Quarterback Jalen Hurts has been talking about it since early in the 2021 season, the opportunity for the Eagles offense to “grow together” and “achieve great things,” and it’s clear that the current construct of the personnel on that side of the line of scrimmage – an intensive work in progress for the last three years – gives Philadelphia a chance to do just that.
When General Manager Howie Roseman said early in this offseason that he wanted to “build the right way” with this Eagles roster, he meant that it was important to stay disciplined, make good decisions, and not reach for positions or players. Stay “true to the board,” if you will. The Eagles did just that, adding one Day 1 free agent in elite pass-rushing linebacker Haason Reddick, who is in his sixth NFL season. They then added wide receiver Zach Pascal (fifth season) and, later, linebacker Kyzir White (fourth season).
In the 2022 NFL Draft, Roseman combined some derring-do on the first night, trading up for defensive tackle Jordan Davis and then pulling off the huge trade with Tennessee to acquire wide receiver A.J. Brown (fourth season). In Round 2, it was center Cam Jurgens and in Round 3 linebacker Nakobe Dean.
For conversation purposes here, the focus is the offense and the way the Eagles have “built around Jalen Hurts,” as they said they would do all offseason, by adding Brown and Pascal to the wide receiver room and Jurgens to the offensive line group. Philadelphia now has an offense that combines the dynamism of a great pass-catching combination of Brown and DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins and Pascal and others – the competition in the summer for playing time sure is going to be fun to watch! – along with tight end Dallas Goedert and a versatile and complete running game that led the NFL in ground yards in 2021 playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the entire league.
And, here’s the thing: When you take into account the age of the offense, the Eagles really do have a chance to grow together and, yes, achieve great things.
Hurts will be 24 when the regular season begins, Brown turns 25 in June, and Smith has his 24th birthday in November. Watkins also turns 24 in June and Pascal, the “elder statesman” of the wide receivers, will be 28 late in the season. In the backfield, Miles Sanders just turned 25, Kenneth Gainwell is 23, and Boston Scott is 27. Goedert is in his fifth season and in the prime of his career at age 27, tight end Jack Stoll is only in his second season, and Tyree Jackson, the promising prospect in his second season at tight end, is 24.