Philadelphia Eagles: Isaac Seumalo is a perfect reserve lineman

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

While he’s yet to become a full-time starter, Isaac Seumalo has quietly proven himself to be a perfect reserve lineman for the Philadelphia Eagles.

When the Philadelphia Eagles selected Isaac Seumalo with their second pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, 97 spots after selecting future franchise QB Carson Wentz second overall, it was a bit of a head-scratcher.

Dubbed a sure-fire Day 3 selection by most draft experts, many fans wondering why a recently reinstated Howie Roseman would invest a top-100 pick on the college center when the team already had Pro Bowl Jason Kelce on their roster.

In Week 3 of the 2018 preseason, Seumalo’s performance all but silenced any remaining naysayers.

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Initially slated to serve as the team’s backup center, Seumalo was called into action early and often with the first-team offense, filling in for an injured Jason Kelce at center, Stefen Wisniewski at left guard, and Halapoulivaati Vaitai at left guard.

Now granted, Seumalo didn’t have a perfect evening, as he whiffed on a block on his very first play in the game, but after spending most of the last two weeks logging snaps on the second-team offense, it was pretty darn impressive to watch the third-year swingman enter the game three separate times at three different positions and keep the first offense moving.

With only 46 players active on game day, having a lineman who can not only physically play all three positions as a reserve, but mentally understands each position’s responsibilities on any given play is pretty impressive.

Though he’s no longer in contention for the team’s starting left guard position, having firmly lost that spot to Wisniewski back in 2016, Seumalo has really come into his own as one of the most versatile linemen on the team after struggling in the spotlight as a rookie.

This development has all but vindicated Rosman’s decision to select the Oregon State mauler 99th overall.

While Seumalo was never particularly elite at any one position in college, he made a name for himself by playing all over the Beavers’ offensive line, logging starts at left tackle, center, right guard and right tackle. Basically, every position but the one Philly wanted him to fill right away.

That versatility now looks like a steal for the price of a third-round pick.

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Even though Seumalo has yet to become a household name on Jeff Stoutland‘s offensive line, and may never succeed either Kelce or Wisniewski for a starting spot, he could still be an essential part of the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster in 2018, both as a reserve for all five positions, as a swing sixth-tackle, and even as a goal-line fullback, a role he played well last fall. For a player like Issac Seumalo, versatility is key.