Predicting Eagles' Biggest Regrets from 2022 NFL Offseason
The Philadelphia Eagles made one of the NFL offseason's biggest splashes by landing A.J. Brown in a trade with the Tennessee Titans.
The Eagles made that trade to give Jalen Hurts two No. 1-caliber wide receivers to work with in Brown and DeVonta Smith.
While upgrades were made at wide receiver, the Eagles stood pat at running back with Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell.
Sanders comes into the 2022 NFL season with a ton of pressure on his shoulders after failing to record a rushing touchdown in 2021.
Sanders has been a solid running back for the Eagles in three seasons, but he needs to step up his production in his fourth season for the team to be considered a top contender in the NFC East and a dark horse NFC champion.
The Eagles could have similar issues on defense at safety. They upgraded other parts of the defense, but the safety depth sticks out compared to the depth at other positions.
Not Upgrading Running Back Depth
Philadelphia brought back four of its five leading rushers from last season.
Miles Sanders turned in his third straight 750-yard campaign, but Jalen Hurts was the team's leading rusher in 2021.
The Eagles need Hurts to run a bit less and connect with A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith more in 2022, which shifts more pressure to Sanders.
Sanders has had a solid three-year run in the backfield, but it is concerning that he has nine touchdowns from 40 NFL games.
A feature back should have more touchdowns regardless of the red-zone play calling. The Eagles used Jordan Howard in red-zone situations for parts of last season.
Howard, who was the team's third-leading rusher last season, is not on the roster this season. Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott will be tasked with handling the rushing load.
Gainwell had five rushing touchdowns in his rookie season. He also contributed 33 receptions for 253 receiving yards in the passing game.
Gainwell's pass-catching ability makes him a solid option in third down and red-zone situations, but the Eagles could use another physical running back to earn tough yards in short-yardage and scoring situations.
Scott is a nice reserve running back. He ended up with seven touchdowns on the ground in 2021, but he has never had more than 400 rushing yards in a single season.
The Eagles could have used a veteran backup on a one-year contract that could earn around 400 yards and make his way into the end zone multiple times. They lost that with Howard leaving and they could use a bit more insurance in case Sanders fails to find the end zone on a consistent basis.
This may turn out to be a nonexistent problem, but it is a concern heading into the season.
Not Landing Proper Safety Help
Philadelphia has one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL in Darius Slay and James Bradberry, but it is lacking the same quality at safety.
Anthony Harris, Marcus Epps, K'Von Wallace and Jaquiski Tartt are the top safeties on the roster in training camp.
Harris and Epps are the likely starters, but they also make up the weakest part of the Eagles' defense.
Philadelphia made up for its linebacker struggles by landing Haason Reddick, Kyzir White and Nakobe Dean in the offseason. It also added Jordan Davis as a potential Fletcher Cox replacement on the defensive line.
Bradberry's signing was the big secondary addition, but if he and Slay play well on the outside, opponents will target the middle of the field.
Epps has been a decent contributor for the Eagles, but he only has eight NFL starts. Harris is the veteran player at safety and was a starter last season.
There is a chance Wallace and Tartt do not make the roster and the Eagles use one of their young corners as safety depth, or that the recently-acquired Ugo Amadi takes control of the backup competition.
The Eagles could have solved this situation by landing a safety with more experience in the offseason. Tartt fits that description, but he was brought in late in the offseason and may not land on the roster.
Harris and Epps could prove any critics wrong and turn the Eagles secondary into a formidable force, but it would have been nice to see one more move made when upgrades were signed everywhere else on defense.
Not Trading Failed Draft Picks Sooner
The Eagles put an end to one of the most disappointing draft pick sagas in recent memory when they traded J.J. Arcega-Whiteside to the Seattle Seahawks.
Philadelphia still has two draft failures that have been the subject of trade speculation in Andre Dillard and Jalen Reagor.
Dillard lost the starting left tackle battle to Jordan Mailata. He is a nice depth piece to have in case of an injury, but he could also start in other places across the league.
Reagor was relegated down the wide receiver depth chart when the A.J. Brown trade happened. He may not have a path to many targets this season.
There may not be much of a trade market for Dillard and Reagor, but if they could find a trade partner for Arcega-Whiteside, there has to be one general manager out there willing to take a risk on one or both of the young players.
Philadelphia would not get much in return for either player. A deal may end up producing an extra draft or two, but it is more important to get some distractions off the roster.
Questions have been asked if keeping Dillard and Reagor is worth it, and they will continue to permeate press conferences until they improve or are moved on.
The offseason seemed like a perfect time to get something in return for the two failed draft picks and give them changes of scenery, but that does not appear to be the case unless a trade develops over the next few weeks.