Throughout the first 4 weeks of the season the Eagles offensive line has been decimated with injuries, playing a new combination of players every game. At one point the eagles were without 4 of their 5 projected starters on the OL. You would think that with these amount of injuries the OL would be a complete disaster. Well you would be mistaken. The young guys haven’t been perfect but they’ve shown a ton of growth over the last 4 weeks. Let’s get into it.
LT Jordan Mailata Grade: A+
Jordan mailata in his first football start EVER played a Fantastic game only giving up 1 pressure. The 6’8, 350 pound mammoth of a man showed the potential us Mailata stans saw the day the Eagles drafted him. In pass protection Mailata looked very comfortable showing us that explosive rangy kick step we saw from his preseason games his rookie season. He used his freaky length and strength to get control of the 49ers pass rushers keeping them out of the play routinely. In the run game mailata was solid as well. He was able to generate push and was explosive in the 2nd level. The only complaint is the poor angles and failing to connect at times in the 2nd level, however first start ever so we have to cut him some slack there.
LG Nate Herbig Grade: B-
Nate Herbig had another solid outing giving up just 1 pressure on the day. He held up strong in pass protection, displaying a nice anchor and good hand usage. I would’ve liked to see alittle more juice from him in the run game however. Earlier in the game I felt he didn’t get much movement and didn’t look very good as a lead blocker in space, but as the game went on he progressively got better. Good game from him.
RG Matt Pryor Grade: B-
Matt Pryor had a similar game to Nate Herbig starting off shaky and settling in as the game progressed, only giving up 1 pressure and showing off nice technique in his pass sets. In the run game Pryor got decent movement but did struggle a bit as a lead blocker. Pryor is at his best as a mauler, and is a great compliment to Jason Kelce and these athletic offensive tackles.
RT Jack Driscoll Grade: D-
Jack Driscoll struggled mightily vs the 49ers. His 2nd game as a pro was much worse than his week 1 debut vs the stacked Washington front. He gave up 3 hurries and 1 sack in limited playing time, getting beat thoroughly by 49ers Defensive end Arik Armstead. He got beat on the outside, got beat to the inside and got beat with the bull rush as well. I did like what I saw from him as a 2nd level blocker though, having some nice blocks in the screen game and on some outside runs. We do have to give Driscoll the caveat that he was put in a position to fail given the circumstances. He didn’t prepare as a starter this week, he was coming in an out of the game due to Lane’s injuries, him being a rookie, and he was going up against a very good player in Arik Armstead who had 10 sacks in 2019. I have full confidence that Driscoll will bounce back despite this performance.
Despite the good performance, the 49ers DL was banged up missing Nick Bosa and Dee Ford. These young guys will get a much bigger test next week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. TJ Watt and Bud Dupree have combined for 6 Sacks on the season, while the interior trio of Stephon Tuitt, Tyson Alualu and Cameron Hayward will present their own set of issues. If this OL can help get a victory with a strong performance over this group they might cement themselves as long term starters.