clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2017 NFL preview: Will Carson Wentz take a step forward for the Eagles?

We’re previewing the NFL heading into training camp, mixing and matching 49ers opponents and other teams. Today, we look at the Philadelphia Eagles.

NFL training camp gets going in three weeks, and that means the NFL regular season is only two months away. I imagine most of us will be focusing on our San Francisco 49ers during training camp, but it will help to know a little bit about the rest of the league. SB Nation’s 32 NFL sites are putting together basic rundowns of what their team has been up to this offseason.

Each explainer includes free agent additions and departures, trades, draft picks expected to contribute as rookies, biggest offseason addition, biggest storyline, underrated storyline, and notable injuries. The idea is to give you a quick but thorough background on each team. We’ll use these to look at 49ers opponents, but if we have time, I want to try and use all 32 to give us a nice look around the league.

Today, we move on to the Philadelphia Eagles, courtesy of our friends at Bleeding Green Nation. The two teams square off in Week 8. The Eagles added some veteran options to the offense to make life easier for quarterback Carson Wentz. They added an old friend in wide receiver Torrey Smith, but also signed Alshon Jeffery and LeGarrette Blount. Pressure is on Wentz in year two to build on a solid if not spectacular rookie season. The receiver corps suddenly looks a whole lot better with Jeffery and Smith joining Jordan Matthews. And for Smith, I think it could be a big boon for his career not being viewed as the No. 1 receiver.

Notable free agent additions: Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, LeGarrette Blount, Chris Long, Patrick Robinson, Chance Warmack, Nick Foles

Notable free agent departures: Bennie Logan, Nolan Carroll, Connor Barwin (released), Leodis McKelvin (released), Chase Daniel (released)

Trades: Acquired DT Timmy Jernigan and pick No. 99 from the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for pick No. 74

Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies: First round pick Derek Barnett will be a key part of the Eagles’ pass rush rotation. Sidney Jones will potentially miss his entire rookie season as he recovers from an Achilles injury. Rasul Douglas could challenge for a starting role at cornerback. Donnel Pumphrey is expected to be a significant role player on offense.

Biggest offseason addition: Alshon Jeffery is easily the biggest addition Philadelphia made this offseason. The Eagles arguably owned the NFL’s worst wide receiving corps last year. Carson Wentz desperately needed a legitimate No. 1 target and the Eagles gave him one by signing Jeffery.

Biggest storyline heading into training camp: Will Carson Wentz step up in Year 2? The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft showed promise as a rookie but he also went through some struggles. Now that he has a year under his belt and an improved supporting cast, the hope is Wentz can lead the Eagles back to the playoffs.

Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: Is Doug Pederson the right head coach for this team? Not unlike Wentz, Pederson was up and down in his first year on job. He seemed to do an overall decent job given the lack of talent he had to work with. Now the excuses are gone and the team needs to improve in his second year.

Notable injuries heading into training camp: Second round pick Sidney Jones is recovering from an Achilles injury and could potentially miss the entire 2017 season. Starting slot receiver Jordan Matthews missed most of spring practices due to lingering knee tendinitis. Backup defensive tackle Beau Allen suffered a pectoral injury in February. It’s unclear if he’ll be ready by Week 1.