Winning in the NFL is all about coaching and talent, with a major emphasis placed on the latter and the proper accumulation of star potential.
ESPN.com recently took a look at all 32 NFL teams, ranking them by their talent under the age of 25, or as it was described, ‘Blue-Chip’ talented. The retooling Eagles lack some star power and landed in the bottom half of the rankings at No. 25 overall.
Number of starts made by players under 25 years old
Number of snaps played by players under 25 years old
Quality of play of players under 25 years old, age-adjusted to capture the fact that a 21-year-old player of X ability will likely improve more than a 23-year-old player of X ability and with extra consideration given to Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections
For Philadelphia, the Eagles and Howie Roseman’s roster landed inside the top-25, at No. 25 overall.
25. Philadelphia Eagles
2020 ranking: 29
Blue-chip players: WR Jalen Reagor, WR DeVonta Smith, QB Jalen Hurts
Notable graduated players: ER Derek Barnett
Philadelphia’s young talent starts with the “skill position” players, but a couple of those players definitely need to show more production in their second seasons.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts (age 23) didn’t have enough pass attempts to qualify for ESPN’s official QBR ranking, but his QBR of 41.2 would have ranked him next-to-last. Wide receiver Jalen Reagor (age 22) ranked 83rd out of 87 qualified wide receivers in DVOA. Lining up across from Reagor this year will be Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, also 22 years old. Running back Miles Sanders (age 24) leads the backfield; Sanders had a positive rushing DVOA last year, which given the state of the rest of the Eagles offense was somewhat of a miracle.
Similar to their division rivals in Dallas, the Eagles have a lot of young offensive linemen who got experience due to injuries in 2020 but won’t necessarily be starting in 2021. That includes 24-year-old tackle Jordan Mailata, 23-year-old guard Nate Herbig, and 24-year-old tackle Jack Driscoll. They’re joined along the line by 22-year-old center Landon Dickerson, this year’s second-round pick.
Smith, Miles Sanders, Landon Dickerson, and Jordan Mailata give a positive glimpse into the future, but Roseman’s inability to hit with J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, while combined with Jalen Reagor’s slow progression leaves Philadelphia on the bottom looking up at this point.