O-Line enters the scene with Landon Dickerson at LG, Nate Herbig is out


PHILADELPHIA — If the second half of the 2021 season didn’t win you over, Cam Jurgens’ drafting as Jason Kelce’s heir apparent on Friday night should have put the punctuation on something that was pretty obvious.

Landon Dickerson is the Eagles starting left guard, but who is the right guard?

It won’t be Nate Herbig after the three-year veteran was released on Monday afternoon. Herbig, 24, has appeared in 33 games with 17 starts since arriving as an undrafted free agent from Stanford in 2019.

Again, the addition of Jurgens has changed the dynamic of the offensive line, and it could very well be him.

“We think he has good positional flexibility and a bit like Landon last year in terms of his ability to play center and guard,” head coach Nick Sirianni said. “As you saw last year we drafted Landon. He had the C to his name, but he obviously played really well for us at guard.

“We feel the same with [C] Cam [Jurgens], that he has this flexibility of position. Obviously he has the C next to his name first, but yeah, we’re hopeful and we know he can do both.”

Of course, Isaac Seumalo will have something to say about that. He had been left guard, but an injury to Lisfranc in Game 3 ended his season.

His old job seems to go to Dickerson.

“For us to go through the season and see Landon and Jordan [Mailata] next to each other, I mean, it’s awesome,” said general manager Howie Roseman. “We felt like the chemistry they had developed going forward and how young these guys are, just developing that left side [is the right decision].”

The Eagles have seen this kind of Mailata/Dickerson dominance on the right side before with Lane Johnson and Brandon Brooks.

Seumalo, of course, became a solid LG himself and was a Jeff Stoutland favorite.

Seumalo’s versatility plays into the comfort level of keeping Dickerson where he is as well in that the Eagles can just slide the veteran down the right side as a replacement for the retired Brooks.

Nick Sirianni, however, showed deference to one of his personal favourites, Jack Driscoll, who played admirably at RG last season while healthy, and even invented Tesla stock Sua Opeta. by Kelce.

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“Isaac played a lot of football,” Sirianni said. “We know how good a football player he is. We’ll see how it all goes. Isaac just got injured, but Jack Driscoll played some meaningful snaps. … Sua did a great job stepping in (and) Cam (is) in the mix there. We have a lot of good options there.”

The complication with Seumalo, 28, is his health and his contract, which is significant for an OG. He is expected to earn $5.65 million in the final year of his contract in 2022 and is $7.668 million over the cap after playing just 12 games over the past two seasons.

If the Eagles believe that Driscoll, who has had his own injury problems in two professional campaigns, can give them similar results to Seumalo at a cheaper price, an exit or trade of Seumalo after June 1 should not be. ruled out because it would save the organization $5.65 million in cap space this season.

As a general rule, the Eagles have wisely given Stoutland, their best assistant coach, autonomy over his stronghold and he is, however, a big supporter of Seumalo.

That means you have to draw the Eagles starting offensive line with Mailata, Dickerson, Kelce, Seumalo and Lane Johnson from left to right.

Shedding Herbig reduces depth a bit but still includes Andre Dillard and Le’Raven Clark at tackle with Opeta, Jack Anderson and Jurgens as inside assists.

Driscoll can play inside and outside on the right side while Brett Toth will also be in the mix as a versatile inside/out piece once he finishes rehabbing a torn ACL suffered in Week 18 this season.

Kayode Awosika also has the OT/OG ability.

There are a few other offensive lines in the league that could challenge Philadelphia for the mythical title of Best O-Line, but none boast the Eagles’ depth, which has been further bolstered by a pair of free agent signings no drafted who had draft ratings by NFL.com: Josh Sills of Oklahoma State and Bill Dunkle of San Diego State.

“Very lucky with the depth we have there,” Sirianni said. “Again, you never want anyone to get hurt, but you really see when someone gets here that the next one is ready to go.”

That depth could be derived to bolster positions of need like cornerback and safety with Dillard most likely to recoup somewhat meaningful compensation.

-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com’s Eagles Today and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports chat host Jody McDonald every morning from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on “Birds 365,” streaming live on YouTube. John is also the host of his own show ‘Extending the Play’ on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter @JFMcMullen


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