Eagles’ Kenneth Gainwell makes a PFF list of the NFL’s most elusive running backs from 2021

Philadelphia Eagles had a player make a PFF list of the most elusive NFL running backs from the 2021 season

The Eagles led the NFL in rushing last season with a committee approach and quarterback Jalen Hurts led everyone with almost 800-yards on the ground.

Miles Sanders is a homerun hitter, and Boston Scott does everything well, but there’s not a more elusive runner on the team than the second-year dual-threat athlete, Kenneth Gainwell.

Using a formula that’s based on missed tackles forced per attempt, PFF listed the top 25 most elusive running backs in the NFL last season, and Gainwell was the only Eagle to make the list, landing at No. 17.

17. KENNETH GAINWELL, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Missed Tackles Forced per Attempt: 0.191 | Missed Tackles Forced: 13
Gainwell snuck in with just 68 carries — three more than the minimum requirement for this list. He rushed for 291 yards, five touchdowns and the fewest (19) first downs on the list. His 13 forced missed tackles were also the fewest of the bunch, but he still averaged one about every five tackles.

Gainwell made the list despite getting the least amount of carries among all the candidates, and it’s a major reason why experts around the league believe the former Memphis star could overtake Miles Sanders as the team’s top running back.

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Eagles land near the bottom of a PFF three-year salary cap analysis for all 32 NFL teams

Even after an impressive 2022 offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles are still among the worst in a PFF three-year salary cap analysis for all 32 NFL teams

The Eagles began a massive rebuild of their roster, in 2021, and Howie Roseman has given the fans, even more, hope with several quality signings during the 2022 offseason free agency period.

Whether it’s Haason Reddick, Kyzir White, or the trade for A.J. Brown, Philadelphia’s general manager has taken the steps to keep the roster competitive, while Nick Sirianni’s young staff develops along with his players.

The Eagles’ roster has drastically improved and the team could be a year away from another Super Bowl run.

Things are absolutely perfect at the NovaCare Complex, and Roseman’s penchant for pushing money back, restructuring, or manipulating the salary cap has continued to bite the Eagles heading into the future, and a Pro Football Focus breakdown of a three-year period puts things in perspective.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES — RANK: 31ST
No one wheels and deals quite like Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, and his negotiating prowess was on full display all offseason long. Philadelphia turned three first-round picks into freakishly athletic nose tackle Jordan Davis, phenom wide receiver A.J. Brown, a 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 second-round pick.

Two moves from last offseason — tight end Dallas Goedert and left tackle Jordan Mailata‘s early extensions — aged masterfully. It’s proactive decisions like those that enable teams like Philadelphia to spend so much cash and prorate a staggering amount of money without completely folding.

We mentioned earlier that the Dolphins smartly held on to their extra first-round pick in 2023 in case they feel the need to make a change at quarterback. While all the reviews out of camp on quarterback Jalen Hurts are glowing so far, Philadelphia also smartly left this door open. While the Eagles have kicked the can down the road even more than the Saints — no easy feat — extra draft capital is arguably the best way to combat its negative effects.

The criteria for the rankings focused on PFF using projected effective cap space from 2022-2024, along with total prorated money and the top-51 salaries.

Only the Saints currently own a worse cap situation going forward, but as the Eagles start to part ways with some well-known veterans, those money issues should start to even themselves out.

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Eagles land outside the top-20 of a PFF ranking of NFL RB units for 2022

Despite leading the NFL in rushing last season, the Philadelphia Eagles land outside the top-20 of a PFF ranking of NFL running back units for 2022

Statistics sometimes tell a lie and even after leading the entire NFL in rushing, the Eagles running back group is getting the respect from analysts and experts around the league.

Philadelphia outgained every other team in the NFL on the ground, but they were led in rushing by quarterback Jalen Hurts and no player logged over 1,000-yards rushing on the season.

PFF ranked all 32 running back groups for 2022, and Philadelphia landed outside the top-20 despite leading the NFL in rushing last season.

21. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Philadelphia’s running backs benefit from a couple of factors. The first is that Jalen Hurts is a legitimate threat in the run game, which creates more space for the running backs to attack. The Eagles also have one of the better run-blocking offensive lines in the league. Both of those together help explain the disconnect between Miles Sanders’ rushing production (5.4 yards per carry since 2020) and his middle-of-the-road PFF grade over the last two years (68.1).

Sanders, Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell is still a nice collection of talent at the position, even if they don’t crack the top half of this list.

The Browns were No. 1 on the list, followed by the Colts (2), Packers (3), Vikings (4), and Saints (5).

With Philadelphia looking for more downfield passing in 2022, production at running back will again be by a committee approach, with Miles Sanders getting another shot at a breakout campaign.

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Eagles’ Avonte Maddox lands in the top-10 of PFF’s 2022 NFL slot CB rankings

Philadelphia Eagles’ talented cover guy Avonte Maddox lands in the top-10 of a PFF ranking of the NFL’s best slot cornerbacks

Avonte Maddox is a player to watch in Jonathan Gannon’s secondary and as the former Pitt product enters year No. 5 with the Eagles, he’ll look to cement himself as one of the top nickel cornerbacks in the game.

Maddox should benefit from the addition of James Bradberry to the mix with Darius Slay and his profile around the league is rising after a 2021 season that saw the slot cornerback rank among the top five in several categories.

PFF recently ranked the top slot cornerbacks in the NFL and the Eagles’ defensive back landed at No. 9 on the list.

9. AVONTE MADDOX, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Maddox has played just about everywhere in the secondary in his four-year Eagles career. He went from free safety and outside corner in 2018 to the slot in 2019, then back to the outside for 2020. He didn’t enjoy much success, as he earned single-season PFF grades below 60.0 each year.

In 2021, as Maddox moved back to the nickel spot full-time, things were different, as his 76.1 coverage grade was top-five at the position. The Pitt product is an effective tackler who consistently breaks downhill and snuffs out plays underneath — his 17 passing stops in the slot tied for the most in the NFL last season.

The Colts Kenny Moore landed atop the list, followed by Mike Hilton, Jonathan Jones, Taron Johnson, and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to round out the top-5.

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Eagles’ Jordan Mailata lands high in a ranking of the top offensive tackle in NFL 25 and under

Philadelphia Eagles’ Jordan Mailata lands high in a ranking of the top offensive tackle in NFL 25 and under

Jordan Mailata is one of the top highlights of Howie Roseman’s NFL career after the Eagles’ general manager selected the former Australian Rugby player in the 7th round of the 2018 draft as a member of the league’s international pathway program.

After improving over his first three seasons, Mailata earned the left tackle job for Philadelphia after he beat out former first-round pick Andre Dillard in a camp battle.

After betting on himself, Mailata signed a four-year extension with the Eagles, who locked up the offensive tackle for $64 million with a max of $80 million and $40.85 million guaranteed.

Now one of the best at his position in the NFL, PFF recently listed Mailata at No. 3 on the list of the top offensive tackles in the league 25 and under.

Mailata landed at No. 18 overall in PFF’s tier-based rankings, after recording an 88.3 overall PFF grade — second among qualifying left tackles — in his first season as a full-time starter in 2021.

He should challenge for his first Pro Bowl berth alongside star left guard Landon Dickerson.

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Eagles’ A.J. Brown lands high on a PFF list of NFL’s best wide receivers against press coverage

Philadelphia Eagles’ star A.J. Brown lands high on a PFF list of the NFL’s best wide receivers against press coverage

The NFL is a timing-based league and the most successful quarterbacks around the league thrive because they have pass catchers that can beat press coverage.

DeVonta Smith was a top-10 pick because of his ability to flourish in tight spots and Eagles GM Howie Roseman just acquired one of the best in the business, which should allow Jalen Hurts to take the next steps as a passer.

PFF recently listed the highest graded wide receivers in the NFL against tight press coverage, and Brown landed at No. 4 on the list behind Justin Jefferson, Davante Adams, and Cooper Kupp.

In a stat that’ll make Eagles fans even more upset, Jefferson has the highest PFF grade since entering the league, catching 72 of the 109 targets thrown his way against press coverage despite teams including Philadelphia passing him up due to concerns about his ability as an outside receiver.

Brown for his part has snagged 46 of the 75 targets thrown his way in press coverage over the past two seasons.

Brown also has 7 touchdowns in 264 snaps against press coverage over the past two seasons and he’s third in the NFL in target rate against press coverage over that time as well.

The addition of the former Titans star will trickle down to DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, and Dallas Goedert across the middle.

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Who is currently the Eagles’ most underrated player?

Who is currently the Philadelphia Eagles’ most underrated player?

If the NFL draft was based on overall production from college, T.J. Edwards would have been a surefire first or second-round pick coming out of Wisconsin.

Because Edwards isn’t the fastest or most athletic middle linebacker, he slipped and went undrafted, eventually signing a contract with the Eagles after the 2019 selection process.

Edwards made the roster and excelled on special teams during his first two seasons before finally breaking out in 2021.

Pro Football Focus recently looked at the most underrated player on all 32 NFL teams and Edwards made the list for Philadelphia.

Edwards has been underrated for virtually his entire playing career. A star at Wisconsin, he posted elite PFF grades but was a marginal and undersized athlete, causing him to go undrafted in 2019. From there, he had to earn his spot by excelling on special teams, in the preseason and then eventually in the regular season. At every step along the way, Edwards earned good PFF grades and is now a capable starter. In 2021, he earned a 75.5 overall PFF grade, putting in at least above-average marks in every facet of linebacker play. Edwards is walking proof that players can still thrive in the NFL without elite physical tools.

Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon refused to play the former undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin until relegating Eric Wilson to the bench. The former Wisconsin linebacker was the best player at the position from there.

Edwards finished as the team’s second-leading tackler with a career-best 130 combined tackles, 5 pass deflections, 5 tackles for loss, 2 quarterback hits, and 1 fumble recovery.

He’ll enter 2022 as a starter at middle linebacker, but rookie Nakobe Dean and free agent signee Kyzir White loom large.

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PFF predicts Jags land top free agent TE

Dalton Schultz is coming off the most productive season of his career in Dallas, and his rookie contract is expiring.

Many expected the Jacksonville Jaguars to make the tight end position a priority last offseason, either by drafting a player like Pat Freiermuth or making a trade for someone like Zach Ertz.

No big move like that materialized, though. The only addition during the offseason was Luke Farrell, a fifth-round pick who is primarily a blocker. The team got a nice boost in Week 4 when it traded for Dan Arnold, who had a surprisingly productive season, but the position remains a need heading into 2022.

However, Pro Football Focus thinks the Jags will find the answer. In its free agent predictions, it has the team landing Dalton Schultz from the Dallas Cowboys.

Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars – Four years, $52 million ($32.5 million guaranteed)

Schultz had a huge year for the Cowboys and was a reliable weapon in the passing game, especially when Amari Cooper and Gallup missed time. Schultz had the third-best wins above replacement (WAR) at the TE position and the seventh-highest receiving grade amongst TEs (77.0). Going to the Jaguars would be a huge help for Trevor Lawrence, as it would provide him with a reliable safety blanket over the middle, which he lacked in his rookie year.

Schultz was a fourth-round pick out of Stanford in 2018, and with his rookie deal expiring this offseason, he’s set for a major payday. He’s coming off his most productive season with the Cowboys in which he totaled 808 yards and eight touchdowns on 78 catches.

Signing him wouldn’t be cheap for Jacksonville (as the projected deal would indicate), but it also wouldn’t be prohibitive for a team with among the most money to spend in the league. Arnold was solid this year but he wasn’t nearly as productive as Schultz.

However, he did run a lot of routes from the slot and out wide, and with Schultz playing a more traditional tight end role, the pair could provide Trevor Lawrence and the offense a nice one-two punch at the position.

Pair of Jaguars players named 2nd-year breakout candidates heading into 2022

Trevor Lawrence and Andre Cisco could be poised to make big jumps in Year 2.

It was a fairly disappointing season from Jacksonville’s rookie class. Aside from Tyson Campbell, who started most of the year at cornerback on the outside and improved quite a bit, there wasn’t much encouraging from this class.

But there is hope that the group could take a big leap in Year 2, and Pro Football Focus identified two of them as potential breakout candidates in 2022: quarterback Trevor Lawrence and safety Andre Cisco.

Lawrence finished the year with nine touchdowns to seven interceptions, and he completed less than 60% of his passes on the season. Still, he showed enough positives for there to be optimism about his play moving forward.

File this one under “no duh.” Look no further than an 85.1 passing grade in an upset win over the Indianapolis Colts and their top-10 defense in Week 18 to see what Lawrence is capable of. Outside of that, there really wasn’t too much in the way of positive takeaways from his rookie season. Between one of the ugliest coaching situations in recent memory and a banged-up supporting cast, Lawrence wasn’t put in near the situation to succeed that he should be in this upcoming season.

Unlike Lawrence, Cisco didn’t see a lot of action until later in the season. He appeared in every game but only started the final three due to injury. He impressed in those contests and could be poised to win the starting job in 2022.

Cisco was an afterthought when Urban Meyer was the Jaguars’ head coach, but the Syracuse product looked like one of the team’s best defenders when he took over as a starter in Week 16. He allowed only one catch for 12 yards while adding a pass breakup over the final three games of the season. The range Cisco was known for with the Orange stood out amongst the Jaguars safeties. Expect considerably more ball production in Year 2.

The Jaguars expected more from both players this season, but they both had impressive moments and ended the season on high notes. The early returns on the 2021 draft class haven’t been great so far, but the team will hope that changes down the line.

2022 NFL mock draft roundup: Eagles land dynamic SEC talent, trade up for QB

2022 #NFL mock draft roundup: #Eagles land dynamic #SEC talent in #DanielJeremiah’s latest, trade up for a raw #Liberty quarterback in #NBCSportsPhiladelphia latest mock

As the NFL transitions away from the postseason all-star games and moves forward towards the start of free agency, all eyes are on the Eagles and their three first-round picks in April’s draft.

Some of the league’s top draft prognosticators are ramping up the scouting and there will likely be several changes atop various draft boards as the combine and select pro days near.

With one week left in the month of February, here’s our final mock draft roundup, with a few heavy hitters predicting that Philadelphia leans heavy towards Georgia, a linebacker and potential addition to the quarterback room.