4 positions the Eagles may look to upgrade at the NFL trade deadline
The NFL trade deadline is officially one week away. Howie Roseman and his Eagles will certainly be active, as they typically are around this time of year.
Even at 6-0, the Eagles have a few areas that could use some improvement as they enter the second half of the NFL season. They don’t have any glaring weaknesses; the team wouldn’t be undefeated if they did. Nevertheless, Howie is always looking to improve his roster, no matter how great it looks on the field.
There are plenty of players around the league that are rumored to be available. We’re not going to focus on specific players the Eagles could target here. Rather, the positions the team could (and should) look to improve ahead of the deadline.
Here are four positions the Eagles should target over the next week.
Bet $10, Win $200 if ANY team hits a three-pointer
- Sign up for a new BetMGM account
- Make a first-time deposit
- Bet $10 on any NBA team
- Win $200 when any team hits a three-pointer
Running Back (preferably a power back)
The Eagles rushing attack has been great this year, but it has yet to reach the dominance we saw during the 2021 season. Nick Sirianni’s crew ranks sixth in rushing yards per game with 156, but they’re in the bottom-third of the league in rushing yards per attempt at 4.2.
A good chunk of the rushing production has come from QB Jalen Hurts, who’s accounted for 31.3 percent of the team’s rushing yardage and about half of the team’s rushing touchdowns. That’s great and all, until he inevitably gets injured because of it. He’s done a better job avoiding contact in the open field this season, but when he gets close to the goal line, he’ll take on defenders without hesitation.
Hurts’ rushing ability is a huge part of the Eagles offensive attack. It would be foolish to try and take that away completely, but limiting his touches around the goal line where he’s bound to get hit around a bit wouldn’t be a terrible idea.
Adding a power dimension to the backfield would likely limit some of the carries Hurts sees in short yardage situations. The team could also just use a nice change of pace back behind Miles Sanders in general. Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott have combined for 142 rushing yards on 39 attempts (3.6 YPC) and three touchdowns.
Trey Sermon has the power back archetype, coming in at 6-foot, 215 pounds, but the coaching staff doesn’t seem to have much faith in the former OSU standout. He’s played just eight offensive snaps for the Eagles this season.
Running backs are a dime a dozen nowadays, there’s going to be a few out there for the taking. We already know Howie reached out to Carolina to inquire about RB Christian McCaffrey, so there’s interest in adding to the backfield here in Philly.
The last time the Eagles took the field in Week 6, we saw just how bleak the depth at safety is.
Once CJ Gardner-Johnson went down in the first half, fourth-year safety K’Von Wallace filled in and the results were pretty awful. He posted the worst Pro Football Focus grade of any Eagles defender against Dallas, earning a 29.0 mark by the end of the game.
Wallace with the terrible angle on the Cowboys ball carrier here:
Aside from Wallace, undrafted rookie Reed Blankenship is the only other safety on the roster. He hasn’t played a single defensive snap this year. Nickelback Josiah Scott got some run at safety during the preseason, but has only seen six snaps at safety through six weeks.
There are plenty of veteran safeties on the market that can be had for a late draft pick. The team just needs a capable body back there. Luckily CGJ only missed a quarter of action. If the Eagles are dealt with a serious injury at the position, they could be in trouble unless they acquire a suitable backup.
After a hopeful training camp and preseason, it appears the Britain Covey experiment is dead in the water.
With Covey as the primary return man, the Eagles average just 6.9 yards per punt return (23rd in the NFL) and 15 yards per kick return, which ranks dead last in the NFL. The 5-foot-8 undrafted rookie just looks overmatched right now and the explosiveness he was known for in college hasn’t translated to the NFL stage.
They could resort to Quez Watkins as the kick/punt returner, which I would actually welcome, but if that was in the cards it probably would have happened by now.
Whether Roseman decides to address this need through the free agent market or trade block is yet to be determined. The fact still remains — the Eagles special teams unit has been, without question, the worst aspect of the team thus far. Something has to be done about it.
The Eagles don’t really need any pass rushing help. They’re sixth in the league in pressure rate, but in today’s NFL, you can never have too many edge rushers.
Howie reportedly reached out to Carolina for Brian Burns, though it doesn’t appear the Panthers are serious about moving him. Acquiring Burns may be a bit far fetched, but there are a handful of veteran pass rushers looking to play for a contender to close out their respective careers.
The trio of Brandon Graham, Haason Reddick, and Josh Sweat have been stout through six weeks. Behind them, Jonathan Gannon doesn’t have a whole lot to work with. Derek Barnett is out for the year and second-year players Tarron Jackson and Patrick Johnson have been just okay.
The Eagles already have a top-10 defensive line in the NFL. Adding another pass rusher to further bolster their rotation could shoot the unit into elite territory.
Mandatory Credit: NJ Advance Media for NJ.com