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PFT preseason power rankings No. 18: Philadelphia Eagles

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At this point last year, the Eagles thought Sam Bradford would be their starting quarterback while Carson Wentz learned about life in the NFL.

Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s knee injury changed those plans and led to Wentz starting every game in his rookie season. There were the expected ups and downs, but the end result was enough ups for the Eagles to feel like they have their quarterback of the present and future.

As long as everyone is healthy, the offensive line should provide strong support for Wentz and what the Eagles hope will be a better run game. They also have a deep defensive line despite the loss of defensive tackle Bennie Logan as the additions of Chris Long, Timmy Jernigan and first-round pick Derek Barnett ensure the cupboard will be well stocked.

Tight end Zach Ertz, linebacker Jordan Hicks and safety Malcolm Jenkins are other players to like in Philly, but Wentz’ development figures to be the lead storyline for the Eagles one way or another.

Biggest positive change: The Eagles were lacking at wide receiver last season and they addressed the issue by signing a pair of veteran free agents. Alshon Jeffery came on a one-year deal as he tries to get past recent injury woes and return to where he was with the Bears a couple of years ago. Torrey Smith’s time with the 49ers was dismal, but he still has the ability to stretch the field and improves Wentz’s options over the corps he was working with last year.

Biggest negative change: No one in Philadelphia is likely to lose too much sleep lamenting the departures of cornerbacks Nolan Carroll and Leodis McKelvin, so it may not be a negative change so much as the lack of an immediate positive one at cornerback. The Eagles signed Patrick Robinson and drafted Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones, but Jones may be a redshirt after a pre-draft Achilles tear and it would be a lot to ask Douglas for high achievement in his rookie season.

We’d like to crack a beer with … LeGarrette Blount. Coming off an 18-touchdown season for the Patriots, Blount lingered as a free agent until signing with the Eagles in May and it would be interesting to hear what his conversations with New England were like before they made it clear they were moving in other directions. Blount’s previous departure from New England didn’t go well as his stay with the Steelers didn’t make it a full season, so we’d also be interested to know where things will be different this year.

Coaching thermometer: There’s going to be an expectation of improvement in Philly after going 7-9 with a rookie quarterback in Pederson’s first year, but there will be growing pains in Year Two for Wentz as well and that may not lead to a leap in the standings that makes the Eagles a playoff contender. Barring total catastrophe, that shouldn’t be an ominous outcome for Pederson given how much they’ve overhauled the team since Chip Kelly’s departure.

How they could prove us wrong: We’re around the midpoint of the power rankings, which means the Eagles could prove us wrong with a move in either direction. A shift in the positive direction would likely mean the new faces on offense aid in a jump for Wentz in his second season while more injury trouble for Jeffery and a lack of growth in the secondary would be reasons why the Eagles could fare worse than anticipated. In a strong division, there’s also the chance that the Eagles could be better overall without making much headway in the standings.

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36 Responses to “PFT preseason power rankings No. 18: Philadelphia Eagles”
  1. eaglesw00t says: Jul 17, 2017 7:45 AM

    I would say 18 seems fair. Maybe even slightly generous given our serious lack of depth (or even starters) at CB.

    That DL better get some sacks this year, because our safeties are the only quality in the secondary.

    Im excited for this season to see how Carson progresses with real receivers, and a full offseason of actually playing with the starters. He was put into a bad position last year. 1 week of work with 3rd stringers, then injury, then gets tossed in with the starters a week before the season starts.

  2. redlikethepig says: Jul 17, 2017 7:47 AM

    But pre-seaon they’re always #1.

  3. officialgame says: Jul 17, 2017 7:50 AM

    When you have both offensive and defensive lines ranked near the top of the NFL you’re going to win games. Wentz threw for over 4,000 yards despite having the worst set of receivers in the league which they addressed in the off season and draft. The Eagles should win 9/10 games, borderline playoff team but they will need to overcome a brutal schedule.

  4. chaseutley says: Jul 17, 2017 7:54 AM

    Outrage! Rabble… rabble… rabble… My team isn’t ranked high enough! Who’s in charge, here?

  5. mysportsrumors says: Jul 17, 2017 8:23 AM

    The Eagles should win 9/10 games, borderline playoff team but they will need to overcome a brutal schedule.

    -=======

    10 wins with that schedule would make them an elite team which they’re not right now.. I’m thinking they’re a 7/8 win team but 9 wouldnt be far fetched if they got a couple lucky breaks

  6. abninf says: Jul 17, 2017 8:33 AM

    So if Dak will be worse because “teams have tape on him” as everyone says, what does that mean for Wentz?

  7. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Jul 17, 2017 8:35 AM

    Is it my imagination, or do the Eagles seem to wind up right about here just about every year?

  8. bmorepositive123 says: Jul 17, 2017 8:42 AM

    I’d also like to crack a beer with Wentz, Darron Sproles, or Howie Long’s kid. They all have personality.

    Also biggest question mark… O-line. How could you not talk about that?

  9. cobrala2 says: Jul 17, 2017 8:52 AM

    Final sentence says it all of last year as well… You look at last year’s strength of schedule and our 7–9 record looks a whole lot better.

    Doesn’t mean we got ripped off in anyway at all, we only won seven games nonetheless. But we were far more competitive for what we were dealing with than people realize.

  10. newmancave2016 says: Jul 17, 2017 9:04 AM

    I think that’s pretty low given all the positive changes they’ve made, that Wentz is in year 2 with Dougie Pederson, etc. They overhauled WR and the secondary and signed Blount. PFT is right…anything can happen. But there’s every reason to think they will be better than a lot of teams who will be ranked higher. They should be in the top half of the league.

  11. trabbit55 says: Jul 17, 2017 9:22 AM

    I love the Eagles, so I’m fairly biased. I’m excited about the offensive and defensive line play, along with watching Wentz develop and the additions at WR. Jordan Hicks is a beast, too.

    But with no corners, 18 looks right to me- maybe even a little high.

  12. whatjusthapped says: Jul 17, 2017 9:29 AM

    Just because they signed Jeffery and Smith in the off season doesn’t mean they have solved their WR weakness. Father Time is undefeated and that pair is at the end of their careers so I am not convinced that the Eagles have necessarily improved that part of their roster.

  13. woodbridgekid73 says: Jul 17, 2017 9:37 AM

    Week one the 18th ranked Eagles play the 25th ranked Redskins so we will all get to see how much Mike Florio and the rest of his PFT minions know what they are talking about.

  14. eaglesince86 says: Jul 17, 2017 9:37 AM

    whatjusthapped says:
    Jul 17, 2017 9:29 AM

    Just because they signed Jeffery and Smith in the off season doesn’t mean they have solved their WR weakness. Father Time is undefeated and that pair is at the end of their careers so I am not convinced that the Eagles have necessarily improved that part of their roster.

    You might be correct; however, they drafted a pair of studs to learn from two vets. in addition Jordan Matthews isn’t great but he isn’t bad either. I think they’re fine at WR.

  15. mysportsrumors says: Jul 17, 2017 9:59 AM

    You might be correct; however, they drafted a pair of studs to learn from two vets

    =====

    drafted a pair of stud receivers?? id say 2 receivers with a ton of potential but they’re far from being studs at this point.

    if they were already studs they wouldn’t be drafted in the 4th and 5th rounds.

  16. 3beeps says: Jul 17, 2017 10:04 AM

    In a Division with Odell, Sterling Shepard, Brandon Marshal and Evan Engram, (not to mention Dez, and Whitten) the Eagles brought in 2 rookies and a Saints reject.
    Brought a knife to a gun-fight ??

    They would do well to match last year’s record.

  17. eaglesw00t says: Jul 17, 2017 10:05 AM

    whatjusthapped says:
    Jul 17, 2017 9:29 AM

    Just because they signed Jeffery and Smith in the off season doesn’t mean they have solved their WR weakness. Father Time is undefeated and that pair is at the end of their careers so I am not convinced that the Eagles have necessarily improved that part of their roster.

    ————————-

    Alshon Jeffrey is 27…Torrey Smith is 28…neither has another birthday until January and February.

    Is a player considered the end of their career during their prime years? Or did you actually not know how old they are at all before commenting?

  18. benfranklinshat says: Jul 17, 2017 10:10 AM

    I’ll take 18.
    Better to be an underdog than the overhyped Cowgirls.

  19. eaglesince86 says: Jul 17, 2017 10:14 AM

    drafted a pair of stud receivers?? id say 2 receivers with a ton of potential but they’re far from being studs at this point.

    if they were already studs they wouldn’t be drafted in the 4th and 5th rounds.

    your initial point was that we’re weak at WR not whether or not the draft picks have potential. I am making it clear that there is some current and possible future talent at the position, guy.

  20. shackdelrio says: Jul 17, 2017 11:04 AM

    It feels like Wentz is the new teflon QB among national media pundits.

    After a 3-0 start with wins against two of the worst teams in the league (CHI/CLE), the Eagles went 4-9 and Wentz only had 11 TD’s and 14 INT’s.

    He was figured out.

  21. truninerfan49 says: Jul 17, 2017 11:06 AM

    Number 18? are you guys insane? Doug Pederson said they have more talent than the 96 Packers

  22. therealtrenches says: Jul 17, 2017 11:17 AM

    18 seems pretty fair.

    However, I’m sure they’ll lose at least 1 game to those 25th ranked Redskins (as much as I hate saying that).

    I’d also be willing to bet that they beat those Cowboys once and those Giants twice.

  23. jag1959 says: Jul 17, 2017 11:19 AM

    abninf says:
    Jul 17, 2017 8:33 AM
    So if Dak will be worse because “teams have tape on him” as everyone says…
    ________________________________

    Who is this everyone you keep talking about? The occasional PFT troll?

  24. streetyson says: Jul 17, 2017 12:08 PM

    Blount left NE for Philly simply because he wanted to get paid and thought everyone would want him. Belichick would only offer a $1.1M-1yr tendering deal, whereas Blount thought he could get $3M. And initial reports did state he got $2.8M at Pilly – but that was probably announced by his agent, to cover Blount’s embarrassment, because it’s actually just $1.25M-1yr. So, surprise surprise – Belichick was right about Blount’s value, but because the Pats offer met the tender-minimum Belichick should get a compensatory pick next draft.

    Oh, and I doubt Blount would have anything bad to say about conversations with Pats, given they helped him out before and got his market value right this time around too.

  25. ace8842 says: Jul 17, 2017 12:10 PM

    I think the ranking is OK but I do think the Eagles could be much better than 18. Here is why.

    * Eagles had no deep threat WR’s last year. Their started 2 WR’s were worst two outside WR in football, in Agholor and DGB. Now not only do they have Jeffrey and Smith, they drafted Hollins and Gibson, both deep threats.

    * Eagles played toughest schedule in the entire league last year, including playing 4 games basically in a row where teams had byes or extra time to prepare, two of them being divisional games.

    * Lane Johnson, their best offensive lineman, missed 10 games with a suspension. With him, they were 5-1.

    * Eagles lost a ton of close games.

  26. ace8842 says: Jul 17, 2017 12:13 PM

    For those of you saying Wentz was figured out, nonsense. See, the Philly media realized how good Wentz was. Agholor and DGB were worst 2 outside WR’s in football. Jordan Matthews was playing hurt. The rest of the WR’s didn’t belong in the Arena League. Lane Johnson missed 10 games, Ryan Mathews missed much of the season. 2 games were lost on fumbles that had nothing to do with Wentz. Bottom line is, Eagles had no one to stretch the field so Wentz had to be perfectly accurate on 6 yard passed all the way down the field. And let’s not forget Eagles had hardest schedule in entire NFL last year for a rookie, who had no time to prepare for his job

  27. aj66shanghai says: Jul 17, 2017 12:20 PM

    They face NFCW, that’s 3 defenses that are pretty tough on teams (SEA, LAR, ARI).

    They face AFCW, again a collection of thumping Ds.

    They also get to play Carolina. Another D that can leave a mark.

    Plus the hyper-competitive NFCE games they always get.

    Will be a good year if Wentz doesn’t miss any games. Assuming Wentz is the guy, they are a very promising team with a nasty front 7 on D. Sort the secondary and (again, assuming Wentz is the guy) they will be perennial playoff participants. In that rarified air with the Patriots, Packers, Seahawks and Steelers.

    If they make the playoffs this year, I don’t think they are ready to make a run but that would show they are ahead of schedule and show a lot of promise for a run next year.

  28. mysportsrumors says: Jul 17, 2017 12:42 PM

    Philly media realized how good Wentz was

    ======

    I live here in Philly and I’ll tell you 90% of the time you cant trust them on how good someone is. Most of those guys are pure homers

  29. fiddlinred says: Jul 17, 2017 1:01 PM

    Puleez. Cant stop the pass at all

  30. trollaikman8 says: Jul 17, 2017 1:09 PM

    #18 roughly translates to 7-9. Seems about right.

  31. somefans says: Jul 17, 2017 1:11 PM

    Too high.

  32. backuppunter says: Jul 17, 2017 1:20 PM

    going to sign Donnel Pumphrey on my fantasy football team if he is still available late. I have a feeling with all the attention wentz, the recievers are going to get one thing that might happen is Donnel Pumphrey will have a good year. I don’t think Blount will work out on the eagles and sproles isn’t going to get many downs.

  33. snakeplizkn says: Jul 17, 2017 1:30 PM

    ================
    Puleez. Cant stop the pass at all
    ==============

    What do the Cowboys have to do with this thread?

  34. mysportsrumors says: Jul 17, 2017 2:05 PM

    going to sign Donnel Pumphrey on my fantasy football team if he is still available late. I have a feeling with all the attention wentz, the recievers are going to get one thing that might happen is Donnel Pumphrey will have a good year. I don’t think Blount will work out on the eagles and sproles isn’t going to get many downs.

    ====

    can i join your league???? sounds like easy $

  35. Pola Pe'a says: Jul 18, 2017 6:00 AM

    Ranking is fair.
    Their biggest weakness are the CB’s and coach. If the corners can play competently and Peterson improves on his in-game decision making they can be a 9 win team. If not they’re a 9 loss team.

  36. ericgervasecom says: Jul 25, 2017 11:32 AM

    I personally think they are going to be a better, more competitive team. I also think it’s not going to show up much in the standings. The division is tough and they are not quite there yet.

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