Football Outsiders Grading Eagles' Young Talent
(Photo Credit: Getty Images 2019)
Howie Roseman set out to add young talent to an older Eagles roster, this past off-season. Football Outsiders supported this decision, based on their observations.
Football Outsiders conducted a report on what they classified as “young talent” around the league. For the exercise, they evaluated each team’s players that were under 25 years old. No Eagles were listed as Blue Chip players under the age of 25. The Eagles placed near the bottom of the league, at 29th. Here’s an excerpt from their report below:
“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.”
Dallas Goedert, who may have been considered, turned 25 in the offseason, did not qualify.
Another player many would argue that should be included as a blue-chip player is Miles Sanders, who had a very good rookie season. After all, Sanders did finish 8th in the NFL in all-purpose yards (1,641).
Carson Wentz, 27,(did not qualify) who many believe should be entering his prime is still a young quarterback with a high ceiling. There is a high amount of pressure on his shoulders to stay healthy and perform like the MVP candidate he has proven capable of being.
This report is essentially a judgement of Howie Roseman’s recent drafts, which has not been spectacular. In Howie’s defense, this has been a team that has been in “win now” mode over the past few seasons, prioritizing acquiring veteran free agents over draft picks. He did an incredible job building a Super Bowl Champion roster and a team that has made 3 consecutive postseasons. Drafting key players on those teams that include, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Wentz, Lane Johnson, and Zach Ertz.
Looking forward, success is highly dependent upon the 2019 and 2020 draft classes. it is imperative for Howie to hit on draft picks, in order to put talent around his star QB. The team will no longer be able to afford top talent in the free agent market with Wentz coming off his rookie contact. The future of the franchise, and possibly Howie’s job rides on the development and performance of recent high draft picks such as: Andre Dillard, Jalen Reagor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, and Miles Sanders.