The 2020 season is nearing as the Philadelphia Eagles and all 32 NFL teams prepare for week 1. With training camp clips surfacing from left to right, it’s hard not to get excited for what looks like a highly improved Eagles roster.
From a season to season basis, we usually know what players are gonna produce at a high level, and the ones that are not. But every so often, some guys could catch you by surprise. We’ve seen it time and time again, with Nelson Agholor randomly taking off in 2017 and Boston Scott becoming a swiss army knife towards the end of last year.
With the Eagles roster as a whole getting up there in age, the team could really use a handful of the younger guys to step up. Below are four guys that could do just that in the 2020 season.
Selected with the 1st round pick received in the Sam Bradford trade, Barnett had himself a solid rookie campaign which ended in a Super Bowl victory. Only 21yrs old at the time, the future looked bright for the young pass-rusher.
Fast forward 2yrs later, we’re still waiting for Barnett to prove his 1st round talent.
The once record breaking sack getter out of Tennessee, has brought down the QB just 14 times through his first 3 seasons. Health has to be considered though as Barnett has missed close to a season’s worth of games during that time period.
With 3yrs experience and a contract year nearing, Barnett is primed for a breakout campaign. If healthy, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t net his first double digit sack season.
It’s hard to believe that Sidney Jones is only entering his 3rd full season as a pro.
Jones, who was drafted in the 2nd round back in 2017, missed all but 1 game during his rookie campaign due to an Achilles injury. The following seasons were filled with ups and downs as well as more injuries, but the 24yr old really flashed his potential towards the end of the 2019 season.
Although early signs point to Maddox starting opposite of Darius Slay, Jones has the opportunity to step into that role once the season gets going. Carrying the momentum and confidence he had from last year could be key in taking this young corner to the next level.
After going undrafted in 2019, Edwards found his way onto the Eagles roster and was quite productive when given opportunities, especially on special teams. With guys like Bradham and Grugier-Hill departing, Edwards should have an ample amount of opportunity this upcoming year.
According to numbers by PFF, Edwards had zero missed tackles in 2019, ranked as the 11th best special teams player, and had the most special teams tackles by an Eagle since 2009. This is the type of guy you like seeing succeed.
With a rookie campaign as brutal as Arcega-Whiteside’s, a breakout season in year two is needed. This isn’t to say that he’ll outperform the DK Metcalf’s of the world, but there’s no reason why JJAW won’t be able to triple his numbers from a season ago.
10 catches – 169 yards – 1 touchdown
As the depth chart stands, Arcega-Whiteside has the opportunity to get a lot of early action at X receiver, with Alshon Jeffery on the PUP list. Every other Eagles receiver lacks size compared to JJAW’s 6’2ft 225lb frame, so if productive, he should have no problem finding snaps.
Jordan is the founder of Sports Are Philly and a graduate of Misericordia University.
You can follow him on Twitter @darealjlaw.