Can any Philadelphia Eagles defensive end not named Graham even play?
Expect to hear that this is a potential breakout season for Derek Barnett at least 100 times between now and the start of the preseason. It’s become an annual tradition in the Philly media and in the Eagles fan base, and despite the fact that we’re treated to occasional highlight during Eagles games, a pressure here or a strip-sack there, Barnett hasn’t come close to being the guy that Philly drafted him to be in 2017.
In spite of that, Philly picked up his fifth-year option, so we’ll be talking about him until, at least 2021. Hopefully, we’ll be doing so because of what he is and not because of what he isn’t
Philly’s other starter on the edge is Brandon Graham. He was a late-bloomer, but he’s assured himself of a place in the Eagles Hall of Fame. He just might not make it to Canton because he’s long been one of the NFL’s most underappreciated players.
He’s never on those top-100 rankings we clamor over. He’s never voted to the Pro Bowl, but he shows up every season and makes plays. This might be his final run with the “Birds”, but he’s still the best defensive end they have on the roster. At this point, the discussion about everyone else is less about who makes the squad and more about if any of these guys can even contribute.