Overweight and Out of Shape: Philadelphia Eagles Urged to Bench First Round Pick

Rising concerns over a top draft pick's performance.

by Nouman Rasool
Overweight and Out of Shape: Philadelphia Eagles Urged to Bench First Round Pick
© Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

In a stark turn of events, the Philadelphia Eagles, once Super Bowl contenders, now face a challenging decision regarding their first-round draft pick, Jordan Davis, amid rising concerns over his physical fitness and on-field performance.

Davis, the 13th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, joined the Eagles with high expectations. However, his rookie season saw modest contributions, with 18 tackles in 13 games, including five starts. This season, despite accumulating 2.5 sacks, 16 solo tackles, and a forced fumble, his impact on the team's defense seems to have waned.

Eagles' Defensive Downturn

The Eagles' defense, once formidable, has shown a marked decline, slipping from a commanding 10-1 to a less assured 11-5. Davis's performance has come under intense scrutiny, particularly from Brian Baldinger, a former NFL offensive lineman.

Baldinger's scathing critique on the PHLY Eagles podcast highlighted Davis's alleged lack of fitness. "He’s overweight, and it shows," Baldinger remarked. "He’s not pursuing the ball, he’s nothing in the pass rush...

it’s bad effort”. The team's recent struggles are evident in their four losses out of the last five games, and their defensive shortcomings have been a critical factor. Post-bye week, the Eagles have allowed an average of 150.3 yards per game, a stark contrast to the 66 yards allowed in the season's first nine games.

This defensive vulnerability, coupled with offensive inconsistencies, has contributed significantly to their recent downturn. The Eagles' latest upset, a 35-31 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on New Year’s Eve, further underscores their challenges.

Despite the absence of star receiver Marquise Brown, the Cardinals managed 449 yards, with touchdowns in each of their second-half possessions. The defeat at Lincoln Financial Field has raised alarms, especially with the playoffs looming.

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni, addressing the team's predicament, emphasized the need for unity and swift corrective action. "We have to get things fixed fast," he stated. "We win as a team, we lose as a team... We're in the playoffs -- a lot of teams want to be in the playoffs.

We still can do some things here, and our goals are still in front of us." As the playoffs approach, the Eagles must confront these challenges head-on, determining the best course of action for players like Davis and recalibrating their strategy to rekindle their early-season form.

Philadelphia Eagles