to play more downs on defense in 2020. Riley could play crucial role that the Eagles had Grugier-Hill play the past few seasons. Only 26 Riley, a young LB who can run and fits the scheme the Eagles play.
Eagles traded a 2021 4th rd selection for Avery, and in limited time last season he recorded 0.5 sack. Avery was used as a situational rusher while he was learning the defense. Avery is on the smaller side (6-0, 248lbs) but he has a high energy motor and doesn't quit. Schwartz likely will use him only in a rush specialist role, unfortunately because of COVID-19 he did not get a full off-season to work with the coaches. I do expect him to see time and make an impact this season.
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