6. Why do the Philadelphia Eagles keep having to draft defensive linemen?
Last January, during the Eagles’ season-ending press conference, Eagles executive vice president and general manager Howie Roseman had this to say about Avery.
"He obviously had two and a half years left on his contract. He was someone we thought was a young player who had explosive traits and when we talked to the defensive coaching staff, they said this trade will pay off more in the future than it will through the course of the year, and so we understood that. We understood that it was a high price to pay, but it’s hard to find guys with his skill-set and he’s a versatile guy. But he’ll be best served with an offseason."
That last bit, the part about how “he’ll be best served with an offseason,” was said long before COVID-19 became a commonly known phrase, so Avery likely won’t have the all-important offseason to practice and get some on-field training in the defensive scheme.
If he doesn’t, things may come down to Joe Ostman, the former undrafted free agent who seemed poised to make the roster before tearing his ACL at the Eagles 2019 open practice. If he doesn’t steal his spot on the roster, it could go to the aforementioned Casey Toohill.
Both may seem like longshots, but the future of the position might be up in the air. In most cases, this is par the course for an NFL roster that’s under construction, but the Eagles keep spending draft capital on defensive ends for a reason, and that’s exactly why Toohill and Ostman are both here competing for a spot on the edge.
Considering Barnett’s persistent injury issues and Jim Schwartz’s penchant for rotating his lineman, one or two of these young pieces may have to rise for the occasion and take snaps when the regular season comes around unless of course veteran help is still on the way.