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Ranking the Eagles Offense: Fullback is high; tight ends are low

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How does the new-and-improved Eagles offense compare to the rest of the league?   

Better than you might think in some areas and perhaps not as good in others.

Here at Philly2Philly.com we asked a five-man panel of scouts and personnel people around the league to rank the Eagles both individually and by position against the other 31 teams in the league.

Some of the panel was more specific than others so we decided to break it down in categories: Top 5, top 10, top half, bottom half, bottom third.

These are the results:

Quarterback – Donovan McNabb, despite all of his trials and tribulations of the past year, still ranks as a top 10quarterback according to the panel. In an unscientific manner, he came up No. 7 overall in the top 10.

One panel member ranked him fourth, while the lowest vote he received was 10th.

“I think you’re going to see him have a big year,’’ the scout who put him fourth said. “He’s got some people with him, and he seems to be happy.’’

The Eagles quarterbacks, as a group, backup Kevin Kolb and No. 3 man A.J. Feeley also ranked in the top 10 in the league as a unit. Kolb, despite limited time, finished just in the top half in the league among all backups.

Running Backs – Brian Westbrook’s post-season knee surgery and recent ankle surgery didn’t stop our panel from still keeping him among the top 10 running backs in the league.

“Short term, the surgeries might help him,’’ one personnel man said. “He could be fresher.’’

Another added, “All I know is whenever we play (the Eagles) our defensive staff is talking about No. 36 all week.’’

Westbrook’s votes were consistent, as he ranked between eighth and 10th on all five ballots.

As a group, the Eagles backs, which included rookie second-round draft pick LeSean McCoy, Lorenzo Booker and Kyle Eckel, just made it into the top half in the league. Most of that was due to inexperience.

“I like McCoy, but we haven’t seen him do it yet,’’ one scout said. “Most teams have, and use, two guys all the time now.’’

Fullback – Newly-acquired Leonard Weaver, signed as a free agent from Seattle, ranked the highest of any individual on the Eagles offense, finishing in the top 5 by the panel.

“There just aren’t that many any more,’’ one scout said of the position. “That guy has shown he can get it done.’’

Wide Receivers – In an interesting, but probably accurate assessment, not one of the Eagles receivers finished higher than the bottom third of the league, but as a group they finished in the top 10 and were close to the top 5.

The group consisted of DeSean Jackson, rookie first-round pick Jeremy Maclin, Kevin Curtis, Reggie Brown, Jason Avant and Hank Baskett.

“I think that’s the way Andy (Reid) likes it,’’ one of the personnel men said. “That year with T.O. aside, he’d rather have a bunch of good receivers, than one great one. That’s what he has now. I like all of those guys, I just don’t love any of them.’’

Tight Ends – Brent Celek, in his first year as a starter, ranked in the bottom third of all starting tight ends in the league.

The tight ends as a group – rookie Cornelius Ingram and veteran Matt Schobel – also ranked in the bottom third.

“The kid could surprise,’’ one scout said of Celek. “But I have to see him do it for 16 games, first. Ask me next year and maybe I’ll rank him higher.’’

As far as the depth goes, the panel wasn’t impressed.

“I have to think they’re going to add somebody else,’’ one scout said. “(Ingram) is really raw and the other guy can’t play.’’

Offensive Line – The new-look line, which will feature Jason Peters at left tackle, Todd Herremans at left guard, either Jamaal Jackson or Nick Cole at center, Stacy Andrews at right guard and Sean Andrews at right tackle, finished among the top five in the league, but with reservations.

“If all goes well it could be the best in the league,’’ one scout said. “There’s three potential Pro Bowl players in that group and (Herremans) isn’t bad. I like him.

“But there are some things to worry about, too. I don’t think I have to spell them out for you. But it could go bad on them.’’

Next week we will take a look at the defensive side of the ball.

Home Page Photo:  AP Photo/Tom Mihalek