Over the next couple of weeks (basically whenever there isn’t other news to cover), we’ll take a look at every player on the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster, and how they fit with the team heading into training camp. Today we’ll look at the offensive tackles.
Previous training camp previews
The Eagles’ depth at offensive tackle took a bit of a hit this offseason when Andre Dillard signed in free agency with the Tennessee Titans. The depth chart:
|LT||Jordan Mailata||Roderick Johnson||Trevor Reid|
|RT||Lane Johnson||Jack Driscoll||Fred Johnson||Chim Okorafor|
Johnson is the best offensive lineman (not just right tackle, not just offensive tackle) in the NFL, and the Eagles’ most important player, Jalen Hurts aside. Since 2016, the Eagles are 10-22 when Johnson is out of the lineup.
• 2016: 2-8
• 2017: 1-0
• 2018: 0-1
• 2019: 3-1 (0-1 in the playoffs)
• 2020: 2-7
• 2021: 1-3
• 2022: 1-1
Week after week the Eagles ask Johnson to block elite edge rushers on an island with no help, and he consistently erases them. It is utterly laughable that he was left off of “Top 100” lists last offseason, when he is probably a “top 20” type of player. He may very well be the most underappreciated player in the NFL, though he has begun to finally begun to get some long overdue recognition nationally over the last year or so.
Throughout the first four years of his extremely unique NFL career, Mailata made drastic improvements in every season, going from a rugby player with no American football experience whatsoever to a well above average starting NFL left tackle. However, 2022 was the first year that his growth as a player perhaps plateaued a bit, and yet, he was still probably one of the top 10 left tackles in the league.
He led the team with eight sacks allowed in 2022, however, he closed very strongly, even while playing through most of the season with a shoulder injury.
Mailata is one of the greatest draft accomplishments in the history of the franchise, and it feels a lot like he’ll be an Eagle for life.
Driscoll appeared in every game for the Eagles in 2022, starting three (one at LT, two at RT). We have him down for five sacks allowed in 354 snaps, which isn’t great.
Still, while maybe not an ideal starter, Driscoll is a quality offensive line backup with guard-tackle versatility who can also play on both sides. Those kinds of players are valuable. In 2023, Driscoll will have an important projected role as the team’s swing tackle. You can expect that he’ll be needed to start at some point during the season.
Reid originally enrolled at Georgia Military College, but transferred to Louisville, where he was the starting LT the last two seasons. The Eagles signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent this offseason.
Reid is thought of as an unrefined player who has some upside because of some appealing athleticism. A scouting report from Lance Zierlein:
If the long-armed, high-cut offensive tackle is to have a chance in the league, it will be because of his pass-protection potential. Reid does a nice job of utilizing his length to punch and stay connected to rushers, but his lack of upper-body and hand strength are major liabilities at the point of attack and against power rushers. Reid is a decent athlete but needs to become much stronger in his core to improve his balance and body control. He appears to lack the polish to make an NFL roster early on but has some developmental traits that might warrant a stint on a practice squad.
Some quick highlights:
Reid feels like a player that Jeff Stoutland can try to develop behind the scenes for a year or so, with a chance to become a backup in 2024 and beyond. Four undrafted offensive linemen have made the team in the Eagles’ last 10 training camps:
- 2022: Josh Sills
- 2019: Nate Herbig
- 2016: Dillon Gordon
- 2013: Matt Tobin
With Sills on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, there’s opportunity for Reid to impress.
Johnson was a Browns fifth-round pick in 2017. He has bounced around the league a bit, playing for the Browns, Texans, Dolphins, Chiefs, and now the Eagles. He has appeared in 29 games (six starts), all with the Texans.
Johnson was an undrafted player out of Florida who has played for the Steelers, Bengals, Buccaneers, and now the Eagles. He has appeared in 28 games (five starts).
Okorafor is an undrafted rookie free agent out of Benedictine College in Kansas. It is unknown whether or not he was named after Dr. Chim Richalds, the famous San Diego-area OBGYN.