With the recent rash of stunning free agent moves made the Eagles in the last few days, some people are starting to forget about one of the biggest needs the Eagles still have.
A need that perhaps our entire season depends upon.
So what is it?
Yup, you guessed it…
That need is right tackle.
I know the defense needed to be rebuilt, there’s no question about that.
But if the Eagles don’t figure out who the right tackle is, the defense isn’t the only thing that will need to be rebuilt, and as much as I think Vince Young can rejuvenate his career in Philadelphia, I don’t want to see him do it anytime soon.
When you look at the current tackles on the Eagles roster, the options are bleak, and it’s hard to speculate on who the starting right tackle will be or should be, but one thing is for certain….
It’s not Winston Justice.
I like Winston Justice as a man. He is the Eagles player rep for the NFLPA, he is always respectful to the media, and he has built some roots here in Philadelphia with his coffee shop, Elixr.
But as a right tackle, he is average at best, and when your season depends so heavily on one player, Michael Vick, you can’t have a mediocre right tackle protecting his blind side. To top it off, he’s not healthy and will likely start the year on the PUP list, after having knee surgery in April.
Here are the other options…
- Danny Watkins- Watkins is 6’3″ and about 315lbs. His body is built more for the guard spot, and that’s were most of his experience has been, but one of the reasons he was rated so high in the draft is because he is considered to be extremely versatile and can play any spot on the line. Moving him to tackle seems unlikely, but something I’m sure he could do in a pinch. I can see Andy sticking him over there for a morning session or two during training camp, but when the season begins, look for Watkins to be the starting right guard.
- King Dunlap- Dunlap is a big man, and looking at him you would think he is a player. At 6’9″ 330lbs, he towers over the defensive line, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. By default, Dunlap is “high-hipped” as they say in the NFL, and smaller defensive ends and tackles are quicker, and because they’re lower to the ground, the can get underneath Dunlap and control him. He is a backup quality player and definitely not a guy you could trust for more than a few games if that.
- Austin Howard- another giant at 6’7″ 333lbs, Howard was an undrafted free-agent out of Northern Iowa, and is a guy who the Eagles were pretty high on at one point. He actually played tight-end in college, and is pretty athletic, but he’s inexperienced and has played almost exclusively at left tackle. Moving him to the right side seems highly unlikely
- Todd Herremans- the recent signing of free agent guard Evan Mathis from the Cincinnati Bengals has led many people to believe that the move was made so that Andy Reid could move Todd Herremans from left guard to the right tackle spot, and I personally think this would be the absolute best option for the Eagles. At 6’6″ 321lbs, Herremans has the prototypical size for a tackle, and he is one of the most experienced lineman on the roster with seven years of service. He is strong, athletic, and he’s already mentioned before that he is more of a pure tackle than guard. Herremans would be as good if not better than just about any free agent guy you could bring in off the street. Unless the Eagles trade Asante Samuel for a stud right tackle, look for Herremans to be the starting right tackle in Week 1.