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Ranking the 25 Best Eagles: Isaac Seumalo’s back to claim No. 20

The veteran moves from left to right guard with an intent on staying healthy in 2022

The biggest obstacle for veteran guard Isaac Seumalo over the past two seasons has been the injuries, a knee issue in 2020, and a Lisfranc break last season, that limited the veteran starter to 12 of a potential 33 regular-season games.

Moving forward, the versatile Seumalo will add a position move to rehab from surgery in an effort to reclaim a starting spot on the Eagles’ vaunted offensive line, and validate his status as the 20th best player on the Philadelphia roster, according to SI.com’s Eagles Today.

Eagles Today site publisher Ed Kracz and staff writer John McMullen put together their top 25 lists independent of each other’s and then assigned point values, with 25 points awarded to the player ranked first on each list, 24 to the player ranked second, and so on, with one point going to the player that was put 25th.

The highest-ranking broke ties from either reporter.

Seumalo received 11 votes in our polling. According to McMullen, he was No. 20, with Kracz coming in the same ballpark at No. 21.

Had Seumalo, 28, stayed healthy over the past two seasons, it’s not hard to envision him being much higher on this list.

Now the Oregon State product has to accommodate rising star Landon Dickerson, who excelled at left guard as a rookie in Seumalo’s absence while also holding off Jack Driscoll, who is No. 25 on the Eagles Today top-25 list.

“He’s a guy that’s never really got the credit he’s been due for how good he truly is as a player, as a teammate,” All-Pro center Jason Kelce said of Seumalo last season.

Seumalo had two surgeries to repair his foot, the first to repair the damage with some metallic help in October of last year and the removal of the hardware in February.

While Seumalo was convalescing, the landscape of the Eagles' offensive line shifted dramatically when Dickerson seized the LG spot to the point that GM Howie Roseman admitted that the organization didn't want to mess with a left side of Jordan Mailata and Dickerson that could dominate for years.

"Tell you what, Landon balled out last year man," Seumalo himself admitted.

That leaves Seumalo penciled in at RG entering training camp, which is set to begin in late July.

Isaac Seumalo vs Atlanta Falcons via USA Today Sports Media Images

Isaac Seumalo

"It's been an adjustment for sure," Seumalo said of the move from the left to right side. "But you know, talking to guys like [now retired RG] Brandon Brooks who I have always been close with, I mean, he was the best at the position. So, I've talked to him a bunch, obviously, switching from one guard to the next.

"There's different technicalities and weight positions and all this kind of specific o-line stuff but it's been going really well."

It also helps that Seumalo will be going from playing in between Kelce and an emerging star like Mailata to Kelce and another All-Pro level talent in Lane Johnson at right tackle.

"Being out there, especially with Kelce and Lane. Still getting to play next to both of those guys is truly a blessing. So I'm excited about it," Seumalo said.

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There is little doubt from Seumalo when it comes to his ability to handle the switch. Known as a versatile player coming out of college, he once played all five OL positions in one preseason game when he was a rookie. He’s also lined up as an extra tight end at times earlier in his career.

"Even from the first year I got here I played guard, tackle, center tight end," he said. "I mean, there was a preseason game I played every position. ... I'm used to that kind of movement around.”

The rehab is the biggest hurdle for Seumalo, who did individual work during OTAs but admitted being a full-go for training camp remains a goal but not assured. A Lisfranc injury is serious for any player but as a 305-pound offensive lineman, there will be a lot of pressure on the foot.

"It's definitely still ongoing," Seumalo told Eagles Today when discussing his rehab. "But it's been awesome to be out there. ... I'm definitely ahead of schedule in terms of being out there and moving around. It feels good."

While others are taking time to recharge the batteries in advance of camp, Seumalo remains hard at work.

"I personally as a goal definitely want [to be ready for camp]," he said. "... I'm not really planning on taking any breaks. ... I want to be as good if not better than what I was before.”

With the emerging Driscoll on his heels and Seumalo's salary complicating things if he's not a starter, the veteran understands he's not assured of anything.

“First and foremost, every year you’re competing,” Seumalo said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a 12-year All-Pro or a first-year rookie. You’ve got to come in with that mindset that they’re always going to bring in somebody to compete for your job.

"I’m no stranger to that. But I think when I’m healthy the film says a lot, that I can play at a really high level."

That film topped out with Seumalo being graded as a top-20 guard (No. 19 overall) by Pro Football Focus in his last healthy season in 2019.

THE LIST SO FAR

No. 25 - Jack Driscoll

No. 24 - Derek Barnett

No. 23 - Kyzir White

No. 22 - Quez Watkins

No. 21 - Jake Elliott

No. 20 - Isaac Seumalo

-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's Eagles Today and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen