Philadelphia Eagles: Matt Pryor makes the most sense against Seattle

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

With Brandon Brooks officially on IR, the Philadelphia Eagles have two ex-TCU Horned Frogs who could fill his shoes against the Seattle Seahawks. Here’s why it should be Matt Pryor.

For the Philadelphia Eagles in 2019, there is never just good news.

Oh, the Eagles beat the New York Giants to advance to a Wildcard bout against the Seattle Seahawks? Cool, but you’ll have to do it without Brandon Brooks, Daeshon Hall, and Nelson Agholor.

Fortunately, at least the team will hopefully see the triumphant return of Lane Johnson at right tackle, that’ll help, but how on earth do you replace the best guard in football on one week’s notice?

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Conventional wisdom would suggest plugging in the sixth-best lineman on the team, but as evidenced by a horrendous showing in Week 12 – fittingly enough against Seattle – Andre Dillard plays one position and one position alone: Left tackle.

So that leaves the two players on the team who have actually logged snaps at right guard, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, and his TCU teammate Matt Pryor.

But which player makes the most sense to start? Did you even read the title?

While conventional wisdom would suggest plugging in the best player for the job, Big V, I’d argue that shouldn’t be the case. No, despite his non-existent track record, I’m of the opinion that Pryor actually makes the most sense to earn the first start of his career – and potentially the most crucial start of his career.

First the obvious: Matt Pryor is, ya know, actually a guard. Despite splitting time in college between guard and tackle, Pryor projects solely on the interior from a measurables standpoint.

Pryor is big, like really big, but also slow, like really slow.

Measuring in at 6-foot-7, 332 pounds with a molasses-slow 5.6 40-yard dash, Pryor can clog up space against the pass, and move bodies at will against the run, but he can’t be reliably, well, relied upon to take on Seattle’s edge-rushing duo of Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah on the edge.

But why does this matter? Easy, because the Eagles like to deploy six offensive linemen more than almost any other team in the NFL.

If Big V earns the sixth start of his career, this time at guard, the Eagles will be forced to choose between Southpaw Dillard and a miscast Pryor as an additional lineman in both passing and running sets.  While losing this segment of the offense wouldn’t be the end of the world, it would limit certain facets of the offense and could encourage Seattle to focus extra pressure on the right side.

With Zach Ertz still not at 100 percent and a receiving corps led by Greg Ward and… Deontay Burnett, I’d want every possible wrinkle available to steal one last game at the Linc.

Next. How was your 2019, Josh Adams?. dark

Now this could all be for not if Lane Johnson is unable to return to the field, but why be so pessimistic with three days left to go before a Week 18 bout that felt unimaginable not one month ago? Clearly the Philadelphia Eagles’ best chance to defeat the Seattle Seahawks is to put their best players on the field as often as possible, but considering the domino effect Brandon Brooks’ injury could have on the entire offense, the road of least resistance may be to keep Matt Pryor at right guard.