Two Philadelphia Eagles D-tackles got some well-deserved shine recently.
Say what you want about this Philadelphia Eagles roster. There are studs. There are a few duds. There are several “boom or bust guys”, but there’s one spot that looks like the “Birds” are in prime position to make noise and crack a few heads. If defensive tackle was the only position on the football field, you could make the argument that Philly was ready for a Super Bowl run.
Even in a down year, Fletcher Cox made the Pro Bowl last season. This despite registering a mere 3.5 sacks and spending a great deal of his time trying to beat double teams. That won’t be an option for anyone playing the Eagles in 2020.
During the most recent free-agency frenzy, the “Birds” added Javon Hargrave, who racked up 168 total tackles and 14.5 sacks in 63 games with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Doubling “Fletch” means Hargrave gets free reign. That won’t make any offensive coordinator sleep well, but utilizing two offensive linemen to limit Hargrave and taking your chances with “91” isn’t actually a recipe for success either.
The “Birds” may have something here with these two, and everyone seems to be taking notice of that fact. Recently both were given some well-deserved shine.
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Kudos for “Fletch” and the new guy and a quick look at the Philadelphia Eagles’ situation at defensive tackle.
Over the past few days, Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports ranked his top-ten defensive linemen in the NFL. Hargrave cracked the list at ten. Cox made the top five. Rounding out the rest of the list was J.J. Watt (ninth), Calais Campbell (eighth), Cam Heyward (seventh), and DeForest Buckner (sixth). Aaron Donald (first), Chris Jones (second), Kenny Clark (third), and Grady Jarrett (fourth) all made the top four. That’s pretty good company for Cox and Hargrave to be in.
Heading into 2020, the “Birds” seemed stacked at defensive tackle. Malik Jackson hasn’t been mentioned yet, but he’ll be back in the fold after a Week 1 injury kept him out of Philly’s lineup in 2019. Hassan Ridgeway signed a one-year extension in the offseason as well. Philly may have questions at running back and at wide receiver past this season, but they’re set at defensive tackle.
Sure, Jackson’s injury could be cause for concern, but prior to 2019, he had been pretty sturdy. He should bounce back. Expect some unexpected production from the edge rushers as well. With these four guys manning the middle, whoever plays on the outside will have opportunities, whether that be Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, or anyone else.