The NFL Draft has come and gone, and the Philadelphia Eagles remain one of the best rosters in the NFC. However, getting to the Super Bowl is about more than having a good roster, and the Eagles will need these X Factors to step up their game if Philadelphia wants to claim yet another Super Bowl championship.
2020 Philadelphia Eagles X Factors
The Philadelphia Eagles spent the 2020 NFL Draft adding speed to their offense. The team traded for speedster Marquise Goodwin and selected vertical threats Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, and Quez Watkins. In the long-term, these guys should be able to provide Carson Wentz with some reliable downfield targets. However, in the short term, these guys might not be able to contribute right out of the gate. Thanks to COVID-19, offseason programs are going to be shortened and incoming players might struggle to adjust to Philadelphia’s offense.
This is where Jackson comes in. Even though he’s getting up there in age, Jackson has yet to show any signs of decline. While he missed the majority of 2019 with injury, he was remarkably effective when on the field. During the 2019 opener, Jackson recorded eight receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns. This was the only game where he played a high percentage of the snaps, but his chemistry with Carson Wentz was undeniable. If Jackson can stay healthy, he can be the deep threat this offense needs while waiting for Reagor and the rest to develop.
The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t invest any significant draft capital in cornerbacks, which means that the team is going to trust Sidney Jones to make a massive leap in his fourth season. While Darius Slay is obviously going to be the star, somebody needs to start opposite him. Jones had a rough start to his NFL career but still has time to turn it around. If he can live up to his second-round potential, then Philadelphia should have a strong starting duo at cornerback.
The Eagles annually have one of the best offensive lines in football, but they now have a major question mark at left tackle. After (presumably) losing franchise icon Jason Peters to free agency, the team is now set to start Andre Dillard moving forward. Dillard has the raw talent for the job, as the team believed in him enough to take him in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. However, he didn’t exactly inspire confidence last year and there were rumors that the team was shopping him during the NFL Draft. Considering Wentz’ injury history, the Eagles will need Dillard to take a massive step forward in the upcoming season.
As previously discussed, it’s going to be hard for any rookies to contribute in 2020. However, K’Von Wallace has the chance to be the exception to the rule. A fourth-round pick, Wallace has the versatility to play safety and slot cornerback, and his versatility is ideal for today’s pass-happy NFL. Philadelphia’s biggest defensive problem last year was not having enough playmakers in the secondary. Wallace has a chance to erase that narrative and be the ideal nickel defender for years to come.
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