Eagles Had a Top-10 Offensive Line in 2016, PFF Says

In the deep corner of the Eagles' locker room, the offensive linemen stalls were placed in the order they were expected to play: Jason Peters, Allen Barbre, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson. 

They lined up that way to start a game just five times in 2016. 

Despite a 10-game suspension and eventually playing their fifth option at right tackle at one point in the season, the Eagles' offensive line was a relative strength in 2016. In fact, ProFootballFocus ranked their O-line as the eighth-best in the NFL. 

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Here's what PFF said about the unit: 

"The Eagles' line would have been far higher on this list if RT Lane Johnson could avoid getting himself suspended. Johnson is arguably the game's best right tackle but was suspended for 10 games, forcing the team to use fifth round rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Allen Barbre and then Matt Tobin at right tackle as injuries prevented a settled unit.

"New import Brandon Brooks was excellent in his first season with the Eagles, allowing just one sack all season at guard and narrowly missing out on a spot on the PFF All-Pro team.

"Between injury and suspension, the Eagles were disrupted pretty significantly up front, and this unit has the potential to be better than they showed overall this year."

PFF gave Jason Peters the highest grade of all the Eagles' linemen (88.3), which put him at No. 7 among tackles. Peters also had the top pass-blocking grade, and Johnson had the top run-blocking grade. 

But aside from the starters, the real reason the Eagles were able to stay afloat on the O-line and the reason Carson Wentz was able to remain alive in 2016 was thanks to the play of their backup offensive linemen. Stefen Wisniewski came to town on a one-year deal and proved to be a really valuable free-agent signing. 

And rookies Vaitai and Isaac Seumalo would have sat all year had things gone well. Instead, they each played a significant role in the season. Vaitai got over his disastrous first start and settled in, while Seumalo played six different positions during the year. 

Brooks was obviously the big free-agent acquisition and he played really well this year. He did miss the two games while he battled and learned about his anxiety issues, but when he was on the field he was impressive. 

Kelce and Peters were the only two players on the line to start all 16 games. Kelce didn't miss a snap for the second straight season. 

All five of the Eagles' starting offensive linemen are under contract for next season if they want to keep the unit intact. 

As for the PFF list, the Cowboys actually ranked No. 2, just behind the Tennessee Titans. The Titans' top-ranked lineman was right tackle Jack Conklin from Michigan State. There was a time when it seemed like Conklin would be an option for the Eagles in the first round at either pick No. 13 or 8. 

Meanwhile, in the NFC East, Washington was one spot ahead of the Eagles at No. 7, while the Giants came in at No. 20. 

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