Eagles News: PFF shares 3 bold predictions for Philadelphia in 2022
There’s never a bad time to launch some Eagles bold predictions into the public discourse.
With all the moves Howie Roseman has pulled off this offseason, Philly has naturally been the subject of a lot of NFL chatter. Pro Football Focus has been no stranger to singing the Eagles’ praises this offseason, publishing numerous articles crowning Philly as the team to beat in the NFC East.
Recently, the outlet has been dropping bold predictions for every team in the NFL, division by division. On Tuesday, they released their NFC East edition. Here are PFF’s three bold predictions for the Eagles in 2022:
- The Eagles win the NFC East
- Miles Sanders makes the Pro Bowl
- Nakobe Dean is the NFL’s best rookie linebacker
For fans of the team, PFF’s first prediction probably sounds familiar.
Plenty of national pundits have stated that the Eagles are the best team in the NFC East. On paper, it’s hard to argue it. Personally, I wouldn’t even qualify that statement as ‘bold.’
The other two predictions, however, are worth discussing.
According to reports out of camp, Miles Sanders has looked great through two weeks. He’s been explosive and he’s clearly playing with a chip on his shoulder.
With one year remaining on his rookie deal, Sanders has a lot to prove this season. First and foremost, he needs to stay healthy for an entire 17-game season.
Whenever he is on the field, Sanders has been one of the most efficient backs in the league. He posted a career-high 5.5 yards per carry average last season. Since entering the NFL in 2019, Sanders has a YPC average of 5.1, the eighth-highest average in NFL history among backs with at least 500 carries.
PFF acknowledges Sanders’ health concerns as well, writing, “If Sanders can stay healthy and lock down the primary workload, the Eagles have the blocking environment and the offense for him to be very productive.”
We all know Sanders has Pro Bowl potential. If he can stay healthy for the majority of this season, there’s no doubt he could find his way to Las Vegas.
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PFF’s third bold prediction for the Eagles centers around rookie linebacker Nakobe Dean
Immediately following April’s NFL Draft, Dean was considered a major draft steal by nearly every outlet. PFF themselves even called Dean a complete steal once the draft wrapped up.
The Eagles first unofficial depth chart listed Dean as the second-string MIKE linebacker behind T.J. Edwards. Edwards has reportedly been a standout during camp thus far and has firmly cemented himself as a starter in Jonathan Gannon’s defense. Nevertheless, there’s still ways Dean can find playing time even if he’s technically Edwards’ backup.
Injuries are always a possibility. If any of the starting backers go down, Dean will likely be the first one off the bench. If that opportunity presents itself and Dean shines, he could remain in the starting lineup. That’s how the NFL works at the end of the day.
Or perhaps Kyzir White underperforms as the WILL backer. Turning the keys over to Dean in that instance wouldn’t be a bad idea. Gannon could also utilize Dean’s skill set in certain packages to get his feet wet. If Dean starts making plays in his limited role, his playing time will inevitably increase throughout the season.
All eyes have been on Jordan Davis recently, and for good reason, but we can’t forget how promising Dean is as a prospect. He was the best player on one of the best defenses in NCAA history last season — a defense that featured Davis as its anchor.
All in all, there’s a solid chance all of PFF’s bold predictions come true for the Eagles this season. Winning the NFC East, Sanders earning his first Pro Bowl nod, and Dean proving his pre-draft doubters wrong are all attainable goals for this squad in 2022.
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Inquirer