Roster Holes Eagles Must Fill Before Training Camp

Jake RillJuly 11, 2022

Roster Holes Eagles Must Fill Before Training Camp

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    It's been an eventful offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles. And by the time the 2022 season is over, we may be able to look back and say it was a successful one.

    On paper, the Eagles appear to have made strong moves that will help them build off their playoff appearance in 2021. They traded for a star No. 1 wide receiver (A.J. Brown), signed one of the best edge-rushers in free agency (Haason Reddick), improved their defense via the draft (Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean) and bolstered their secondary with a late signing (James Bradberry).

    So there should be plenty of excitement surrounding Philadelphia as it prepares for the upcoming season. The Eagles are set to open training camp on July 26.

    It's possible that Philadelphia won't make any more major moves before camp opens, especially because it doesn't appear to have many holes on its roster. But NFL teams are always looking for ways to improve, so it can't be ruled out.

    With that in mind, here are some holes the Eagles have that they may want to consider filling over the next two weeks.

Starting Safety

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    The Eagles don't have many starting jobs up for grabs on either side of the ball as training camp nears. But it's not yet known who their second starting safety will be alongside Anthony Harris, filling the spot that was occupied by Rodney McLeod in 2021.

    Marcus Epps and K'Von Wallace have returned from last season, with the former more likely to seize a starting role this preseason. Philadelphia also brought in a veteran to compete with that duo, as it signed Jaquiski Tartt to a one-year deal in June.

    However, none of those three safeties are likely to provide above-average play, unless the 26-year-old Epps has a breakout campaign. Tartt, 30, brings experience, considering he's started 64 games for the San Francisco 49ers over the past seven seasons. But the Eagles could still benefit from a more substantial upgrade at the position.

    Philadelphia isn't likely to find a starting-caliber safety on the free-agent market at this point. But perhaps it could swing a trade for a player such as the Cincinnati Bengals' Jessie Bates III or the Baltimore Ravens' Chuck Clark.

    Even though camp is looming, the Eagles should still explore all options to try to get better at the back of their secondary.

No. 2 Tight End

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    AP Photo/Christopher Szagola

    Dallas Goedert will be Philadelphia's No. 1 tight end this season, and that's the right move. The 27-year-old has played well throughout his four-year NFL career, and he racked up a career-high 830 yards in 15 games during the 2021 campaign.

    But it can never hurt to have a second tight end who can either share the workload or even be on the field at the same time as the starter. Offenses around the NFL frequently utilize packages featuring two tight ends, and those can make a passing attack more dangerous.

    The Eagles don't have much depth at tight end beyond Goedert, though. Jack Stoll had only four catches last season. Grant Calcaterra is an unproven rookie who was drafted in the sixth round. Tyree Jackson is still recovering from a torn ACL. And J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is a converted wide receiver who may not have the size to excel at the position.

    There are still some veteran tight ends available in free agency who could be a solid No. 2 for Philadelphia in 2022. Among those options are Kyle Rudolph, Eric Ebron, Jared Cook and others. So the Eagles may want to try to sign one of these players on a low-cost, short-term deal.

Depth Cornerback

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    Philadelphia is much stronger at cornerback than it was early this offseason. Bradberry is a proven defensive back who should pair well with Darius Slay as a dynamic starting duo, while Avonte Maddox has the ability to thrive in the slot.

    It's always important to have depth in the secondary, though. Not only because injuries can occur, but because it's beneficial to have cornerbacks who can rotate in and out to keep players at the taxing position fresh throughout a game and over the course of a long season.

    Beyond Slay, Bradberry and Maddox, the Eagles don't have a ton of CB depth. Zech McPhearson will be looking to take a big step forward in his second NFL season. Tay Gowan will also aim to build off his rookie year, although he didn't get much playing time in 2021.

    If Philadelphia signs one more experienced corner who could play significant snaps if needed (and possibly contribute on special teams), it would make the unit even better. It wouldn't have to be a big-time signing, either, as the Eagles more so just need to make this group deeper.

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