Philadelphia Eagles: Could Isaac Seumalo soon be out of a job?

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

With an influx of new talent on the offensive line, could a struggling Isaac Seumalo’s time with the Philadelphia Eagles soon be coming to an end?

Needless to say, Isaac Seumalo‘s tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles hasn’t exactly gone as planned.

After being selected 79th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, 77 spots after Carson Wentz, many assumed that Seumalo, a college center, had a serious chance to win the team’s starting left guard position going into training camp, but unfortunately, that simply hasn’t been the case.

Though the team did give the ex-Oregan State Beaver every opportunity to earn his spot between Jason Peters and Jason Kelce on Jeff Stoutland‘s first team unit, including four starts, it became abundantly clear that he was not ready for the primetime spotlights, and ultimately succeeded the position to Stefen Wisniewski, a role he has retained ever since.

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Now, this a death knell for Isaac’s career, as third-round picks aren’t exactly expected to step in and become All-Pros right away when you add in the fact that Seumalo has reportedly struggled considerably thus far during training camp, could the third-year interior lineman’s time with the team soon be coming to an end?

Well, let’s take a deep dive into the numbers, and attempt to find out.

Last season, the Eagles only kept eight linemen on their 53 man roster, their starting five of Peters, Kelce, Wisniewski, Brandon Brooks, and Lane Johnson, and a trio of backups in Seumalo, Chance Warmack, and Halapoulivaati Vaitai. While this is a bit light for any team, regardless of their playing style, it obviously worked out pretty well for the team in hindsight.

I mean, they did win the Super Bowl after all.

With Vaitai serving as the team’s primary backup tackle, Warmack serving as the primary backup guard, and Wisnewski pulling double duty as the team’s backup center, Seumalo only had to play 285 snaps over the team’s 16 games regular season schedule, mostly as a swing tackle following Peters’ injury.

But going into 2018, the Eagles may be forced to keep a few extra online bodies on the final 53.

With Peters’ storied NFL career swiftly coming to an end, and Vaitai presumably primed to re-enter the starting five on a full-time basis sooner rather than later, Philly would be wise to attempt to bring along an in-house replacement swing tackle moving forward, keeping their lines elite for years to come. With this in mind, the team wisely spent two of their six picks in the 2018 NFL Draft on tackle prospects in Matt Pryor and Jordan Mailata, and thus far, it looks like a wise decision. Though Mailata has understandably struggled, as the ex-rugby star has never played football before, Pryor, Vaitai’s teammate at TCU, has shined over the first week of training camp, impressive in relief of an ill Brooks.

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However, regardless of how Pryor, Mailata, or even Warmack perform this summer, none of these players can play center, Seumalo’s natural position.

While Kelce was able to get through all 16 games last season unharmed, the team was an injury away from having to shuffle not one, but two positions on their line down the stretch, a task that’s easier said than done. This, when coupled with Wisniewski’s age (29) and contract status makes backup center a serious position of need going into the 2018 season, with Seumalo the only true heir for the spot.

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Now granted, the team could very well still trade for a young center prospect as camp goes on, as they have a slew of young cornerbacks and wide receivers that some teams may be after, but baring the surprise emergence of a player like Slippery Rock run stuffer Ian Park as a legitimate center prospect, it appears as though Seumalo will have at least one more season to try to put it all together and prove that he’s a player with a future in South Philly.