Ranking the Eagles Interior Offensive Linemen
In the coming weeks I will do a series of posts on the Philadelphia Eagles and how their players stack up at each position. These Tiers are an indication of what talent level can reasonably be expected of each player for the 2013 season. Future potential and contract status are not really taken into consideration, as this is more an indication of a players talent level and expected production.
Rankings: Quarterbacks | Running backs
Description: Top level starter, at elite or near elite level, absolute lock to both make the team and start. Won’t face any competition for his job.
-Mathis was arguably the most dominant OG in 2011, and was considered an integral piece of Philadelphia’s offensive line. Mathis had injury issues early in his career, but was always effective when he was on the field. The last two years for the Eagles, he’s been among the best guards in the league capable both as a run and pass blocker. While the injury issues are always a concern, if he’s healthy he should be counted upon as an integral piece of the Eagles offensive line.
Description: Quality starter who may have some minor struggles in a given year, but overall is a good football player. Typically just outside the elite/near elite level. Should both easily make the team and start. Will be one of the key players on the team.
-Herremans was drafted by the Eagles in the 4th round in 2005 out of Saginaw Valley St. Since then he has gone on to start over 100 games for the Eagles at both left guard and right tackle. Though never a star, Herremans has been a highly effective player for the Eagles during this stretch. After a strong 2011 and a good start to last year, Herremans saw his season cut short with a mid-year foot injury that cost him the last half of the season. Herremans looks to be back to full health for 2013, but will be switching positions once again. Herremans is moving back to guard, but this year is lining up on the right side. Not only will it be a bit of a change for Herremans, but he will be responsible for helping 1st round pick RT Lane Johnson adjust to the NFL. Despite coming back from an injury, changing positions and playing next to a rookie, Herremans is a safe bet to have a good year for the Eagles.
Description: Passable starter, can play the position and be okay, but won’t consistently play at a high level. Will be streaky throughout the season and over the course of many seasons. Depending on position would be better served as a good role player, or would be the best reserve player at a position. Should make the team, though not a lock and should face competition for a starting job.
-Kelce was a 6th round pick in 2011 out of Cincinnati, who played every game for the Eagles that season. Kelce had some struggles as a rookie, but he got better as the year progressed and was expected to make a big jump last season. Unfortunately Kelce was only able to play a game and a half last year before tearing his MCL and partially tearing his ACL. In that small sample size Kelce looked promising, but it is unclear what he would have done over the course of 16 games. He could suffer a setback or not be 100% for the year due to the injury, but it should be expected that Kelce continues to develop into a solid starter. There will likely be some ups and downs next season, but the Eagles expect to get more positive performances than negative ones from him.
Description: Replacement level starter. This is a guy who could start in a pinch or as a long-term injury replacement but will max out as an average starter, and will probably be below average. He’s a guy who could be okay as a short term filler, but over an extended period will struggle. Depending on position could be a solid player, or would be a good back-up. Has a decent chance to make the team, and could get a look at a starting job, but nothing is set in stone for him.
–Reynolds has been with the Eagles since signing as a college free agent out of BYU in 2009. He’s bounced between the 53 man roster and the practice squad. Last year he got his first real shot with the Eagles starting 14 games for them. He was for the most part below average, but he did have some really good games throughout the season. As a starter he’s overmatched, but he should be one of the Eagles better back-up interior linemen back-ups.
-Watkins was the Eagles 1st round pick in 2011, but he has yet to live up to his draft status. Making matters worse he is an older player who will turn 29 during the season. With a new coaching staff in place he may have a tough time keeping a job, but he has flashed some potential. Though it doesn’t come close to his draft value, Watkins could be a valuable back-up this year.
Description: Solid back-up caliber player. Shouldn’t really ever start, and would be below average in that capacity, but can be a short term injury replacement. Shouldn’t even be much of a role player depending on the position, their best value is in their reliability as a replacement. Depending on the position, should be capable of backing up multiple positions or roles to increase their value. Has a chance to make the team, but really shouldn’t be considered a starting option at all.
-Vandervvelde was a 5th round pick in 2011 out of Iowa by the Eagles. He was cut in September and was picked up by the Buccaneers, The Eagles later got him off of waivers when Todd Herremans went down. He offers solid interior depth as he is capable of both the guard and center positions.
Description: Replacement level player. Not considered at all for a starting role, and isn’t even considered a viable back-up. Really only has a shot to make the team if injuries thin out the competition. Overall has a poor chance to make a roster, and is a player who will likely be replaced during the season.
-Has a little potential, but probably more likely to make the practice squad.
-highly athletic offensive lineman, but has never lived up to his potential. Long shot to make the team.
-Long shot to make the team, but could get a practice squad look.
-Longshot for even the practice squad.