Projected Lineups: Philadelphia Eagles

Already a team on the rise, the Philadelphia Eagles are armed with plenty of cap space that they can use to improve their talent pool, especially on defense.

| 3 years ago
32-lineups-PHI

Projected Lineups: Philadelphia Eagles


32-lineups-PHIHeading back to the NFC East for the final time, our tour of league lineups ahead of free agency takes on the division champion Philadelphia Eagles. The first year under Chip Kelly, with a few hiccups along the way, was a successful one with an explosive offense paving the way to Philadelphia’s eighth division title since the turn of the century.

With unrestricted free agents taken out of picture for the time being, the Eagles are in strong shape already with plenty of cap room to add to a team that went from worst to first in a division that failed to live up to its title as the “NFC Beast” in 2013. The questions surrounding the current state of the roster revolve largely around a defense still coping with its switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 front. In the front seven there is tinkering to be done while in the secondary there is perhaps more need for a continued overhaul to allow this team to take further strides.

Key: 
– Player markers are colored per class on a five-step ‘Poor’ to ‘High Quality’ scale based on their overall performance and the league’s elite are marked separately in blue.
– Colored outlines suggest a potential change in class.
– Underlined players will be 30+ years old for the 2014 season.
– Red player names suggest injury risks.
– Click on the image to enlarge.

Lineup PHI

Roster Notes

–  The gaudy statistics might lead you to look first at the skill positions but it all starts on the line for the Eagles. After some early wobbles as Jason Peters recovered from injury and Lane Johnson got used to life in the NFL, the Eagles’ line came together and was simply demolishing defenses. There is no better left side than Peters and Evan Mathis while on the right side Todd Herremans and Johnson could boast a similar claim if they can avoid repeating some poor early-season displays in pass protection.

–  Moving past that terrific line, we take a look at the skill positions. Leading from the front is LeSean McCoy whose speed and decisiveness getting upfield blended perfectly with Chip Kelly’s open offense and the blocking he got up front. Our highest-graded running back last season, (+31.2) McCoy collected more than a third of his yards on 26 breakaway carries (15+ yards), leading the league in breakaway yards (585) by nearly 100 yards.

–  Turning our attention to the defense and you see the areas that need investment or patience before we start to see the yellows and oranges turning to the two shades of green. At corner the Eagles got what they should have expected with Cary Williams a (just about) average corner who, after a strong debut, (+3.4 coverage at Washington) turned in more poor games in coverage than good.

–  At linebacker the Eagles do have a defender trending upward in the shape of Mychal Kendricks. After an absolutely dire first month of the season. (-17.6 overall, eight missed tackles) Kendricks was much improved over the rest of the season with some strong games in run defense in the season’s final month. Kendricks still misses too many tackles (23 in total) and makes more plays coming forward than going backward but, deployed correctly, Kendricks is a valuable, incisive, linebacker for the Eagles.

2014 Cap Situation

The Eagles have holes to fill, positions to upgrade, and the ammunition ($20 million cap space according to overthecap.com) to make the necessary moves. The Eagles have never been ones to sit on their hands in free agency so expect targeted aggression once again as they go shopping for players to help them make the next step.

Potential Casualties

The Eagles can add further to their cap space by offloading the likes of DeMeco Ryans whose $6.9 million cap hit can be wiped off the books with no penalty and his performance (-21.4 overall, 14 missed tackles) on the field shouldn’t be too tough to replace. In the secondary, Patrick Chung only arrived last year but after a poor first season (-8.1) that showed precious little ability to progress on his time with the Patriots he could be released penalty-free to create another $3.25 million in cap space.

Opportunities from the Roster

Symptomatic of a team stacked with talent, the Eagles signed one of the more versatile free agents last year, James Casey, and made scant use of him on offense. Casey made his presence felt as one of the Eagles’ best special teamers but it will be interesting to see if Chip Kelly can give him more opportunities to make his impact on offense than the 157 snaps he got this season.

 

Check out the lineups we’ve already covered:

ARZ | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN | CLE | DAL | DEN | DET
GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC | MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ
OAK | PHI | PIT | STL | SD | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WAS

 

Follow Ben on Twitter @PFF_Ben

| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • Desse

    Would be nice to see Eagles release Chung and Ryans, and then bring in Jarius Byrd, Antonio Smith and Karlos Dansby. Perhaps a big body like Danario Alexander. They do have plenty of cap room for all 4 and almost no holes then.

    Remember they have underused OLB Graham too.

    • myeaglescantwin

      This whole “cutting Ryans” idea is preposterous to me.
      His production was lacking in some critical moments, but it’s not like he had an all world DL in front of him. IF we can get another NT to help consume blocks, i think he improves.
      also, every eagles fan knows what happens to a ball club when you remove the leaders.

      i’d still draft/sign some young players to mold into that ILB position, but cutting him seems like it would do more harm than good. especially with the youth infusion we have on D.

    • Nfl All Day

      Why the hell would you want Danario Alexander? He’s big, that’s about it. Cant stay healthy at all.

  • Kyle

    Why is Peters blue chip when other LTs who had better seasons only high quality? Better yet, why is Herremans green with dark green when he was awful in pass blocking? Seems like you seriously overrated some of these guys.

    • James

      Because he only gave up 4 sacks and was great again in the running game? He was also First Team All-Pro so really he had a decent year.

  • Kyle

    Didn’t even notice Lane Johnson, who gave up 11 sacks and graded out at 0.2 overall. Really terrible list.

    • MrBoo

      U saw Mc Coys Numbers? How many Philly Games did u watch? He was elite before he injured his Achillies and just needed some games to get back to his old form… and also this is not a 1 year ranking…

      • pjcostello

        He said ‘Lane Johnson’, not ‘Jason Peters’.

        • MrBoo

          wrong kyle post :) but still, for a rookie he played really well after tough first games. all the other rookie tackles were struggling hard

  • Rick S.

    The Eagles are stacked and IMO a serious SuperBowl contender. And no, I’m not an Eagle fan.

    When you consider NFC East SHOULD be a cakewalk and that their main conference competitors (SF, SEA, CAR, NO) all play in much better divisions, also that the NFC West has to play the AFC West this season, it could be Phillys year. It all comes down to Foles playing consistent football…

    • Kamoteng Baging

      Lol with the stacked and serious SB contender. And I’m a big Eagles fan.

      Seriously, that made me chuckle.

      • Mike D

        On Offense it’s probably already true.

        A near-perfect offseason that nets us at least two starting caliber safeties, and possible upgrades at OLB and CB and I say we really are quite stacked and a SB contender. Considering how well we’ve been drafting since Howie took over, I don’t think it’s an outlandish thing to say.

        • Mike Hayes

          Getting Maclin and Cooper back will now give us a good shot to do a lot offensively.

          Arguably the best O-line in the league, solid WR set, great RB with a serviceable backup.

          I agree. A little work in FA or the draft on D and we should at least be able to compete into January.

  • ACKID38

    I’m not liking the proposed depth chart, but we do have a nice team. superbowl ready, well that depends on FA and the draft. deep playoff run? YEA i think so. We now are in a pretty weak division. But we also get to play, seattle, 49ers, colts, panthers, packers and saints. It will be a big challenge for this team. i don’t expect to win them all but i see 11-5, 12-4 dropping a division game or 2 and a couple of the big name teams. its all about our defense. bring it up from 29th to somewhere mid pack and we could make a very nice run.

    • myeaglescantwin

      all good points. This schedule is no cake walk.

      & we can’t expect the giants to & redskins to be as terrible as they were in 2013 (but my fingers are crossed on that one)

  • Nfl All Day

    You’ve seriously overrated Cox and Cole, and underrated Barwin, Williams, Ryans, and Kendricks. Barwin & Ryans in particular tho were very good all year long.