Eagles players who might be ready for Pro Bowl jump in 2021

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6 Eagles who could turn into Pro Bowl players this season originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles in 2020 had three real Pro Bowlers and all of them were over 30: Jason Kelce, Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox.

So it’s time for some younger players to take the next step in their careers.

With that in mind, here’s a list of six players who have the potential to be first-time Pro Bowlers in 2021.

TE Dallas Goedert

Goedert is already considered by many to be a top 10 and possibly even top 5 tight end in the NFL. And if Zach Ertz is gone for this upcoming season, Goedert will presumably see many more targets in his contract season. If you look at what Goedert has been able to do as the No. 2 tight end, it’s not hard to imagine his production increasing as the No. 1.

Heck, Goedert was already fifth in the NFL in yards per game last season among tight ends. In 11 games in 2020, Goedert had 46 catches for 524 yards and 3 touchdowns. So if he stays healthy, he should be able to have a career year with the Eagles in 2021. And that doesn’t even take into account how good he is as a blocker; he’s a true dual-threat tight end.

RB Miles Sanders

You might see Sanders’ name and think, ‘Didn’t he make the Pro Bowl last year?’ Well, that’s tricky. After the roster came out, Sanders was voted into the Madden NFL 21 video game roster as a late addition. But the point remains that Sanders hasn’t really become a Pro Bowl player through the first two years of his career. There’s still a step to take.

In 2020, Sanders averaged 5.3 yards per carry but his receiving numbers really fell off as he struggled with dropped passes. If Sanders can put it all tighter in 2021, he clearly has the potential to be one of the better backs in the NFL. And with Nick Sirianni taking over, Sanders figures to get more opportunities than he had under Doug Pederson.

WR DeVonta Smith

Maybe this is too much too soon, but there’s a reason Smith was the Heisman Trophy winner. There’s a reason the Eagles drafted him at No. 10. There’s a reason he stood out even on teams with several other first-round receivers. Sure, maybe some people need to see that he can do it with his unique build in the NFL, but there’s really no reason to think Smith won’t be successful.

Who’s to say he can’t have a 1,000-yard season as a rookie? That would give him the Eagles’ rookie record for receiving yards but that seems like an attainable goal for the mature 22-year-old. And the fact that his quarterback has played with him before certainly won’t hurt.

QB Jalen Hurts

Speaking of that quarterback, we have to put Hurts on the list. The biggest question to be answered about the Eagles this year revolves around Hurts and whether or not he can become their franchise quarterback. It’s really hard to say right now, but we saw some great flashes from him in limited time in 2020 and he is certainly an electric player because of his ability to use his arms and his legs.

Now, the biggest worry about Hurts is his accuracy. He completed just 52% of his passes as a rookie. But if he’s able to improve on that part of his game and pair it with the intangibles we know he brings, maybe the Eagles have something here.

DT Javon Hargrave

One of the more forgotten players on the Eagles’ defense, Hargrave is entering Year 6 in the NFL. He got off to a slow start last year after making a transition from Pittsburgh’s 3-4 to the Eagles’ 4-3. He’ll have another transition this year but it won’t be as dramatic.

Even with that switch, Hargrave still managed to have 4 1/2 sacks and 5 TFLs, showing off his penetrating skill. We know Fletcher Cox is going to eat up a ton of double teams so if Hargrave shows the ability to consistently beat 1-on-1 matchups, then he has the potential to get after passers often.

DE Josh Sweat

In his third NFL season in 2020, Sweat had 6.0 sacks in just 14 games and averaged a sack every 70 snaps or so. That’s a pretty impressive feat. He has 10 sacks in his last 30 games and he seems like the type of player who has double digit sack potential.

Of course, Sweat is still in a rotation that boasts Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett and now Ryan Kerrigan, so the big question with Sweat is opportunity and whether or not his production will stay up with added snaps. But there seems to be real potential with him.

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