Eagles' Biggest Questions to Answer in 2022 NFL Preseason

Joe TanseyAugust 3, 2022

Eagles' Biggest Questions to Answer in 2022 NFL Preseason

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    The Philadelphia Eagles' potential is perhaps the biggest among NFL teams for the 2022 season.

    Jalen Hurts could take a step up at quarterback with new additions around him, and the defense should be improved from a year ago.

    However, football games are not won on paper, and the Eagles are set for a battle in the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys.

    Hurts is the unquestioned starting quarterback, but he will be under an intense focus in training camp because the Eagles need him to improve his game to take the team to the top of the division.

    The offseason trade for A.J. Brown is expected to improve the offense, and his arrival could put one of the franchise's recent first-round picks under pressure for a spot on the 53-man roster.

    As for the defense, the Eagles added James Bradberry and Haason Reddick in free agency, as well as Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean through the draft. They should have one of the more improved units in the NFL, but everything needs to come together during training camp.

How Much Progression Will Jalen Hurts Make?

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    The quarterback position comes under scrutiny no matter who the player is in the NFL.

    Jalen Hurts does not have competition in training camp, but his performances in training camp and preseason games will be broken down almost too much because of the improvements the Eagles made around him.

    The Eagles have a wide receiver corps led by A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, a strong running back duo in Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell and one of the game's top tight ends in Dallas Goedert.

    Hurts needs to improve on his 3,144 passing yards and 16 passing touchdowns to elevate the Eagles in the NFC East standings.

    The third-year quarterback led the Eagles to a wild-card game, but they were outmatched in every facet of the game by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Hurts should use that blowout loss as motivation to get better and come out stronger in 2022 to lead the Eagles to either a division title or a playoff victory. Those are the two options in terms of improvement from 2021.

    If Hurts improves on his game, the Eagles could sit in a terrific spot in the NFC, but if he does not, regression could kick in and more concern about his status as a starting quarterback in the NFL could come into the discussion.

Will Jalen Reagor Make the Team?

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    Jalen Reagor has been one of the biggest first-round disappointments from the last two drafts.

    The 2020 first-round pick recorded 695 receiving yards and three touchdowns in his first two seasons.

    Reagor's numbers were so unimpressive that the Eagles drafted DeVonta Smith in the first round in 2021 and traded for A.J. Brown on draft night in April to bolster the wide receiver group.

    It is not foolish to consider whether Reagor can make the 53-man roster for Week 1 given the other options on the Eagles' depth chart.

    Quez Watkins showed some promise in 2021, Zach Pascal could provide some depth, and Greg Ward has been around for a while as a utility man.

    Reagor could have a terrific camp and turn into the No. 3 option in the Eagles offense. In fact, the Philadelphia staff would probably love it if that happens so that the draft bust talk can simmer down a bit.

    Until he proves that progression on the field, Reagor's status should come under question because the Eagles can't afford to have him struggle for another season while holding back other players who could be more productive.

How Does the New-Look Defense Come Together?

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    AP Photo/Matt Slocum

    The Eagles made improvements in every layer of their defense during the offseason.

    Haason Reddick and Kyzir White were signed in free agency to bolster linebacker, which was arguably the team's weakest position in 2021.

    Philadelphia added the Georgia pair of Nakobe Dean and Jordan Davis to its front seven, and it revamped its secondary behind Darius Slay.

    James Bradberry is expected to start alongside Slay. Jaquiski Tartt was brought in as cover at safety, and he could win the starting job if he performs well in training camp.

    All of the defensive changes should give Eagles fans hope that the unit will add a few wins to the team's record and get Hurts on the field as much as possible.

    The new acquisitions need to use training camp to jell in order to hit the ground running in Week 1. The last thing the Eagles need is for the defense to be discombobulated to start out the regular season.

    Most of the work will be done on the training camp field, and the limited snaps in preseason games must be taken advantage of so that the Eagles can make a push to claim the NFC East title.

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