Over the past several years, the Eagles have put together arguably the best offensive line in the NFL. This line has included star players who are all at the top of the league in their positions.
Guys like C Jason Kelce, RT Lane Johnson, RG Brandon Brooks and LT Jason Peters have not only excelled in protecting QB Carson Wentz, but have been an integral part of the Eagles’ offense.
By freeing up the running-game and saving time for the passing-game, the Eagles’ o-line has consistently kept them in contention despite injuries at different positions.
However, with recent news of Brandon Brooks’ torn achilles, the Eagles will be without their star right guard for the 2020 season. Additionally, with Jason Peters now 38, the Eagles have yet to re-sign their starting left tackle of the past 11 years. Although Peters claims he still has gas left in the tank and hasn’t retired, he is still currently a free agent.
When addressing how the Eagles will move forward after Brooks’ injury, HC Doug Pederson said that they will first look internally before trying to sign a replacement. This means that two most likely candidates to start at right guard are rookie Jack Driscoll and second-year Matt Pryor.
While Driscoll had a lot of anticipation coming out of the draft as a versatile player, it is not very often that we see rookie linemen make a large impact in their first year.
Even Philly’s 2019 first round pick, Andre Dillard, has shown inconsistency in his first year despite having much promise. Despite this, it is likely that Matt Pryor will start at right guard for 2020.
Although Dillard is likely going to start at left tackle this year to fill in for Peters, there is still a possibility that Peters returns for at least one more season. In this case, it would make sense for either Dillard or Peters to move to right guard as they are both starting-caliber players.
While a transition to right guard may be easier for Dillard, as he has less experience at tackle, Peters may benefit from playing guard; as it is less physically demanding.
Regardless of where Dillard plays on the line for 2020, he has big shoes to fill. With Brooks and possibly Peters gone, Dillard will have to step up as a leader on the offensive line.
Dillard has reportedly been making strides in improving his game for next year by gaining 20 lbs this offseason. Brooks has recently commented on Dillard and his growth and claims that he’s going to push him every time he sees him.
With more opportunities this year and experienced veterans around him, Dillard should have everything he needs to make significant improvements from last year.
Although it’s always a good idea to give younger players more playing time, signing Jason Peters for a cheap one or two-year contract makes the most sense for the Eagles.
Unless Philly goes out and trades for Jamal Adams, they should certainly be able to afford a cheap contract from Peters. This would not only clear up some question marks at right guard and left tackle positions, but it also provides wisdom and experience that can be passed on to younger linemen such as Dillard, Pryor, and Driscoll.
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