Why Jason Kelce Will Be The Most Important Eagle in 2020
Disclaimer: This does not mean other Eagles’ performance and health will not be important. Carson Wentz playing like he did last season and staying healthy will be very important. Having a great wide receiver core play well and stay healthy is important. Having a healthy defense will be important. But no position will be as important as #62’s, on and off the field.
There is no one better at the position in the NFL than Jason Kelce. From 2015-2019, he has the highest run-blocking grade out of all offensive lineman. He has earned first-team All-Pro honors each of the past three years. The numbers and stats speak for themselves.
It’s gonna be a sad day when Jason Kelce retires. pic.twitter.com/dghI7TuMgT
— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) May 28, 2020
Let’s dive deeper into the adversity he will face from the jump. He will potentially start Week 1 with two new starters on the offensive line, most notably whoever is gonna take Brandon Brooks spot right beside Kelce.
Brooks tearing his Achilles before training camp has even started and projecting to miss the whole season was a crucial blow. Brooks hasn’t given up a sack since his first game with the Eagles in 2016. That’s immortal, but also not surprising from a guy who was doing Jiu-Jitsu the day after his season-ending injury. He’s the best player at his position as well, so his loss, after battling back from an injury last year, is brutal and emotional.
Now for the other new (or old) face on the offensive line, the left tackle conundrum. Eagles legend Jason Peters is currently not on the roster after the Eagles decided not to resign him this offseason. Unless Howie Roseman is hiding Peters in his closet, his return to the team seems unlikely. For Andre Dillard, who had some bright spots in a couple of starts for the Eagles last season, the jury still seems to be out *Chase Young enters the chat*. From rumors of him being on the trade block to the confidence the Eagles’ front office has in him, we don’t really know where we stand with Dillard. Not to mention the revolving door of dates for pre-season and training camp due to the pandemic. That time is crucial for rookies and second-year guys still trying to learn the ins and outs.
In the past three years, when fully healthy, the Eagles have had the best offensive line in football. Debate a wall if you disagree. The defense is a thousand times better today than they were against Seattle in the Wild Card round last year. We have given Carson weapons to work with. Miles Sanders is on a mission to win MVP. None of that will matter if the offensive line can’t perform like it has the past few years. It’s a lot to ask a 33-year-old entering his 10thNFL season, but if any human can lead a group of players and get the best out of each and every one of them, it’s Jason Kelce. His success and leadership will determine the fate of the Eagles season.
Jason Kelce really shoved dude 10 yards downfield with one arm. #54 gotta hang up the cleats after that. pic.twitter.com/5jOV9A1sQm
— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) April 16, 2020