Last season, the Eagles had a pretty historic roster. Before the season, and then throughout it, Howie Roseman seemed to patch every single hole. They needed a Cornerback to play alongside Slay. Bring in James Bradberry. Needed a Safety. So they made a trade for CJ Gardner Johnson. Needed Defensive Tackle Depth? They added Linval Jospeh and Ndamukong Suh. It was nearly the perfect roster, with no holes. It’s why they had such a historic season, losing just 3 games in the regular season, with two of those losses coming without Jalen Hurts. They came up short in the Super Bowl. But the Eagles’ roster was about as good as we have ever seen.

It is why going into the off-season, a lot of people were nervous. The Eagles had the perfect depth chart, and couldn’t get it done. And chances seemed pretty low that Howie could put together a team that good again. It looked like they may lose most of their secondary, as well as their best interior pass rusher. And some of that did happen. Javon Hargrave walked to get a massive deal in San Francisco. CJ Gardner-Johnson waited too long and ended up settling for a small deal with the Lions. But Howie did hold onto James Bradberry. Something no one thought would happen.

But then they kept adding. On paper, they knocked the draft out of the park. They brought in some key free agents too. Which begs the question. Did Howie Roseman somehow put together an even better roster than last season? It is strange to say, and we need to see them prove it on the field first. But he just may have done it. Let’s go position by position, to see if this Eagles roster is better, on paper of course, than last year’s.

  • Quarterback

    Going Out: Gardner Minshew

    Coming In: Marcus Mariota, Tanner Mckee

    Obviously, Jalen Hurts is still the starter. But we saw the jump he took from 2021 to 2022. Could he somehow improve again? Maybe. But at the very least he should be just as good. We might see him run less, at least in the regular season. And now there is the pressure of being one of the highest-paid players in league history on his back. But Hurts does not seem like the type of guy to let pressure get to him. He dealt with the pressure of facing Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl, and gave us a historic performance, even if the team lost.

    What is different, is the backup. They swap out Gardner Minshew for Marcus Mariota. Probably an improvement. Ideally, we will never see him anyway. But Gardner Minshew looked pretty awful filling in for Hurts in those two games last year. Mariota at the very least is a better scheme fit. You can slide him in without having to change how the offense runs.

    Verdict- Slightly Better

    GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 12: Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs the ball against Nick Bolton #32 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the fourth quarter in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona.

    (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

  • Running Back

    Going Out: Miles Sanders

    Coming in: D’Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny

    They lost Miles Sanders. As disappointing as Sanders was in the playoffs, replacing 1,347 total yards, and 11 TDs, is not easy. How are the Eagles planning to do it? With the quartet of Kenny Gainwell, Rashaad Penny, D’Andre Swift, and Boston Scott.

    Can they duplicate what Sanders did as the lead back? Last year Penny and Swift combined for 1,295 total yards, and 10 TDs. Despite Penny being hurt, and Swift’s role being limited. Add in Kenny Gainwell getting more of a role, it feels like as a team they should be able to at least match their production from the RB spot next season. And having 3 guys rotating in and out should keep all of them fresher, so we don’t see a dramatic falloff in the playoffs the way we did with Sanders who got used a ton last year.

    Verdict: Draw

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 01: D'Andre Swift #32 of the Detroit Lions runs the ball for a touchdown during the third quarter in the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on January 01, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan.

    (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

  • Wide Reciever

    Going Out- Zach Pascal

    Coming In: Olamide Zaccheaus

    Pascal made for a decent blocker, but he was not very productive. The Eagles’ offense likely won’t feel any sting from losing him. But they did add a fairly productive Slot WR to contend with Quez Watkins. Watkins had 33 catches, 354 yards, and 3 TDs on 51 targets, with Jalen Hurts throwing to him. Zaccheaus had 40 catches, 533 yards, and 3 TDs on 61 targets last year, with inferior QB Talent throwing to him.

    Will Zaccheaus beat him out? Maybe. But either way, it is a better WR group. Even if Zaccheaus is your 4th guy, he is better than Pascal. And Watkins would be an improvement over Pascal if he is your 4th guy too. They needed a better option in the Slot with how Watkins performed last year. Is Zaccheaus a star? No. But he is a more dependable version of what they thought Watkins would be.

    Verdict: Better

    ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JANUARY 08: Olamide Zaccheaus #17 of the Atlanta Falcons runs the ball after a catch during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 08, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia

    . (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

  • Tight End

    Going Out- N/A

    Coming in- N/A

    Tight End didn’t change. It will likely be Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, and Grant Calcaterra again. Which is still very good. The wild card is Tyree Jackson. He blew the Eagles away a few years ago in camp and has been a no-show since. Injuries have kept him off the field, and when he did get on the field, he didn’t play well. Grant looked decent at moments last year, maybe he can take a step up. But TE didn’t really need that much of an upgrade. It may have been nice to add a reliable guy in the case Dallas Goedert gets hurt. But that wasn’t that high on the list of needs.

    Verdict- Even

    GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 12: Dallas Goedert #88 of the Philadelphia Eagles makes a catch against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona.

    (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • Offensive Line

    Going Out- Isaac Seumalo, Andre Dillard

    Coming In- Tyler Steen

    The Eagles O-Line was the best in the league last year. They bring back 4 of their 5 starters. The one change will be at Right Guard. Isaac Seumalo left to sign with the Steelers. In his place will be either Cam Jurgens, or Tyler Steen. Both are guys we think are capable of being good starters in the league. We don’t know if they can yet though.

    The Offensive Line should still be elite though, even if Steen/Jurgens aren’t as good as Seumalo was last year. There is a chance they are better, but for now, I will stay on the side of caution and say it’s a very slight downgrade.

    Verdict- Very Slightly Worse

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 12: Cam Jurgens #51 of the Philadelphia Eagles blocks Nathan Shepherd #97 of the New York Jets in the first half of the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 12, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

  • Edge Rushers

    Going Out- Robert Quinn

    Coming in- Nolan Smith

    Last year the Eagles had 3 Edge Rushers rack up 10+ sacks. Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, and Brandon Graham. 38 total between the 3 of them. All 3 return. Could we see a slight regression from Graham? Maybe, he is 35, and last year was his first double-digit sack season.  But they also bring in rookie Nolan Smith. Can Nolan Smith and Graham combine for 11 sacks? That feels very likely. They swap out Robert Quinn, who didn’t do anything anyway, and add a first-round pick who got comparisons to Haason Reddick. As great as their Edge Rush room was last year, it got even better.

    Verdict- Better

    Nolan Smith

    (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

  • Defensive Tackle

    Going Out- Javon Hargrave, Ndamukong Suh, Linval Joseph

    Coming In- Jalen Carter, Kentavius Street, Moro Ojomo

    Replacing Hargrave will be tough. 11 sacks from the inside is hard to come by. But the Eagles managed to swap Hargrave out for what many believe was the most talented defender in the draft, Jalen Carter. Now will Carter immediately have that impact his rookie season? Probably not. Even Aaron Donald had just 9 sacks his rookie season. Fletcher Cox had 5.5. The overall production from the inside will probably be down, next year. But long term, Carter could be better than Hargrave.

    As for the depth, they lost Joseph and Suh, but added a solid rotational piece in Street, and Jordan Davis is hopefully ready to step into a larger role. Overall, they are probably a little bit worse on paper. But DT could still be an elite unit for the Eagles.

    Verdict: Slightly Worse

    KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - APRIL 27: (L-R) Jalen Carter poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected ninth overall by the Philadelphia Eagles during the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station on April 27, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri.

    (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

  • Off-Ball LineBacker

    Going Out- TJ Edwards and Kyzir White

    Coming In: Nicholas Morrow

    The Eagles lost both of their starting linebackers. TJ Edwards to the Bears, and Kyzir White to the Cardinals. TJ Edwards played pretty well last year. White had his moments but tailed off a bit as the season went on. Nakobe Dean replaces one of them. We don’t know what he is, but expectations are high. And Nicholas Morrow is a solid starter who should make for a good Kyzir White replacement.

    It’s another position that is hard to judge because we are relying on someone who has very little NFL experience to step into a starting role. But if Dean is as good as we think, Linebacker will be at the least just as good, if not better. For now, we will call it a draw.

    Verdict: Draw

    HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 03: Nakobe Dean #17 of the Philadelphia Eagles before a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on November 03, 2022 in Houston, Texas.

    (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • Cornerback

    Going Out- N/A

    Coming In- Greedy Williams, Kelee Ringo

    No one thought the Eagles would keep both Bradberry and Slay. They did. So the 3 starting corners all return this year. On top of that, they brought in Kelee Ringo and Greedy Williams. Those two will rarely see the field, but they are better depth options than Zech McPhearson or Josiah Scott. They are just as good at starter and now have much better depth.

    Verdict: Better

    INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JANUARY 10: Kelee Ringo #5 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates after getting an interception and scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2022 CFP National Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 10, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

    (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • Safety

    Going Out- Marcus Epps, CJ Gardner Johnson

    Coming In- Terrell Edmunds, Sydney Brown

    The Eagles lost both starting Safeties. CJ Gardner Johnson was looking like a pro bowler before he got hurt. And Marcus Epps was solid, while not spectacular. Terrell Edmunds comes in to replace CJ. He has been a  solid dependable starter. Maybe not as flashy as CJ, but perhaps a bit better in coverage overall. The wildcard is the 2nd Safety spot. Reed Blankenship and Sydney Brown will compete for the job.

    On paper, it is probably a bit worse. But if Brown steps up and is the type of player he was at Illinois, they could be better.

    Verdict: Slightly worse

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 29: Reed Blankenship #32 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after recovering a fumble against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 29, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

  • Special Teams

    Going Out: N/A

    Coming In: Ty Zentner

    Jake Elliott returns, and over the last two years, he has been one of the most dependable kickers in the game. The question will be at Punter. Arryn Siposs has to fight for his job vs Ty Zentner, a UDFA Punter out of Kansas State. Siposs has been pretty bad. Hopefully, Zentner shows up and beats him out. POunting was one of their lone weaknesses last year. Both in terms of actual punting and punt coverage.

    It is not yet clear what the Eagles’ plan on Punt/Kick Returns will be. They brought in no clear replacement for Britan Covey at either spot.

    Verdict: Draw

    GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 12: Arryn Siposs #8 of the Philadelphia Eagles punts against the Kansas City Chiefs during the fourth quarter in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona.

    (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

  • Overall Verdict

    They need some young guys to step up. On paper, they are probably a bit worse overall. They swapped out veteran guys for young guys who have not proven anything yet. But all of those young guys have a chance to be better or as good as the guys they are replacing. They also swapped out the loser at Defensive Coordinator for Sean Desai.

    QB- Slightly Better

    RB-  Draw

    WR- Better

    TE- Draw

    OL- Slightly Worse

    Edge- Better

    DT- Slightly Worse

    LB- Slightly Worse

    CB- Better

    Safety- Slightly Worse

    Special Teams- Draw

    Philadelphia Eagles v Washington Commanders

     (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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