A position group that the Eagles were strongest at to begin the season was offensive tackle. The Eagles employ two of the best tackles in the business in Lane Johnson and Jason Peters. Jason Peters is a surefire Hall of Famer whenever he decided to hang up the cleats. His counterpart, Lane Johnson, has played at a pro bowl level most of his career.
Time is not on Jason Peters side
Jason Peters went down earlier this season which caused Halapoulivaati Vaitai to step into his role. Peters is nearing the ancient age of 36 in football years as his team in the league is coming to an end. Peters achieved a lot as an undrafted free agent, mostly for one that got brought in as a tight end. He captured nine pro bowls and six All-Pro’s in his fourteen years so far. Injuries have also looked to have caught up to him. The Bodyguard, as many Eagles fans know him, was forced to miss the last nine games of the season due to a torn ACL/MCL. Peters also had some incidents of getting a lot of tweaks last year which cause him to miss plays.
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Lane Johnson needs to be cautious
Lane Johnson has been great during his time on the Eagles. The problem is that he can get suspended at any second. Johnson has been suspending twice for taking Performing Enhancing Drugs. Those suspensions resulted in a four-game and ten game suspension and proved detrimental to the team’s success. Another suspension can cause him to miss the whole season. Johnson is in an elite group at his position and he needs to keep sure he keeps clean. A clean Johnson equals a clean pocket for Carson. Wentz will need a lot of that as he should look to protect himself more after tearing his ACL.
Halapoulivaati Vaitai is one of the hardest names to pronounce and is working himself to one of the hardest ones to watch now. The second-year pro out of TCU had a strong start as the replacement but has since regressed ever so greatly. Vaitai needs to step it up if he wants Jason Peters spot in the future. The only other substitution at the tackle position on the line is veteran Will Beatty. Will Beatty has great experience but his days in the NFL are dwindling down. He was brought in just for depth and his role is basically just to be a number.
Prospect to look at
Luckily for the Eagles, this year is a great year for offensive tackles. There are a lot of talented tackles who are worthy of a first-round pick. Eagles should definitely go tackle this year early in the draft. Some early prospects to look at are Chukwuma Okorafor from Western Michigan and Kolton Miller from UCLA. Both possess great size and strength to be a viable starter at the next level.
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