The 10 most important players on the Philadelphia Eagles
1. WR Alshon Jeffery (44 points)
2. DE Fletcher Cox (35)
3. LB Jordan Hicks (27)
4. CB Malcolm Jenkins (26)
5. RT Lane Johnson (24)
6. TE Zach Ertz (18)
7. LT Jason Peters (17)
8. DE Brandon Graham (17)
9. RB LeGarrette Blount (16)
T-10. CB Jalen Mills (eight)
T-10. DT Timmy Jernigan (eight)
Alshon Jeffery has a lot riding on this season, and the Eagles in turn are putting a lot of faith in him. The ex-Bears receiver is on a one-year contract in Philadelphia, meaning he could hit free agency again next off-season, and obviously he would prefer to do so with a huge 2017 at his back. And the Eagles are banking on Jeffery to fill their No. 1 WR role, while serving as a go-to option for QB Carson Wentz. Three of our NFC voters (Feldman, Jones, Kaplan) had him atop their Eagles board.
Feldman also placed Jernigan No. 3, good on its own for eight points and a spot in the top 10, just ahead of Patrick Robinson, Torrey Smith and Darren Sproles. The Feldman bump also propelled LeGarrette Blount, who received a second-place vote on that ballot but was no higher than seventh elsewhere and failed to make one ballot (Jones) entirely.
It was Lane Johnson, not nine-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro Jason Peters, who was deemed the most important member of Philadelphia’s O-line for 2017. Much of that finish is thanks to a first-place vote on the Vrentas ballot.
Vetting the Votes: Jonathan Jones defends his second-place vote for Zach Ertz — I think he’s important to protecting Wentz and being the bridge from his short passing game to his field-stretchers Jeffery and Smith. And Ertz had the most yards from scrimmage of anyone other than Sproles last year.
Other Eagles receiving votes: CB Patrick Robinson, WR Torrey Smith, RB Darren Sproles (seven points); WR Jordan Matthews (five); DE Vinny Curry, RB Ryan Mathews (three); C Jason Kelce (two); G Brandon Brooks (one).