The Philadelphia Eagles enter the 2019 season with Super Bowl aspirations as one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. Philadelphia was determined to improve the 28th-ranked rushing attack last season, adding Jordan Howard in a trade, and selecting Miles Sanders in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the team's highest selection for a running back since LeSean McCoy in 2009.
On defense, the Eagles traded Michael Bennett and lost Chris Long to retirement, but the team added Malik Jackson to pair next to Fletcher Cox on the interior. Vinny Curry also was brought back to improve the run defense. The Eagles added talent in the secondary with Andrew Sendejo highlighting the moves on the back end and revamped the linebacker unit with Zach Brown and L.J. Fort in free agency.
The Eagles have released their first depth chart for the 2019 regular season. This depth chart is unofficial, but head coach Doug Pederson discussed a few position battles prior to the depth chart being released. Let's jump right into the analysis now.
|QB||Carson Wentz|| Nate Sudfeld (INJ)||Josh McCown|| |
|RB||Jordan Howard||Miles Sanders||Darren Sproles||Corey Clement|
|LWR||Alshon Jeffery||JJ Arcega-Whiteside|| |
|RWR||DeSean Jackson||Mack Hollins|| |
|SWR||Nelson Agholor|| |
|TE||Zach Ertz||Dallas Goedert|
|LT||Jason Peters||Andre Dillard|| || |
|LG||Isaac Seumalo||Matt Pryor|| |
|C||Jason Kelce||Nate Herbig|| || |
|RG||Brandon Brooks||Halapoulivaati Vaitai|| |
|RT||Lane Johnson||Jordan Mailata|| |
The Eagles offense has the talent to surpass the 2014 team record for points in a season with 474, especially if Wentz returns to the MVP form he showed two years ago. Philadelphia had a decision to make at backup quarterback with Sudfeld's broken wrist, but it's an injury that isn't serious enough to place him on injured reserve.
An interesting aspect of this depth chart -- the Eagles only keeping two tight ends. Joshua Perkins and Alex Ellis are on the practice squad, but Pederson indicated Andre Dillard (yes left tackle Andre Dillard) will be the third tight end against the Redskins in Week 1.
"But yeah, it's something, too, when we look at our personnel on offense, having our three starters and J.J. [Arcega-Whiteside] sitting there and then you factor in the two tight ends, getting a third tight end actually in a football game is hard," Pederson said. "Unless you're in a short-yardage-and-goal-line situation, and yet, we feel like that we're going to spend most of our time in our 11- and 12-personnel on offense, and go that route.
"Then you factor in the running backs that we have. So each year is a little bit different. The shape of the team is different. And the other thing, too, is special teams become a little more important, and looking at other positions to add depth at those positions who can also help you on special teams."
|DE||Derek Barnett||Vinny Curry||Shareef Miller|| |
|DT||Malik Jackson||Tim Jernigan|| |
|DT||Fletcher Cox||Hassan Ridgeway|| |
|DE||Brandon Graham||Josh Sweat||Daeshon Hall|| |
|OLB||Kamu Grugier-Hill (INJ)||Nate Gerry|| || |
|MLB||Nigel Bradham||T.J. Edwards|| || |
|OLB||Zach Brown||L.J. Fort|| || |
|CB||Avonte Maddox||Sidney Jones||Jalen Mills (PUP)|
|CB||Ronald Darby||Rasul Douglas||Cre'von LeBlanc (INJ)|| |
|SCB||Avonte Maddox||Sidney Jones||Cre'von LeBlanc (INJ)|| || |
|FS||Rodney McLeod||Andrew Sendejo|| |
|SS||Malcolm Jenkins||Johnathan Cyprien||Rudy Ford|| |
The depth chart has Maddox starting over Jones, but that is in a base defense (which the Eagles only run 25 to 30 percent of the time). Pederson announced Sidney Jones will start opposite Ronald Darby, who practiced Monday, in Week 1. Rasul Douglas won't be limited either.
"Darby and Sidney [Jones] obviously could be the top two," Pederson said. "Rasul [Douglas] is going to play quite a bit and Avonte [Maddox] is going to be in the mix at nickel, so all four guys are going to play.
"You're going to have on game day two designated corners obviously, but they are all going to play. They are all going to have to play and I feel like that's one of the areas that we got better this off-season and through training camp. The addition of Darby coming back is really going to give a shot in the arm to the defense and the cornerback position. So they are all going to play. And that's kind of how we look."
|K||Jake Elliott|| || |
|P||Cameron Johnston|| || |
|LS||Rick Lovato|| || |
|KR||Miles Sanders||Corey Clement|
|PR||Darren Sproles||DeSean Jackson|
Sanders was a leader to return kicks prior to camp and the Eagles will give the explosive back the job in Week 1. Sproles will be the punt returner with Jackson returning punts in special situations during the regular season.
Pederson isn't going to limit Sproles and his touches to just return duties.
"Obviously primary punt return, and he's going to be a nice mix, change of pace on offense," Pederson said. "You'll see him on third downs. This is a guy that can still be effective, not only in the run game but also in the passing game on third down and gives us the ability to empty the backfield from time to time. So we'll continue to see his role expand that way."