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Marrying Talent and Coaching Gives Eagles' the Best Offensive Line in NFL

The Philadelphia OL has eight starting-level players, according to one former personnel executive

The hype is rolling like a running back in the open field with Jordan Mailata and Landon Dickerson pulling in front of him.

How about Tier 1 from The33rdteam.com and No. 1 overall by Pro Football Focus?

That's the kind of respect Jeff Stoutland's offensive line with the Eagles is getting these days.

If it's a surprise to you that the strength in Philadelphia is up front on either side of the line of scrimmage then you've been Rip Van Winkle-ing it for about 23 years because that's when Andy Reid showed up in 1999 to convince Jeffrey Lurie that's the way you build a sound, consistent winner in the NFL.

More discerning observers have surely noticed Eagles GM Howie Roseman citing the philosophy on multiple occasions usually when the team selects a lineman over a splashier option the fan base might covet.

This year that was center Cam Jurgens at No. 51 overall, a “luxury pick” to many of the same critics who called Dickerson the same thing 12 months earlier.

“Unfortunately for our fans at the time, you know, I’m always going to go [offensive line], [defensive line]. That’s how we roll,” Roseman said. “That’s how we build this thing.”

Jason Kelce
Lane Johnson
Jordan Mailata
Landon Dickerson. on Dec. 16, 2021
Eagles Isaac Seumalo out for season
Jack Driscoll on his late move to RT against the Chiefs
Cam Jurgens during Eagles rookie camp on May 6, 2022

It's no coincidence that Reid's current team in Kansas City joins the Eagles in The33rdteam.com's Tier 1 and is also in PFF's top 10.

In many ways, the DNA of the Eagles is rooted in common sense. It's hard to play offensive football if you can't block anyone. Conversely, if you can't be blocked up front, the defense is going to have a day.

The Eagles' strengths on the O-Line are many but one former personnel executive pointed to the top-end talent coupled with the depth.

"You have three potential All-Pros (Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, and Mailata, according to the former scout) and Dickerson played at that level in the second half [of the 2021 season] and I count eight starting-level players at least," the former personnel executive said to SI Fan Nation's Eagles Today.

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PFF described it like this: "There may not be a single below-average starter along the Eagles' offensive line. Pair that with arguably the best tackle duo in the NFL, and there’s no debate about which team's offensive line belongs at No. 1 heading into 2022."

READ MORE: Three Leftovers from Eagles OTAs - Sports Illustrated

Kelce, of course, is a potential future Hall of Famer, while the bookend tackles are both top 10 in the league.

Interestingly, the perceived sixth man moving forward, Jack Driscoll, was graded higher than Dickerson at OG by PFF last season but, if you scrap Dickerson's so-called start-up costs as a rookie coming off an ACL tear, both were top 25 options inside in a league where there are 64 starting OGs by definition.

Meanwhile, the athletic Isaac Seumalo will be returning after missing most of last season with a Lisfranc injury, and Jurgens, who has starting-level traits, might quickly evolve from today's luxury to tomorrow’s necessity if 2022 proves to be Kelce's final season.

The other starting-level player the Eagles have is 2019 first-round pick Andre Dillard, who is surely one of the best 32 best left tackles in the NFL but is stuck behind Mailata with the Eagles.

Go even deeper from there and you will see serviceable players like Sua Opeta, Brett Toth, who continues to rehab from a torn ACL suffered in Week 18 last season, and Le’Raven Clark.

Then you have the developmental group which includes young players like Jack Anderson, who has interior versatility across all three spots, and Kayode Awosika, who has guard/tackle optionality, as well as undrafted rookies Josh Sills, Williams Dunkle, and Jarrid Williams.

It's almost expected that Stoutland will turn one or two players in that developmental designation into capable players.

"It is the best group in the NFL," the former scout said, "and that's what happens when you marry talent to coaching."

-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's Eagles Today and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Sports. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talker Jody McDonald, every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on YouTube.com and JAKIBSports.com. You can reach John at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen