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Can the Philadelphia Eagles Win the NFC East?

The Philadelphia Eagles look to win the NFC East for the second consecutive year. Although no team in the NFC East has won back to back division titles since the Eagles did it in 2003 and 2004, they look to accomplish this feat once again. After losing in the wild-card round to the Seattle Seahawks, Carson Wentz and the Eagles are hungry to get back to the playoffs. 

After a successful offseason acquiring team needs that included Darius Slay, they made arguably the best possible selection for their team in the draft. The Eagles drafted speedy 5-foot-11 wide receiver, Jalen Reagor, to accompany Wentz in the passing game. 

Draft

Round 1, pick 21: Jalen Reagor (WR) TCU

Round 2, pick 53: Jalen Hurts (QB) Oklahoma

Round 3, pick 103: Davion Taylor (OLB) Colorado

Round 4, pick 127: K’Von Wallace (S) Clemson

Round 4, pick 145: Jack Driscoll (OT) Auburn

Round 5, pick 168: John Hightower (WR) Boise State

Round 6, pick 196: Shaun Bradley (LB) Temple

Round 6, pick 200: Quez Watkins (WR) Southern Miss

Round 6, pick 210: Prince Tega Wanogho (OT) Auburn

Round 7, pick 233: Casey Toohill (OLB) Stanford

Draft Grade: C-

Draft Description

The Eagles selecting Reagor at no. 21 was what the team needed to help the offense. However, there were better choices at wide receiver to pick from. Justin Jefferson, Brandon Aiyuk and even Michael Pittman Jr. are options who were more efficient than Reagor in college.

Can the Philadelphia Eagles Win the NFC East?
Image Courtesy of EaglesWire

Reagor only caught 43 passes last year along with 611 yards and five touchdowns. The part of Reagor’s game that the Eagles loved was his home run element. In 2019 at TCU, Reagor ran the second-fastest speed in a game at 20.84 mph. His 20.84 mph speed was second behind Alabama receiver, Henry Ruggs. The Eagles got a solid slot receiver who draws comparison to his current Eagles’ teammate, DeSean Jackson

The most controversial pick of the entire draft was the 53rd pick, Jalen Hurts. Hurts is a unique quarterback who can make excellent throws and can scramble out of the pocket and run for first downs.

However, he was drafted to back up 27-year-old Carson Wentz. Wentz has dealt with injuries in his career suffering from a torn ACL and a back fracture. In the long run, due to Wentz’s injury problems, this is a great pick for the Eagles, but for a guy who is a former Heisman, he might not be the happiest to land in Philadelphia. 

Key Additions

The biggest need for the Philadelphia Eagles this upcoming season was at cornerback. As a result, the Eagles traded for former All-Pro cornerback, Darius Slay. The Eagles traded a third-round and a fifth-round pick to acquire him from Detroit. They get a 6-foot cornerback that has natural ball hawk instincts. In his All-Pro season in 2016, Slay led the league in interceptions (8) and passes deflected (26).

Image Courtesy of Philadelphia Eagles Frenzy

Although last year was considered a down year for Slay, he still managed to make the Pro Bowl, rank fourth in pass breakups (14) and only allow two touchdowns. 

“Slay is everything you want in a corner,” said NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger.

For Eagles fans, that’s great to hear. Slay will try to lock up one of the best route-runners in Amari Cooper twice this upcoming season. 

Not only did Philly acquire Slay, but they signed veteran cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman. Although Coleman is on the short side at 5-foot-8, he knows how to play the position as he enters his eighth NFL season. Last season, the Eagles ranked 19th in passing yards against and 21st in passing touchdowns against, so adding Coleman was fitting.  

Other key additions include John Hargrave (DT), Will Parks (S) and Marquise Goodwin (will sit out of 2020 season) (WR) 

Key Losses

Even though the Eagles acquired key pieces to their secondary, they lost veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins to free agency. Jenkins, captain of the defense, started all 16 games for the Eagles a season ago. Jenkins also contributed 81 tackles with 2.5 sacks.

Can the Philadelphia Eagles Win the NFC East?
Image Courtesy of USA Today Sports

Not only is Jenkins still elite, but he is also extremely reliable on the field. Over his six-year career with Philly, Jenkins did not miss one game. The Eagles lose a consistent starter in their secondary, but can Will Parks bring that same leadership to the defense? Parks is not as great as Jenkins, but does provide a good enough replacement for him. 

Additional key losses include Jordan Howard (RB), Halapoulivaati Vaitai (DT), Ronald Darby (CB) and Nelson Agholor (WR)

Record Prediction:

9-7

Besides the additions of Slay and Coleman, the Eagles did not get a whole lot better. Goodwin would have been a great piece to add to their offense, but after his announcement that he will sit out in 2020, this undeniably hurts the offense. The Philadelphia Eagles will not win the NFC East, but will look to fight for one of the three wild card spots this upcoming season. 

Featured Image Courtesy of ClutchPoints

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