Malcolm Jenkins is the most important player on the Eagles defense

Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins is undoubtedly the most important player on the Eagles defense. 

We already know what you’re thinking. We must be crazy, right? In reality, we’re not. Last year, the Philadelphia Eagles were embarrassingly bad on defense. That’s not news to anyone, but there’s a lot of talent there, even a few elite players. When you think of the Eagles defense over the past two seasons, you think of Fletcher Cox. He gets the most attention, and deservedly so. He’s a generational player; however, he’s not the most important player on that side of the ball.

Malcolm Jenkins has been the anchor in the secondary recently. Considered as a mediocre player before signing with the Eagles, he has turned his career around in a big way. He is the leader and soul of the defense. Just think about where the secondary would be without him. You have mediocre corners in Nolan Carroll, Leodis McKelvin, Eric Rowe, Rodney McLeod, and not a ton of safety depth behind Jenkins. That doesn’t exactly add up to success. They need Jenkins more than you realize.

Not only is Jenkins the best player in the secondary, he’s the best tackler on the team. We watched linebackers and other players in the secondary miss so many tackles that led to touchdowns that could have been avoided. Jenkins bailed out the linebackers and corners on multiple occasions. The Eagles gave up 36 touchdowns through the air, and 10 on the ground. Yes, you read that correctly. You can only imagine what those numbers would be like without him.

The most overlooked aspect to Jenkins’ greatness is his leadership. He’s come in and absolutely taken over the locker room in two short years. He’s the unquestioned leader and helped hold the locker room together during the Chip Kelly debacle. He’s transitioned from mediocrity into a proven leader, and that’s very important for this franchise. We saw how messy things could get when the locker room was on the verge of imploding. Plus he’s a leader on the field as well. We’ve seen him make countless adjustments. His knowledge and ability to get guys to follow his lead is so important to this football team. They’d be in big trouble without him.