NFL power rankings roundup: Opinions really split on Eagles after draft

Dave Zangaro
NBC Sports Philadelphia

The last time we looked at the Eagles' placement in power rankings was just after the 2019 season officially ended. 

Back on Feb. 4, the Eagles were as high as sixth and as low as 14th in the five power rankings we polled.

Since then, the NFL has gone through free agency and the draft, so things have changed a little bit for the Eagles and the rest of the league. The last time we did this, Tom Brady was not yet a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, so things in the NFC have changed considerably. 

The biggest takeaway from this latest exercise: Opinions are really split about the 2020 Eagles. 

Here's where the Eagles land in the latest roundup of 2020 NFL power rankings: 

ESPN: 12th

What they said: Player who benefited: TE Zach Ertz. The Eagles invested heavily in speed receivers, using draft picks on Jalen Reagor, John Hightower and Quez Watkins and trading for Marquise Goodwin. Add them to DeSean Jackson, and you have a group that will stretch the field and open things up underneath for Dallas Goedert and Ertz, who was double- and triple-teamed last season with few dynamic playmakers around him. The influx of receiver talent will help Carson Wentz too, though the Jalen Hurts selection in Round 2 makes it hard to select Wentz as the player who benefits most from this draft.

Where they ranked: The Eagles were two spots behind the Dallas Cowboys, who came in at No. 10 on this list. The Vikings, Bucs, Packers, Seahawks, Saints and 49ers were the NFC teams ranked ahead of the Eagles. The Eagles were actually up two spots from ESPN's power rankings just after the 2019 season ended. 

CBS Sports: 9th

What they said: They added some much-needed speed outside in the draft, but why did they take Jalen Hurts in the second round? Carson Wentz is the guy - and should be.

Where they ranked: The Eagles were down one spot in Pete Prisco's power rankings, but are still one spot ahead of the Cowboys, who are 10th in this list. In the NFC, the Saints, 49ers, Seahawks, Packers and Bucs are ahead. 

Sporting News: 13th

What they said: The Eagles return Doug Pederson's seasoned offense with Carson Wentz, getting the new speedy wide receiver they needed in Jalen Reagor. Defensively, they further fortified their front with Hargrave and got Darius Slay to clean up cornerback, but linebacker and safety (without Malcolm Jenkins) will be concerns. They will be in a tight fight with the Cowboys in the NFC East once again.

Where they ranked: The Eagles took a huge tumble, according to Sporting News, who had them ranked sixth just after the season. The Bucs (4), Vikings (7), Cowboys (11) and Seahawks (12) all jumped the Eagles in three months. 

Sports Illustrated: 5th

What they said: The Eagles didn't help themselves in the draft as much as many would have liked them to, but our panel is envisioning a bounce-back year for a squad that won four straight games just to reach the playoffs.

Where they ranked: This one is hard to figure out. The Eagles were ranked 12th by SI just after the season but they jumped up seven spots in three months. And that's after Sports Illustrated gave them a C draft grade. The Saints and 49ers are the only NFC teams above them and the Cowboys came in at No. 10. 

Bleacher Report: 9th

What they said: Two positions stood out like a proverbial sore thumb for the defending NFC East champions in 2020. The Philadelphia Eagles badly needed help at wide receiver and cornerback.

They got help at wide receiver in the draft, using their first pick on TCU's Jalen Reagor and a fifth-rounder on John Hightower of Boise State. But for reasons known only to general manager Howie Roseman, rather than add a cornerback on Day 2 of the draft, the Eagles elected to select Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts.

It's understandable, given the issues Carson Wentz has had staying healthy, that Philly wants a viable Plan B under center. But that was a lot of draft capital to expend on one given the razor-thin margin between the Eagles and Dallas Cowboys last year.

The Eagles are a good team with a track record of success in recent years that includes a Super Bowl win. But the receivers still aren't great, and the secondary is an antonym for great.

In a stacked NFC, that could mean trouble in 2020.

Where they ranked: The Eagles were actually up two spots on Bleacher Report, but the Cowboys were all the way up to No. 7. Unlike many of the rankings, the addition of Tom Brady was not enough to put the Buccaneers (13th) above the Eagles. 

NBC Sports Philadelphia: 18th

What they said: Carson Wentz's inability to stay on the field has been a problem, but the Eagles shouldn't have used a second-round pick on his backup. Know what else gets a quarterback hurt? A shoddy supporting cast.

Where they ranked: In these rankings done by our own Andrew Kulp, the Eagles got their lowest placement, actually behind teams like the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals. The Cowboys are all the way up the list at No. 7. 

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NFL power rankings roundup: Opinions really split on Eagles after draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

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