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Grading the Eagles’ moves: OG Chance Warmack

Grading the Eagles’ moves: OG Chance Warmack

For the second year in a row, the Eagles are bolstering their interior offensive line depth with an experienced veteran, this time in the form of guard Chance Warmack. Unlike Stefen Wisniewski, Warmack doesn’t double as a center, although he may possess far more upside.

The 10th-overall draft pick by the Titans in 2013, Warmack was only adequate in Tennessee. He gained valuable experience, nonetheless, starting 46 games over his first three seasons in the NFL. Warmack only turns 26 in September as well, which means there’s plenty of prime years remaining to access his full potential.

Although, it was sort of telling what the rest of the league thinks about that potential based on what the Eagles paid – just $1.5 million on a one-year deal. That’s not exactly the league minimum, but there clearly wasn’t a crazy bidding war, either.

Warmack is also stepping into a situation where he’s almost certain to serve in a backup capacity. Brandon Brooks is cemented at right guard, where Warmack has lined up exclusively, and 2016 third-round selection Isaac Seumalo is likely to take over on the left once Allen Barbre’s fate is decided. Again, a sign there was tepid interest in adding this guy.

Warmack was limited to two games last season due to a hand injury, which may have hurt the market for his services somewhat. Regardless, the simple reality is he has not performed up to his draft status, and, presumably, nobody out there was offering an opportunity to start.

None of which is to say this is a bad signing. Warmack is the definition of low risk, high reward. At worst, he’s a competent backup, which the Eagles are going to need if Barbre is traded or released and with Wisniewski becoming a free agent. Best case scenario, he’s thrust into action and finds newfound success with a change of scenery.

The latter is not improbable. Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland worked with Warmack at the University of Alabama, so both sides must’ve seen some value in a reunion. Who knows, maybe Warmack did have better offers, but viewed this as an opportunity to return to free agency in 2018 as a vastly improved player.

For Warmack to have been chosen as high as he was as a guard, scouts clearly viewed him as a special prospect. The Titans were also one of the worst franchises in the NFL for much of his time there, so it’s not unimaginable they screwed up his development.

In terms of what’s best for the Eagles in 2017, a case could be made Wisniewski is more reliable and his position versatility is a nice bonus. Whether his return remains a possibility after the addition of Warmack was not immediately clear.

Regardless, the drop-off from Wisniewski to Warmack probably isn’t enormous, and taking the long view, the Eagles might wind up with a great player as a result of the change. It has been speculated Seumalo can play center, too, which means an interior of Warmack, Seumalo and Brooks could be the end game here.

Grade: B+

Previously: Grading WR Torrey Smith | Grading WR Alshon Jeffery

 

Grading the Eagles' 34-24 Week 7 win over the Redskins

Grading the Eagles' 34-24 Week 7 win over the Redskins

Grading the Eagles' 34-24 win over the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football.

QUARTERBACK

Carson Wentz: 17/25, 268 YDS, 4 TD, 1 INT

Four drives into this game, Wentz had completed 2 of 7 attempts for 24 yards with two sacks and an interception. On the Eagles' fifth possession, he connected with Mack Hollins on a 64-yard touchdown, and it was almost as if a weight had been lifted. Wentz hardly missed a throw the rest of the way. He also made plays with his legs, rushing for 63 yards. Even his interception on the first series of the game effectively amounted to a long punt on 2nd-and-forever. This kid simply cannot be stopped right now (see 10 observations).

Grade: A-

RUNNING BACKS

Wendell Smallwood: 8 ATT, 25 YDS

You have to appreciate the way Smallwood runs — when he's healthy enough to play. He can explode through a hole and make a man miss, but will doesn't shy away from contact and always fights for extra yards. There simply wasn't much room to run against Washington. LeGarrette Blount didn't fare any better, either, carrying 14 times for 29 yards.

Grade: C+

WIDE RECEIVERS

Mack Hollins: 1 REC, 64 YDS, 1 TD

Hollins' touchdown changed the complexion of the entire game. Up until that moment, the Eagles were trailing 10-3, and the offense was struggling to move the football. Then they scored touchdowns on three straight possessions, going up 24-10 in a matter of roughly eight minutes. Nelson Agholor added four receptions for 45 yards and a score. But what's the deal with Alshon Jeffery? Even against Washington's depleted secondary, he could not get open, catching just two passes for 37 yards on six targets.

Grade: B+

TIGHT ENDS

Zach Ertz: 5 REC, 89 YDS, 1 TD

Another week, another big game for Ertz. I honestly couldn't tell you what kind of night he had blocking, but does it matter when he continues to produce at this level?

Grade: A+

OFFENSIVE LINE

Jason Peters: Exited game in 3rd quarter (knee)

For the second week in a row, the O-line experienced issues early. Lane Johnson in particular looked rusty after missing last week with a concussion — granted, he had his hands full with Ryan Kerrigan. The unit began settling down in pass protection toward the end of the first half, though it never quite got into a groove running the football. Wentz was hit just six times total, but Eagles backs averaged only 2.56 yards per carry. Halapoulivaati Vaitai replaced Peters at left tackle and had a quiet game, which is a good thing of course.

Grade: B-

DEFENSIVE LINE

Derek Barnett: 3 TFL, 2.0 SK

The front four controlled the point of attack all night. That won't necessarily show up in the box score, but Kirk Cousins was under pressure from start to finish. Barnett and Fletcher Cox each registered a sack, while Brandon Graham hit the quarterback's arm mid-throw to force an interception. Meanwhile, the NFL's No. 1 rush defense was at it again, limiting Washington's backs to 54 yards on 14 carries.

Grade: A

LINEBACKERS

Jordan Hicks: Exited game in 1st quarter (ankle)

Hicks went down on the second play of the game, which was especially tough, because the Eagles were already without Mychal Kendricks. The absences showed, as Najee Goode was more like Najee Bad (ahem). Goode failed to pick up an assignment that resulted in a seven-yard touchdown pass to Chris Thompson in the second quarter, and generally was a liability in coverage over the middle. Nigel Bradham did what he could recording three tackles, two quarterback hits and a tackle for a loss, but the linebackers were shorthanded, and it showed (see breakdown).

Grade: B-

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Malcolm Jenkins: 10 TKL, 1.0 SK

On paper, Cousins' line looks borderline spectacular, completing 30 of 40 passes for 303 yards with three touchdowns. Then again, most of that production — 203 yards and all three scores — went to tight ends and running backs. The Eagles really didn't allow Washington to do anything significant on the perimeters or deep down the field. Jenkins was all over the field making key stops, and Corey Graham came up with a gift-wrapped interception.

Grade: A

SPECIAL TEAMS

Jake Elliott: 2/3 FG, 4/4 XP

Nothing spectacular. Just another all-around solid special teams performance for the Eagles. Elliott was mostly automatic once again, connecting on field goals of 50 and 42 yards, and only missed from 45 after the outcome was all but decided. Donnie Jones averaged 51.0 yards per punt, with one kick downed inside the opponents' 20. And Kamu Grugier-Hill forced a fumble that Corey Clement very nearly recovered deep in Washington territory. The units were a strength, as usual.

Grade: A-

COACHING

Eagles' record: 6-1

Credit Doug Pederson — he never got away from the run against Washington, even though it clearly wasn't working. His team also never lost its composure despite a rough start against what some would consider an inferior opponent. The Eagles also survived injuries to some of their best players, yet never missed a beat on either side of the ball. This team is for real, in part because so is its head coach. Great job taking care of business at home, even when for awhile there is seemed things might be askew.

Grade: A+

Carson Wentz is a magician and Eagles fans are freaking out

Carson Wentz is a magician and Eagles fans are freaking out

Carson Wentz is the truth.

The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback didn't exactly shoot out of the gate on Monday Night Football but once he and the Birds offense got going, oh my! His second half was a thing of beauty.

Two plays in particular had football fans at a loss for words.

First, the scramble and touchdown toss to Corey Clement has a "how'd he do that" vibe:

But it was this Houdini-like, Barry Sanders-esque escapability that had the Internet abuzz. Just watch. Over and over.

Former Eagle and elusive dude in his own right Shady McCoy was impressed.

Oh and we haven't even mentioned his TDs to Zach Ertz, Mack Hollins, and Nelson Agholor yet. All pretty, pretty, pret-ty good.

It's safe to say Carson has the city of Philadelphia believing.

Wentz finished the night 17-25 for 268 and 4 TDs. Not to mention his 63 yards rushing. The quarterback of your favorite football team is a stud. Oh and one interception that was basically an incredibly good punt.

The Eagles won by a final of 34-24 and remain the class of the NFC at 6-1.