The Eagles have an embarrassment of riches on the Interior Offensive line as a whole and it all starts with veteran center Jason Kelce, the four-time All-Pro who already has his post-career GPS set for Canton.
Kelce is coming off one of his better seasons in 2021 after being somewhat invigorated by the infusion of a young coaching staff with new ideas. Set to turn 35 in November, however, many believe this is the end of the road for one of the franchise’s All-Time greats both on and off the field.
Maybe the most athletic player to ever play the center position, Kelce is taking things year by year at this point and has been the past few offseasons.
His interest in Cam Jurgens, the team’s second-round pick and heir apparent to Kelce, as a prospect and willingness to sign off on the selection is the clearest indication that Kelce has at least given the Eagles a heads up when it comes to getting his replacement ready.
That said if the Eagles have a big season and Kelce emerges from it relatively healthy with another All-Pro nod on his resume he could always decide to run it back with little blowback from the organization.
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Settling in at left guard after an excellent rookie season is Landon Dickerson, who was once earmarked to replace Kelce in the pivot but performed so well in a tandem with Jordan Mailata on the left side that the Eagles do not want to fix what’s not broken.
The domino to that is Dickerson was inserted at LG in place of the injured Isaac Seumalo, who now must move to RG and attempt to hold off the ascending Jack Driscoll.
Early in his career, Seumalo was also a potential heir to Kelce (sensing a pattern?) and is very versatile so the issue moving forward isn’t so much with the move but the Oregon State product’s health. The 28-year-old, 303-pounder is returning from a Lidfranc surgery, a very difficult injury, especially for a bigger guy and Seumalo wasn’t a full-go at OTAs although he was able to do some individual work.
It’s touch and go as to whether Seumalo will start training camp on the PUP list and if that’s the case the third-year Driscoll will handle the first-team reps. A Natural right tackle, Driscoll kicked inside last year and performed very well until an ankle injury short-circuited his season in late-November.
Also in the mix for Jeff Stoutland are guard Sua Opeta, who performed well when forced into action last season, as well as center/guard Jack Anderson.
Although both Le’Raven Clark and Kayode Awosika are natural tackles, they have guard versatility as well and the Eagles also brought in two undrafted free agents with size and developmental potential in Oklahoma State’s Josh Sills and Williams Dunkle of San Diego State.
The last piece of the puzzle is Brett Toth, who added center to his tackle duties late last season before tearing his ACL in Week 18 against Dallas. The Army product will start training camp on the PUP list while he continues his rehab.
Depth Chart Entering TC:
RG – Isaac Seumalo; Jack Driscoll; Kayode Awosika; Josh Sills
C – Jason Kelce; Cam Jurgens; Jack Anderson
LG – Landon Dickerson; Sua Opeta; William Dunkle
(PUP List: Brett Toth)
Not much from a practical perspective because injuries had taken Brandon Brooks out of the mix in recent seasons so the former All-Pro’s retirement just takes the name out of the equation. Jurgens gives Stouland another high-level prospect to work with and don’t be surprised if the OL coach falls for the size of Sills and Dunkle as potential help down the line after a year on the practice squad.
The August Angle:
Seumalo trying to hold off Driscoll, who is a Nick Sirianni favorite, may be the biggest competition of camp on paper because both have proven to be starting-level players with the versatility to do so at multiple positions. When you add in the traits of Jurgens, Philadelphia has at least an average starting-level interior line with its backups.
Who Stays on the 53:
You can put Kelce, Dickerson, Driscoll, and Jurgens in pen and the only reason to hesitate when it comes to Seumalo is his salary. In theory, if Seumalo loses out on the RG spot to Driscoll, Howie Roseman might try to shop the veteran in an attempt to fortify another position. That said, Seumalo’s versatility is also very valuable as a backup and the Eagles believe they can contend so the insurance would be nice and is already budgeted for. Opeta has the inside track from there and the others may be fighting for practice squad berths.
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— JAKIB Sports (@JAKIBSports) July 12, 2022
PREVIOUS TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW PIECES:
Eagles Training Camp Preview: The Quarterbacks
Eagles Training Camp Preview: The Running Backs
Eagles Training Camp Preview: The Wide Receivers
Eagles Training Camp Preview: The Tight Ends