Sub-radar EDGE stars Eagles can target during each round of NFL Draft

Desmond Ridder #9, Cincinnati Bearcats, Logan Hall #92, Houston Cougars (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Desmond Ridder #9, Cincinnati Bearcats, Logan Hall #92, Houston Cougars (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
1 of 4
Derek Barnett #96, Philadelphia Eagles
Derek Barnett #96, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Eagles should be aggressive in answering their questions about the EDGE position.

We were this close to achieving that fresh start for the Philadelphia Eagles that we were hoping for, yet here we are, on the doorstep of walking into the 2022-2023 NFL regular season with most of the core of a team that went 9-8 a season ago intact.

Let’s talk about Derek Barnett. For the better part of the past three seasons, much of the conversation surrounding him stemmed from desires to see him traded or deactivated on game days. Unfortunately, after last offseason’s decision by the franchise to exercise a fifth-year option on his rookie deal and keep him around for the 2021-2022 regular season, we knew we’d be stuck with him for another year.

He was supposed to leave via free agency. That’s what we all wanted, and he did, briefly. Barnett’s extension didn’t come at the start of the new league year, but Philadelphia just couldn’t help themselves. They reacquired him a little over a week later.  Now, we’re stuck with him for two more years, and frankly, we can’t, for the life of us, understand what this organization sees in the guy.

Barnett’s development during the most recent NFL season, or his lack thereof, was agonizing to watch. He simply isn’t any better now than he was when the Eagles drafted him.

To make matters worse, Brandon Graham suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2, and one of Philly’s offseason additions, Ryan Kerrigan, was a total flop. Thankfully, Philly was smart enough not to ‘run it back’ with him.

All hope isn’t lost. The Eagles have something with Tarron Jackson and Josh Sweat. The addition of Haason Reddick was solid, but there still needs to be an upgrade at EDGE. The position must be addressed in the coming NFL Draft.

We’ve identified the stars: Aidan Hutchinson, Jermaine Johnson, Travon Walker, and Kayvon Thibodeaux among others, but the Eagles will need to do their homework because, if they do so, there are hidden gems in every round. Let’s focus on those guys for a second.

Here’s a list of seven of the lesser-mentioned guys in the coming selection meeting, one for each round. Finding one for opening night was harder to do. It isn’t like we haven’t been discussing these guys for a year now.