When selecting the top 10 best Eagles offensive linemen, an astonishing three linemates made the list. Jason Kelce, Jason Peters and Lane Johnson deserve top 10 recognition and they were on the same line from 2013 to 2020.
Maybe it isn’t so astonishing.
Kelce and Peters are considered possible Hall of Famers while Johnson has been among the best right tackles of his generation.
The Eagles’ record from 2013-20 was 69-57-1 and includes the Super Bowl championship — fueled by the offensive line.
TOP 10 GREATEST EAGLES OFFENSIVE LINEMEN OF ALL TIME
10. Stan Walters
Walters played nine years with the Eagles. He was drafted in the ninth found, 210th overall in 1972 by the Cincinnati Bengals. He played three seasons in Cincy before being traded to Philly.
Walters played left tackle and with Jerry Sisemore at right tackle, it gave the Eagles two excellent end pieces on the line. Walters started 122 consecutive games for the Eagles.
Against the Cowboys, Walters had intense battles with Dallas defensive end Harvey Martin, one of the best defensive ends of his era.
- Walters started on the 1980 Super Bowl team and made two Pro Bowl teams.
- He also was the Eagles’ radio analyst from 1984-97, working with Merrill Reese.
- Walters went into the Eagles’ Hall of Fame along with Sisemore in 1991.
9. Lane Johnson
Johnson has anchored the right tackle position since being drafted fourth overall in the 2013 draft.
- He started all 16 games as a rookie.
- Johnson was first-team All-Pro and made the Pro Bowl in 2017, the Super Bowl year.
- He also made the Pro Bowl two other times in his nine-year career.
- Johnson formed one of the NFL’s top tackle tandems for a decade with Jason Peters.
Last season, Johnson missed three games for a personal issue. When he returned to play, he said he had battled anxiety and depression for years and needed the time off to get help. He said he had bouts of anxiety going back to high school and at the University of Oklahoma.
Johnson was praised for going public with his condition and seeking professional help. In the NFL, which he calls a “gladiator sport,” not many people are willing to discuss mental issues publicly.
He told CNBC that playing the offensive line is like “you are jumping out of an airplane, and you don’t know if you have a parachute on or not …
“I give up a sack or my $100 million dollar quarterback gets hurt, my name is in the newspaper.”
In 2021, according to Pro Football Focus, Johnson played 821 snaps, allowed zero sacks and committed seven penalties — continuing the excellent play he has shown throughout his career.
8. Al Wistert (1944-51)
Wistert made first-team All-Pro in four of his nine years with Philly making him one of the best Eagles offensive linemen to date. He was team captain as the Eagles won their first two NFL titles in 1948 and 1949.
Wistert was responsible for the key block that led to Steve Van Buren scoring the only touchdown in the Eagles’ 7-0 victory in the 1948 championship game win over the Chicago Cardinals.
- Wistert was a two-way player — guard and tackle on offense; tackle on defense.
- Was selected in the fifth round of the 1943 draft, 32nd overall.
- He is in the Eagles’ Hall of Fame and his number 70 is retired.
- He was a 6-foot-1, 214-pounder nicknamed “Ox” for his strength.
7. Jerry Sisemore (1973-84)
Jerry Sisemore, the third overall pick in the 1973 draft, played his entire 12-year career with the Eagles. Sisemore played 10 seasons at right tackle and two seasons at right guard.
He is remembered for the block that sprung Wilbert Montgomery for a 42-yard touchdown run in the first quarter of the 1980 NFC Championship Game win over the Cowboys.
- One other cool fact: He didn’t allow a sack in the 1980 Super Bowl season.
- Sisemore made two Pro Bowl teams.
- He was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 1991.
“We beat Dallas in Philly for the [1980 NFC] championship and it was awesome,” Sisemore told philadelphiaeagles.com.
“We were at the top of the heap in five short years. And to go from one of the worst to the Super Bowl in five years in the city of Philadelphia is like … it was beautiful. I couldn’t have drawn a picture like that.”
6. Chuck Bednarik (1949-62)
“Concrete Charlie” was the NFL’s two-way man — playing linebacker and center. He played 14 years with the Eagles and while he is better known for his punishing hits on defense, he anchored the offensive line that won two NFL championships and was one of the best Eagles offensive linemen in franchise history.
Chuck Bednarik was first-team All-Pro and a Pro Bowl selection at center in the championship year of 1960 at age 35. Bednarik played 58 minutes against the Packers in the title game and made the game-saving tackle against Green Bay’s Jim Taylor just short of the goal line.
- Bednarik had seven other All-Pro selections and was picked for the Pro Bowl seven other times.
- Named the NFL’s all-time center in 1969.
- Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967.
5. Jon Runyan (2000-08)
Runyan’s battles with Giants Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan were legendary. Runyan was the right tackle, bumping helmets in 15 games against Strahan.
Runyan played nine seasons in Philly, arriving as a free agent from Tennessee in 2000. In those nine seasons, Runyan started *every game,* a remarkable achievement for an offensive lineman. He holds the team record of 144 consecutive starts for an offensive lineman.
He made the Pro Bowl in 2002.
In Strahan’s Hall of Fame speech, he spoke directly to his former rival:
“Jon, you made me a student of the game,” said Strahan, who called Runyan “6-9, 350 pounds of twisted steel and non-sex appeal.”
“You were the toughest guy I ever had to face on a consistent basis. You made me a much better football player.”
Runyan was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 2021.
4. Tra Thomas (1998-2008)
Tra Thomas was a rock at left tackle during one of the greatest Eagles eras in history. Thomas arrived a year before Andy Reid and his final season was 2008, when Philly unexpectedly went to the NFC title game.
- Thomas made three Pro Bowl teams.
- He was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 2021 along with right tackle Jon Runyan.
- They played together for nine seasons.
Thomas told philadelphiaeagles.com:
“I think a team is only as good as their offensive line. If you have a bad offensive line, your team is not going to be able to do anything. You’re not going to be able to run the ball, you can’t pass the ball. Teams that have weaker offensive lines, they’re not successful.”
Thomas was a first-round draft pick (11th overall) from Florida State who later became one of the best Eagles offensive linemen of all time.
3. Bob Brown (1964-68)
- Brown played five seasons with the Eagles and was first-team All-Pro three times.
- He made the Pro Bowl three times.
- He also made the All-Pro team in his first two seasons with the LA Rams after he left Philly.
The Eagles drafted Brown with the No. 2 overall pick in 1964 out of Nebraska.
Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004. From the Hall website: He once described himself as being “about as subtle as a 16-pound sledgehammer.”
“I beat on people from the opening kickoff. I want to see results in the fourth quarter,” Brown said. “I don’t want them to have as much left. I want them to not be sure they want to keep coming. I try to take a toll on them.”
He was huge for the time — 6-foot-4, 280 pounds.
As one coach said, on the Hall website: “to do what Brown does requires great quickness, great strength, and great self-confidence. Few men have such a combination of assets. Bob Brown does.”
2. Jason Peters (2009-20)
If this list were the top offensive linemen overall, and not an Eagles category, Jason Peters would get the top vote.
At left tackle, Peters was basically impossible to defeat. He protected the blindside of Eagles quarterbacks, including Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, Mark Sanchez, Sam Bradford, Carson Wentz and Nick Foles, and the throwing side of Michael Vick.
- As a run blocker, Peters’ 6-foot-4, 328 pounds of mass and mean opened huge holes for Eagles running backs to plow through.
- Peters made seven Pro Bowl teams with the Eagles and was an All-Pro in 2011 and 2013.
- He was an undrafted tight end out of Arkansas who made the roster in Buffalo and switched to tackle.
He suffered a torn ACL in 2017 and he didn’t play in the Super Bowl. Halapoulivaatti Vaitai started in his place as the Eagles defeated the Patriots.
“You know, everybody knows about his ability to play,” Kelce said about Peters. “Eventual Hall of Fame, the best player I’ve played with. Just a tremendous, tremendous player.
“But he never really got the credit he deserved from a leadership standpoint. He might not have been a vocal guy, he never really liked talking to you guys [media] much, but he loved talking to young guys, he loved staying after practice, he loved talking in the weight room.”
He played the 2021 season with the Bears *at age 39*.
1. Jason Kelce (2009-Present)
The decision for #1 best Eagles offensive linmen was close between Peters and Kelce. There were several factors that pushed Kelce over the top. Kelce has been an Eagle since he was drafted in the sixth round in 2011. Peters arrived in 2009 at age 27 from Buffalo.
- Was a first-team All-Pro last year at age 34.
- Made five Pro Bowls, including last season.
- He has been first-team All-Pro four times.
So many times in Kelce’s career, you would see an Eagles running back breaking a big play downfield or a receiver taking a short pass and getting yards after a catch.
What else did you see? You saw Kelce running alongside the guy with the ball. Kelce is an expert at making the initial block, getting past the line of scrimmage and using his speed to keep up with backs and receivers.
This is an athletic talent not commonly seen by linemen in the NFL.
There is momentum building for Kelce to have a chance at being voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There are only a handful of centers in the Hall. More impressively, only one sixth-round draft pick is in the Hall — Jack Christensen, a Lions defensive back who was inducted in 1951.