Ranking our Top 25 Philadelphia Eagles Going into the 2022 Season

Photos via USA Today Sports

It’s relatively slow as we labor through the second week of Eagles training camp, an experience that brings us some interesting nuggets, but mostly vanilla quotes and mundane statistical offerings. So the Crossing Broad staff went through an arbitrary exercise and tried to rank our top 25 current Birds as we enter the 2022 regular season.

The criteria is wide open. What does “top” mean? I think it means best at their position, guys who are the most talented from an at-large NFL perspective. If we were ranking “most important” players, obviously the QB would be number one, but nobody is saying Jalen Hurts is the best football player on the Philadelphia Eagles.

Each contributor had a different perspective, but I tried to find a middle ground for those preferences and ultimately we came up with:

  1. Jason Kelce – C
  2. A.J. Brown – WR
  3. Lane Johnson – RT
  4. Darius Slay – CB
  5. Jordan Mailata – LT
  6. Dallas Goedert – TE
  7. DeVonta Smith – WR
  8. Haason Reddick – EDGE
  9. Javon Hargrave – DT
  10. Jalen Hurts – QB
  11. James Bradberry – CB
  12. Avonte Maddox -SC
  13. Miles Sanders – RB
  14. Jake Elliott – K
  15. Josh Sweat – DE
  16. Landon Dickerson – G
  17. T.J. Edwards – LB
  18. Fletcher Cox – DT
  19. Brandon Graham – DE
  20. Kenneth Gainwell – RB
  21. Jordan Davis – NT/DT
  22. Kyzir White – LB
  23. Isaac Seumalo – G
  24. Quez Watkins – WR
  25. Marcus Epps – S

Did anybody get snubbed? We originally had Marcus Epps at #26, but the Birds seem high on him and he looks like a guy who could truly have a breakout year, so we elevated him above Anthony Harris and Jaquiski Tartt for this exercise. Jalen Reagor is a question mark hovering outside the top 25, along with Boston Scott, Derek Barnett, Milton Williams, Nakobe Dean (hard to predict what he’ll be this year) and maybe a special teams dark horse in Andre Chachere, who came out of nowhere and is having a good camp. And if we’re valuing long snappers, Rick Lovato has been doing it mostly flawlessly for a long time now.

Speaking of specialists, RE: Jake Elliott, I know comparing kickers to every-down players is like apples and oranges, but this dude went to the Pro Bowl last year. He had an amazing season, his best since the Super Bowl year. How do we rank him compared to Jalen Hurts? That was a difficult one, but if we’re gonna go, for example, relative to position, he’s a top NFL kicker and Hurts is not a top-15 QB, according to most experts and most fans. That’s why we didn’t think it was egregious to have Elliott just a few positions below Jalen.

Hurts was the hardest guy to rank here for obvious reasons. Some people love him and others don’t. I couldn’t put him outside of the top 12, however, because passing limitations aside, he is still a monster on the ground and possesses so many dual-threat skills. Russ wanted to rank him sixth but we settled for a little below that.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The top five I think most people will agree on, though we did get some push back on 2021 Pro Bowler Darius Slay. Seems like a portion of Eagles fans find him to be overrated, which is interesting. We had three offensive linemen in that cluster because it’s the Eagles’ best position group, and Mailata really could make the Pro Bowl this year. He had himself a fantastic 2021 and is poised to take the next step. Obviously Kelce and Johnson are perennial top players at their positions year-in and year-out and deserve those spots even as they near the end of their careers.

We ranked Avonte Maddox relatively high because we think he’s an underrated slot corner. Playing on the outside isn’t his thing, but in that nickel role he’s really excelled. Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham are still important but have taken a step back, so they dropped a little lower. Kelce is similar in age but still a top five player at his position, thus the discrepancy there.

T.J. Edwards quietly had a very good 2021 season, and until we see more of Kyzir White and Nakobe Dean and Davion Taylor in 2022, it’s hard to drop Edwards below any of those three. Reddick is the best “linebacker” of the group, but if we’re being honest with ourselves, we’d probably call him a hybrid and go with the EDGE definition. There’s some TBD there based on how Jonathan Gannon uses him, but we felt comfortable placing him in the top 10. You could probably switch him and Hargrave with no issues.

Beyond that, I think we got it mostly right? Hopefully. The guys at 20 and below are mostly a crapshoot. We aren’t totally sure what Jordan Davis is going to be, but he’s a top 15 overall draft pick so he’s on the list. Gainwell is poised to have a big year now that Jordan Howard has moved on. Seumalo is still a quality interior lineman when healthy and we’ll see how the Birds deploy their guards this season.

Feel free to agree with this list or destroy us on Twitter and Facebook. Tell us we suck and don’t know football. Have a great day.