Last season, Pro Football Focus crowned the Philadelphia Eagles as the best offensive line in the National Football League. Despite the achievement, Carson Wentz was sacked a career high, 37 times, throughout last season. Heading into 2020 season, the Eagles have a lot of moving pieces across the line, and it has yet to be determined on how it will play out.
Breaking Down the Philadelphia Eagles OL:
Left Tackle: Andre Dillard, Jordan Mailata
Left Guard: Isaac Seumalo, Sua Opeta
Center: Jason Kelce, Luke Juriga
Right Guard: Brandon Brooks (torn achilles), Jason Peters, Matt Pryor, Nate Herbig
Right Tackle: Lane Johnson, Jake Driscoll
It didn’t take long for an Eagles offensive lineman to show up on the injury report. Day 1 of Eagles practicing in pads, and Andre Dillard was limited. Now that Jason Peters is the starting right guard, who will backup Dillard if he is unavailable? There a two scenarios that could play out at some point this season…
Scenario 1: Eagles “Trust the Process”
This plan would mean Jordan Mailata will be the backup left tackle this season if Andre Dillard wasn’t available, leaving longtime left tackle Jason Peters at guard.
Jordan Mailata was the Philadelphia Eagles 7th round selection (233 overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft. Mailata had never played a down of football before he was drafted. He was a rugby player in Australia, who then entered the NFL’s International Pathway program.
The Eagles have been grooming the former rugby player to be the team’s left tackle. It was a project, but the Eagles have invested the time and energy on Mailata these past years. If the Eagles decide Mailata is the backup, it means they have a lot of trust he will be able to protect their franchise quarterback Carson Wentz.
Scenario 2: Stuck in the 2000’s
This scenario would involve multiple changes across the offensive line, and would mean the Eagles do not believe Jordan Mailata is prepared to play. This plan leaves Jason Peters as the backup left tackle if Andre Dillard is unavailable, or doesn’t perform well. If Peters was forced to move over to tackle, Matt Pryor would play right guard.
Just weeks following the 2019 season, the Eagles announced that them and Jason Peters were mutually parting ways, and Jason was going to enter free agency. After All-Pro right guard Brandon Brooks tore his Achilles this offseason, the Eagles were left with just Matt Pryor at the position, who has just two career starts (including last seasons Division Game vs Seahawks).
No matter which scenario plays out, if any, the Philadelphia Eagles will sure be hoping Carson Wentz doesn’t take the same amount of hits as he did last season.