Eagles Stay or Go 2021: Offensive tackles

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Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro
·6 min read
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Eagles Stay or Go 2021: Who are the starters at OT this season? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro bring back Stay or Go in 2021, trying to figure out the futures of every Eagles player on the roster.

Today, we’ll look at offensive tackles:

Andre Dillard

Roob: There’s no doubt he’ll be here. The question is where he fits in? Dillard has three decent starts at LT and one disastrous start at RT in 2019 and an entire missed 2020 to his name. And since Dillard last played, Jordan Mailata has pretty much established himself as the Eagles’ left tackle of the future. Where does it leave Dillard? He could back up Mailata, but it’s hard to imagine he can back up RT and you want more from your 1st-round pick (or anybody) than just backing up one spot. Maybe the Eagles can get him some work at guard, especially if Jason Kelce retires and Isaac Seumalo moves to center. But he’s never played guard, and we all saw how RT went. Dillard’s got a job. He just doesn’t have much more than that.

Verdict: Stays

Dave: I know a lot of people are down on Dillard, but it’s worth pointing out that the team was bullish on him after the work he did last offseason to come back bigger and stronger. If the Eagles feel like Jordan Mailata is clearly going to be their left tackle then perhaps Dillard is on the trading block, but I’m not sure what his value would be going into Year 3. I think he’ll be competing for the starting job during training camp and will stick around either way.

Verdict: Stays

Jack Driscoll

Roob: Driscoll gave the Eagles some decent work at RT as a rookie 4th-round pick, starting four games in place of injured Lane Johnson and playing significant snaps in two other games before getting hurt himself. Driscoll can play guard or tackle and has a lot of upside. Think he’s a pretty valuable backup o-lineman and a possible starter somewhere in the future.

Verdict: Stays

Dave: We saw some good signs from Driscoll in his rookie season. Because of injuries, he was thrust into action and played in 11 games with 4 starts. It’s a shame he got hurt at the end of the year because he could have used those games for experience. If all goes well, he won’t be a starter in 2021, but he’s a quality backup who is still getting better. And Driscoll has the ability to play inside at guard as well.

Verdict: Stays

Lane Johnson

Roob: Johnson only played all the snaps in two games before finally shutting down with an ankle injury that’s been an issue since October of 2018. He had surgery to hopefully finally repair the injury but it’s been over two years and Johnson will be 31 when training camp starts and there’s no guarantee he’ll be that all-pro guy he’s been. If he’s healthy, he’s as good as anybody. A lot of huge questions on that o-line - Jason Kelce’s retirement, Brandon Brooks’ health, Johnson’s health.

Verdict: Stays

Dave: Hopefully this latest surgery will finally correct an ankle injury that has plagued Johnson for a few years now. It’s a little worrisome because he’s going to turn 31 in a few months and Johnson has struggled to stay healthy the last couple of seasons. At his best, he’s one of the top tackles (either side) in the NFL. But it’s fair to wonder if he’ll be able to stay on the field. Johnson has a cap hit of nearly $18 million but his contract already runs through 2025, so he’s not going anywhere and there’s not a ton they can do with his contract.

Verdict: Stays

Jordan Mailata

Roob: One of the few positive stories to come out of 2020 for the Eagles was Mailata’s growth from a converted rugby player who had never played a snap of meaningful organized football in his life to one of the NFL’s most promising young offensive tackles. And Mailata is only going to get better. He’s 23 and still learning and fortunately has Jeff Stoutland around for another year to oversee that process. The former 7th-round pick is a rare recent Eagles draft success story.

Verdict: Stays

Dave: Mailata was one of the few bright spots during the last season. He played well in his starts. It’s amazing to think that he’s come this far in a few years after having never played the sport before. When you watch Mailata now, he’s no longer a rugby player learning football; he’s a football player who just needs to get more consistent with his craft. It’s a huge boost for him that Jeff Stoutland is coming back for the 2021 season. If I had to guess, Mailata is the Week 1 starter at left tackle.

Verdict: Stays

Jason Peters

Roob: They CAN’T bring him back again. Can they? Hello??? Even Howie Roseman has to realize it’s over for J.P. I don’t care how many offensive linemen get hurt. They can’t do it again. It's over. Right?

Verdict: Goes

Dave: Peters told 6ABC earlier this offseason that he wants to keep playing but even he admitted it likely won’t be in Philadelphia. He’s an all-time great Eagle but at 39 years old, he’s obviously past his prime and the Eagles are in their transition period. It’s time to say goodbye, wish him luck and tell JP you’ll see him back at the Linc when he goes into the Eagles Hall of Fame.

Verdict: Goes

Brett Toth

Roob: One of five starting right tackles the Eagles used last year. Like so many others on the 2020 Eagles, Toth is a practice squad alum forced to play because of injuries. He’s got some upside and gave an honest effort when he did play, but he’s still a long-range project and still learning the game. Probably worth keeping around on the practice squad.

Verdict: Goes

Dave: The Eagles obviously like Toth and Stoutland has certainly earned his projects. It’s fair to question whether or not there will be space on the 53-man roster for Toth but the Eagles lost him a couple years ago because they didn’t make space for him and if they think there’s some real potential there, maybe they won’t take that chance. But they won’t have enough roster spots either.

Verdict: Goes

Stay or Go: Wide receivers

Stay or Go: Cornerbacks

Stay or Go: Running backs

Stay or Go: Linebackers

Stay or Go: Defensive tackles

Stay or Go: Interior OL

Stay or Go: Specialists

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