ESPN Ranking Has Eagles’ Skill Players in the NFL Basement

Brad Mills - USA Today Sports

At ESPN, Bill Barnwell ranked the “offensive weapons” for all 32 NFL teams, from best to worst.

Your Philadelphia Eagles did not rank very highly. Barnwell has the Birds at #29 on his list, writing this:

The biggest drop-off on this year’s list belongs to the Eagles, who will be relying on back-to-back first-rounders at wide receiver to kick-start their offense. I’m wildly excited to watch DeVonta Smith after the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner looked like the best player on the field for most of the College Football Playoff, but if Smith isn’t an immediate superstar, this could threaten Detroit’s receiving corps. It’s way too early to give up on 2020 first-rounder Jalen Reagor, but the TCU product was anonymous as a rookie. Behind him is disappointing second-rounder J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Travis Fulgham and Greg Ward, who the Eagles seemingly plan on moving on from every year, only for Ward to be their No. 1 wideout by mid-November. That can’t happen again.

While there are big names elsewhere for the Eagles, we haven’t seen steady production out of either running back Miles Sanders or tight end Dallas Goedert. Sanders was efficient as a runner last season, but he struggled with fumbles and had no impact as a receiver. A slight uptick in Goedert’s numbers was offset by the fact that he missed the better part of five games with injuries before a Week 17 white flag inactive. Zach Ertz is nominally included here, but he’s unlikely to be on Philadelphia’s Week 1 roster. There are plenty of possibilities here if the young draftees take a step forward, but seeing will be believing in Philly.

For what it’s worth, Barnwell had the Birds ranked 10th going into last year and 4th in 2019. And there’s a disclaimer at the top of the story noting that the criteria is based on 2021 performance, with receivers weighted more heavily than running backs or tight ends.

Hard to disagree with anything Barnwell writes, though. We know the story. It’s a transition year. There are a lot of question marks and we’re trying to figure out what the Eagles have. Are these receivers any good? Does Miles Sanders take the next step? What about Goedert as a TE1, we assume?

You gotta go into this season with low expectations and a clear mind. You can’t be disappointed if you don’t have expectations. Let’s just see what the Birds are all about and try to enjoy the ride. Let’s try PRAGMATISM.

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