Roster Look: OT
Continuing a detailed look at the short term and long term state of our roster. I appreciate all input, good or bad. If you missed the first editions they are here:
Current position rating : 8
Potential : 8.5
On the Roster:
Jason Peters (LT)
Winston Justice (RT)
Should Make the Team:
Short Term: Jason Peters was our big offseason pickup last year and played pretty well. He'll give up a handful of sacks, and struggles with penalties at times, but all in all he is one of the better left tackles in the league. He's probably one of the more important Eagles given the fact that he is protecting our new franchise quarterback's blindside from a division full of good pass rushers. Peters is athletic for a tackle and is effective as a pass blocker, run blocker, and in the screen game which is an Andy Reid favorite.
Justice was a very pleasant surprise last year. Going into last year I was convinced our coaches had ruined his career (and wasted a high pick) by putting him into a terrible situation in that Giants game. I didn't think he would be able to recover from such a disastrous start to his career. When the Shawn Andrews saga continued last year, not only did Justice prove he could start, he turned into a very consistent player. From what I've gathered he is a workout warrior and I love his attitude. He desires greatness and seems willing to work to get there.
Topou seems to be a lock for the main backup spot. He is a decent player who can play with leverage. I wouldn't want him starting for long periods of time but he is capable to fill in here and there. The battle for the 4th spot should be between Dunlap and McCuller. I'm giving McCuller the edge because Dunlap has been around for a bit now and still really struggles with his footwork. He is a guy that has just not improved the way you would hope he would. McCuller was a solid player in college, and has a decent amount of experience at the position for a guy that went undrafted. Howard could make things a little interesting in camp. He is a converted TE but I don't see him beating out a guy like McCuller simply because of experience.
Long Term: The Eagles are hoping Peters and Justice can hold down the tackle position for the next several years. They are both locked up long term, and are young enough to be effective for some time (Peters is 28, Justice is just 25). When it comes to our starters, I'm pretty impressed how successfully and quickly we've transition from the Tra Thomas/Jon Runyan era. I do feel a little shaky with our depth at this position and I'm hoping Andy Reid will get back to using a few picks on his offensive line in next years draft.