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Brandon Brooks

Torn Achilles for top guard

The Fantasy Index preseason annual is at the printers, so too late to make any minor revisions to the offensive line rankings. The Philadelphia Eagles came in 2nd in that regard when we put the thing to bed. That looks a little high right now.

Training camps haven't even begun, but right guard Brandon Brooks is out for the year with a torn Achilles. The Eagles were prepared to move on from Jason Peters, having selected Andre Dillard in the first round a year ago, but now they'll have two new starters -- and the fill-in for Brooks will be a lesser player.

Matt Pryor, a 2018 sixth-rounder, is the likely replacement. Another possibility is fourth-rounder Jack Driscoll, a tackle at Auburn who could move inside. It might have been Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who was working there last preseason when Brooks was recovering from another injury, but Vaitai is in Detroit now.

This isn't too suggest Philadelphia's line is suddenly a poor one. In Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson they have top-shelf players at center and right tackle. If they had any concerns about Dillard they could have brought back Peters, who was apparently open to returning. Left guard Isaac Seumalo is a solid starter. It's really just the Brooks hole that is a concern, but at least it's early enough in the offseason that Philly can line up an alternative if Pryor, or Driscoll, can't hack it.

Part of our positive assessment of the Eagles line was the idea that they might be better at left tackle with Dillard in for Peters. Peters is 38 years old, and his last Pro Bowl season was in 2016. He's missed 12 games the last three years, and he hasn't performed at an elite level when on the field. It's a transition to a new starter that the team has been preparing for since trading up (ahead of Houston) to select Dillard in the first place.

Last season, the Eagles allowed 37 sacks on their quarterbacks, which was a little better than average. But looking at quarterback hits, only seven teams allowed more. Lots of those poor performances were by the worst lines in the league.

Team Sacks QB Hits
Oakland Raiders 2952
New Orleans Saints 2558
Baltimore Ravens 2859
Cleveland Browns 4167
Minnesota Vikings 2868
Arizona Cardinals 5069
Kansas City2571
San Francisco 49ers 3673
Pittsburgh Steelers 3278
Los Angeles Rams 2279
Denver Broncos 4184
Jacksonville Jaguars 4284
Cincinnati Bengals 4884
Green Bay Packers 3685
Chicago Bears 4586
Dallas Cowboys 2387
Buffalo Bills 4087
New England Patriots 2890
Detroit Lions 4392
Los Angeles Chargers 3493
Houston Texans 4993
Indianapolis Colts 3295
Tennessee Titans 5699
Philadelphia Eagles 37100
Carolina Panthers 58102
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 47106
New York Jets 52106
Seattle Seahawks 48111
New York Giants 43119
Atlanta Falcons 50136
Miami Dolphins 58147

This isn't to sugarcoat the Brooks injury. It's a blow, and makes sense to move the Eagles out of the league's top-5 lines -- maybe out of the top 10. They'll definitely be worse at that guard spot.

But if they're a little better at left tackle, and they should be, it should still be a strong line and a strong offensive team.

--Andy Richardson

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