Mention that pass rush (or lack thereof) that the Philadelphia Eagles have showcased from time to time during the 2021-2022 season, and the first thing that you’re probably going to hear are thoughts, welcomed or not, about everyone’s opinion on what needs to be done to fix the issues we’ve seen. The waters appear to get murkier next offseason as decisions have to be made on three guys that play defensive end.
Ryan Kerrigan only signed a one-year deal on May 17th, and frankly, the Birds have gotten nothing out of him. Derek Barnett has been here for five seasons. He’s due a splash play now and again, but mostly, he’s been a disappointment.
That brings us to Brandon Graham. Philly gambled with a one-year extension that they inked with him on March 15th, but that didn’t pay off. His body failed him as an injury in Week 2 ended his season.
What a costly day that was. They lost Brandon Brooks during the same game.
Could the Eagles find a quick fix on their practice squad?
Let’s do a quick roll call. If the Eagles moved on from Kerrigan, Barnett, and B.G. during the next offseason, they’ll be left with Josh Sweat and Tarron Jackson as their starters. They’re talented, but that isn’t the most ideal of situations.
Matt Leo is on the practice squad. The Birds seem to like him, but they won’t promote him. They also have Cameron Malveaux tucked away in their nest.
On the Tuesday leading up to the Eagles’ Week 15 game versus the Washington Football Team, they designated him as one of the players they intend to protect along with wide receiver John Hightower, safety Jared Mayden, and cornerback Mac McCain. That indicates there’s some interest there in the young defensive end.
The question is whether or not Philly has any intention of elevating him to the active roster. They battled him a season ago in their game versus the Cleveland Browns, and his performance was short-lived but rather memorable. Malveaux notched two nice-looking solo tackles, and he forced a fumble on a mere eight defensive snaps.
He’s seen seven different locker rooms during his career. It’s doubtful that he’d be promoted with Philadelphia being in a real playoff chase, but with the lack of production we’ve seen from the EDGE at times, it’s easy to ask if giving him a few snaps in obvious pass-rushing situations would hurt anything.
He does have 19 total tackles, two sacks, and two additional quarterback hits in 15 career games. Past this season, his chances of remaining with the team are up in the air and anyone’s guess. Still, if Quez Watkins isn’t off of the COVID-19 list by Sunday’s game, it can be easy to ask what the Eagles might do with the available roster spot.
Conventional thinking says Philly would just elevate John Hightower and be done with it, but at this point, you can also ask if they need to be conventional. A postseason berth is on the line, and this team needs to rattle a few opposing QBs.