PHILADELPHIA -- Jason Kelce is walking away from the NFL after 13 seasons as he announced his retirement Monday, but not before establishing himself on the Mount Rushmore of Philadelphia Eagles history. Kelce earned six First-Team All-Pro selections, tied with Chuck Bednarik and Reggie White for the most by a player in Eagles history, and is only one of two centers to be named a First Team All-Pro six times since the 1970 merger (joining Dermontti Dawson). 

The only center to earn six First-Team All-Pro honors and win a Super Bowl title, Kelce will be nearly impossible to replace. His leadership is unmatched, going with his dominant play on the field. He didn't miss many games, setting a franchise record with 156 consecutive games started, and his 193 starts are the most in franchise history. 

Kelce earned all six of his First Team All-Pro selections in his 30s, the most ever by any player in his 30s (Jerry Rice and Bruce Smith are second with five). He went out at the top of his game, earning three First Team All-Pro honors in his final three seasons. Kelce and Dwight Stephenson are the only two players in the Super Bowl era to earn three consecutive First Team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections in each of their final three seasons.

A larger-than-life figure in Philadelphia, Kelce will be difficult to replace. Fortunately for the Eagles, Kelce picked his in-house replacement two years ago. 

Kelce's replacement at center already on team

Cam Jurgens was drafted in the second round of the 2022 draft to be the heir apparent to Kelce at center. Kelce actually hand-picked Jurgens to be his long-term replacement when he was asked to evaluate centers prior to the 2022 draft, and Jurgens was the player he liked the most. Kelce said Jurgens had a chance to be a "difference-maker" at center.

Jurgens had essentially a redshirt 2022 season to learn from Kelce before becoming the right guard in 2023 and playing next to him. Throughout the process, Jergens has used the time with Kelce to his advantage. 

"I just try to be a sponge in that room," Jurgens said during minicamp last year. "Just the way he [Kelce] carries himself, how he talks to coaches, how he talks to young guys and old guys -- it's different. He's been around. He's a pro. He knows the game better than anybody. 

"It's cool getting to see his leadership aspect of that. If I can emulate that later in my career, and the sooner I can get to that point -- the better." 

Jurgens is set to take the reins at center in 2024 and beyond. He didn't allow a sack in 366 pass-blocking snaps last season (11 games). 

The leadership void

This will be the toughest measurement to gauge in Philadelphia, as Kelce was the face of the franchise along with being the vocal and emotional leader in the locker room. Kelce held this role for a decade and embraced being the voice of the team and connecting with the city. No one embraced being a Philadelphian like Kelce. 

Replacing Kelce is going to be nearly impossible, but the Eagles are fortunate to have someone take the mantle in Jalen Hurts. While Hurts leads a different way than Kelce, he possesses the on-field leadership abilities Kelce did. 

"Jalen has special qualities that people will follow, and people will want to follow. And he's got to do what he needs to do to lead in that way," Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said at the NFL Scouting Combine last week. "Some people's leadership style is loud and aggressive. Some people's leadership style is by example. And some it's a mixture of both.

"So, Jalen needs to lead how he needs to lead, and I think he's done a great job of doing so. And he'll get, just like he has done in other things, he'll get better at that part of his game, and he'll get better, just because I know he'll continue to work on getting better no matter what part of the game he needs to work at," Sirianni said.

Brandon Graham wants to return and will still be one of the leaders on the team as he enters what he wants to be his final season, but Hurts is set to take the mantle as the "face of the franchise." That's a tall order for any player to replace a franchise legend like Kelce, but Hurts has the DNA to emulate it. 

Hurts had four years with Kelce to enhance his already strong leadership skills.

Who slides over to right guard? 

With Jurgens moving to center, there will be a void at right guard this offseason. The Eagles drafted Tyler Steen in the third round last year and have been training him at right guard under offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, so he would be the natural in-house replacement. 

Steen would be the current front-runner for the job, but the Eagles also have free agency and the draft to address the position. With a deep offensive line class in this year's draft, Philadelphia could use one of its early picks (three in the top 53) on a guard or bring in a veteran in free agency to compete with Steen. 

This year's free-agent guard class is also deep, so perhaps Philadelphia allocates some available cap space to place a veteran between Jurgens and Lane Johnson. With how Philadelphia prioritizes the offensive line, the Eagles won't ignore addressing the interior of that unit this offseason.