NFL Draft Rumors: Eagles Expected To Target Lane Johnson’s Future Replacement Early

After preparing in advance for the departure of Jason Kelce, the Philadelphia Eagles appear ready to do the same for Lane Johnson in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Philadelphia Eagles have had one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, but long-time center Jason Kelce has retired, and All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson’s career could be coming to an end soon.

Philadelphia has prioritized building through the trenches in the NFL Draft, and they never believe it’s too early to start drafting for the future on the offensive line. This appears to be the case once again for the 2024 NFL Draft, as the latest buzz is that they’re targeting Johnson’s future replacement early.

Reporter Says Eagles Will Target Tackle in 2024 Draft

The Eagles, under Howie Roseman, have often used the draft to get a head start on finding roster replacements for key players nearing the end of their careers.

Since 2019, Roseman has twice used premium draft capital on drafting the successor to an All-Pro offensive lineman — former first-round pick Andre Dillard for Jason Peters in 2019 and former second-round pick Cam Jurgens for Kelce in 2022.

Even though these players didn’t fill immediate needs, Roseman made it a priority to find succession plans for these key OL positions. Now with Johnson entering his 12th season and nearing the end of his career, it appears that Philadelphia might be going in that direction again, per conversations ESPN’s Matt Miller has had with NFL scouts.

“I continue to hear in conversations with scouts around the league that general manager Howie Roseman could look to solidify the right tackle position early in this draft — even in Round 1,” says Miller.

Which Offensive Tackles Could the Eagles Target?

Replacing Johnson is no easy task for Philadelphia. While the Eagles have lost Kelce to retirement this offseason, one could argue that Johnson’s impact on the franchise is even bigger.

In games started by the All-Pro right tackle, Philadelphia is 89-53-1, and they’re just 14-22 without him.

Miller pointed out that Oklahoma OT Tyler Guyton was already working out with Johnson during the offseason, a sign that the Eagles could replace him with a player of a similar body and skill set, as well as from the same college they drafted the All-Pro.

As mocks go, Guyton has consistently been a player who would potentially be a fit for Philadelphia. Not only has he played in just 14 college games and needs some seasoning — as Miller also points out — but the team’s ability to remain patient with young offensive linemen and develop them into some of the best players in the game is unmatched across the NFL.

Guyton remains the favorite for the Eagles when discussions over tackles are had. In PFN’s scouting report of Guyton, Draft Analyst Ian Cummings details him as a project of a player, but one with “starting-caliber NFL gifts” that a patient team can work with.

As organizations with a pedigree for patience go, the Eagles may be at the top of the list. Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland’s work with left tackle Jordan Mailata has flipped the script on what offensive linemen can become. Even the work done on Kelce (a sixth-round pick) can be seen as impressive.

Other names, such as Washington’s Troy Fautanu, Georgia’s Amarius Mims, and BYU’s Kingsley Suamataia, could also interest the birds. Fautanu and Mims may not be the kind of projects Suamataia and Guyton are, but they could thrive in a Stoutland-led group.

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At the very least, it’s pretty clear Philadelphia is prepared to find the replacement for their best overall offensive lineman. Who that will be, though, remains to be seen.

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