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Eagles’ Offensive Line 2020 and Beyond

Under the Doug Pederson and even Chip Kelly era, the Eagles’ have been able to maintain one of the best offensive lines in the league. They kept a core of guys together since 2013 with Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, and Lane Johnson; then adding veteran Right Guard Brandon Brooks a few years later. We are in now in 2020 and these players are starting to become a lot older. Jason Kelce now at 32, Brandon Brooks now 31. Jason Peters at 38, Lane Johnson at 30. The team drafted Andre Dillard with their first-round pick in 2018. They were hoping he would be the team’s future at LT but now even he is in question. He struggled last season, has had some reported struggles early in camp, and now he will miss the 2020 season with biceps tear. Andre Dillard will be 25 (almost 26) when he becomes the team’s full time starting LT, and no one knows where he is and his development. There a lot of questions surrounding this team’s offensive line for this year and beyond.

The Eagles believe they have their LT of the future in Andre Dillard. Also the team really likes their LG Isaac Seumalo. Former third-round pick in 2016. He Isaac started off slow, but has developed into a really solid player. The three other spots on the offensive line remain a big question. There have been rumors the past few years that All-Pro Center Jason Kelce is going to call it a career at the end of the season. He is still playing now but those rumors are still around. Kelce will be 33 in November, and I think it is smart for the Eagles to find their Center of the future. Isaac Seumalo could possibly slide over to Center. There are some draft options as well. If Kelce does hang it up at the end of this season, there are some short-term options in Free Agency like Alex Mack or David Andrews, the problem with that is the Eagles’ cap situation for 2021 Free Agency is tough. So it would probably have to be a draft pick unless Howie pulls off some magic. If Kelce retires at the end of this season, expect either a rookie or Seumalo to start at Center next season.

The other two positions on the offensive line probably have at least another 2-3 years in them, with two of the best at their positions in Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson. Brandon Brooks will miss the 2020 season with a torn achilles. His second in the past two years. Brooks was just signed to a four-year extension this past. Eagles expect him to be around a while even with this injury. Lane Johnson was also signed to a four-year extension and Eagles expect no different from him. If the injuries keep piling up for Brooks, however, do not be surprised if they move on from him sooner.

The depth at this position is a serious concern. It has both a high floor and high ceiling. The backup tackles are expected to be Prince Tega-Wanagho and Jordan Mailata. With the backup guards being Jack Driscoll and Matt Pryor. Not too many known names here. Mailata has looked awesome in his first preseason as a rookie two years ago. The former Rugby star has never played football until that year. Injuries have caused him to not get any game action since. Matt Pryor filled in for Brooks last season, he was not terrible, but he missed too many assignments in the pass blocking game. He is a big mauler who plays well in the run game, but his pass blocking needs a lot of work. If the Eagles go with him at the RG spot this season, he needs to improve. Driscoll and Tega-Wanagho are two interesting rookies both out of Aubrun. Tega-Wanagho was projected to go higher than the sixth round, but injuries hurt his draft stock. Driscoll was also a solid player at Auburn last season and fourth-round is good value for him. The Eagles have a lot of young players for depth. There is potential here but with no veteran backup, depth will be a key concern.

The Eagles offensive line beyond 2020 is a concern. Not one current starter is guaranteed to be their starter in 2-3 years from now due to age and uncertainty with younger players. Luckily, the Eagles have one of the best OL coaches in the league with Jeff Stoutland. We’ll see what the future holds, but Eagles need to seriously consider addressing the future of this OL and getting some veteran depth starting next offseason.

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