Question Marks: Philadelphia Eagles
What will the secondary look like?
Yesterday, the Eagles acquired cornerback Ronald Darby from the Buffalo Bills to help ease the pressure on Malcolm Jenkins, who was the lone bright spot on what was a very weak Eagles’ secondary last season, a group that scraped together PFF’s number 32 ranked unit. Their safety play took a hit because of last year’s cornerbacks, who had extreme troubles, especially playing against NFC East receivers like Odell Beckham Jr. and Dez Bryant. While Sidney Jones was one of the best cornerbacks in the 2016 Draft–and could be a second-round steal down the line–he still has a high chance of not seeing the field in 2017 after suffering a ruptured Achilles at his Pro-Day. They’re hoping Jalen Mills will take a big step forward in his development, as well as hoping third-round pick Rasul Douglas, who will look to see a lot of action this year, can surprise a lot of people. The Eagles’ cornerbacks played very poorly last year, and they made an effort to improve them. Now, we’ll have to see how they play.
Will Carson Wentz continue to progress?
The Eagles officially tied their future to Carson Wentz when they traded up to draft him second overall in 2016. He got off to a hot start in his rookie campaign, but later in the season he ran into interception issues while his production took a hit. He’s still a very encouraging prospect, and he gives Eagles fans more than plenty to be excited about. Seeing as he’s the team quarterback, it goes without saying that he is critical to the success of the Birds. If he can progress even further, the team may surprise some people in the NFC.
Will this team have a feature back?
The Eagles’ run game has been lackluster ever since LeSean McCoy was traded to the Bills. Their group of Darren Sproles, Ryan Matthews, and Wendell Smallwood was a solid group, but they don’t seem to have a go-to running back. LeGarrette Blount was brought in, but he’s never truly been the bellwether back. They drafted Donnell Pumphrey, who, while is the all-time FBS leading rusher, is very undersized and lacks many of the main skills needed to sustain success in the league. While having a go-to running back isn’t the end-all-be-all for contending teams, having someone who can consistently take the pressure off of Carson Wentz would go a long way for this team.
Previous entries in the Question Marks series:
Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders