PHILADELPHIA – The last really good draft class the Eagles had was in 2016, though the jury remains out on at least the last two.
Six of the eight players who came that year played roles in the team’s run to its first Super Bowl championship.
Need on a refresher on that group, here you go:
Only Countess and McCalister didn’t survive the summer of ’16.
Now, look at the list again…
Maybe you noticed that only one of those players is still with the Eagles five years later.
The shock is who it isn’t.
Wentz would have been the heavy favorite to be the last man standing from five years ago. He never made it to 2021.
Monday made me think about Wentz and that class because the former Eagles quarterback is being mentioned in the same scope of failure as the Sixers’ Ben Simmons on my Twitter timeline.
Not sure it’s a fair comparison, but whatever.
Both players are broken, no doubt.
Carson Wentz was sent away to get better with another organization, another head coach, another offense.
Simmons probably needs to do the same thing.
Eagles fans just went through an offseason of what would happen to Wentz, and, to GM Howie Roseman’s credit, he got a nice return on trading the QB to Indy.
Now, Sixers fans – most of whom are also Eagles fans – will go through an offseason wondering what will happen to Simmons. It’s probably safe to assume that Sixers president Daryl Morey will have a difficult time getting what Roseman got for Wentz, so the Sixers might be stuck with Simmons.
Who knows, though?
Certainly, nobody thought Wentz would be gone by now.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Isaac Seumalo is the lone survivor after Wentz and Jalen Mills left this offseason, with Mills landing in New England as a free agent.
Seumalo was asked about that fun little fact earlier this month, and he admitted to thinking sometimes about his last-man-standing status.
“Yeah, it’s crazy,” said Seumalo, who added that he is still very close to Vaitai after Big V fled to Detroit in free agency last year. “It goes by faster than you think. I try to enjoy all the moments with these guys, but yeah, it flies by, for sure.”
Seumalo figures to be pushed for his starting job once Landon Dickerson is deemed 100 percent healthy. Still, as the Eagles discovered last year, you can never have too many offensive linemen.
Seumalo, it seems, never gets enough credit for just how good he is. He’s had moments where he has struggled – nothing Wentz-like or Simmons-esque, though.
Center Jason Kelce repeatedly bangs the Seumalo drum when asked about the offensive line and says Seumalo is forever flying under the radar.
Take last year, for example, Seumalo suffered a knee injury on Sept. 20, underwent knee surgery - something that wasn’t known until after he returned on Nov. 22, probably sooner than he should have becuase he admitted then that he was not 100 percent.
“I did as much as I possibly could to get back on the field,” he said. “That’s just part of my nature. I’m always going to pour everything I can into it. Competing, coach Nick (Sirianni) has been huge on competition, and I’d like to think that’s something I bring with me every day, what can I do to get better? How can I be a true professional in the building and do everything I can on my end to make sure that guys know I’m reliable and consistent?”
While Seumalo is still around, his jersey No. 73 isn’t. He traded it in for No. 56 after the NFL relaxed its strict jersey code during the offseason.
“People aren’t really buying Seumalo jerseys out there,” said Seumalo, and he’s probably right.
The next Seumalo jersey anyone sees will probably be the first.
“I had always been 56 in high school and college," he said. "My dad was 55 when he played. Honestly, I always just kind of liked the number, and with the opportunity …nothing crazy, I just like the number.”
Maybe as the surprising last-man-standing from 2016 fans might start to like it, too.
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.