It’s long been the Philadelphia Eagles‘ business model to focus on the trenches first when building a roster. Andy Reid laid that blueprint many, many moons ago, and it’s one that Howie Roseman and the Birds still follow.
This past season, there were games when Philly walked into battle with SIX defensive tackles active. Think about that for a second. We didn’t even add the defensive ends that were active on game day to the total. We’ve said all that to say this.
We realize the Eagles used a first-round draft choice on Jordan Davis last April. Don’t be shocked if they spend one of their pair of first-round draft choices this year on another interior defensive lineman.
Regardless of what you believe Philly’s most pressing needs are, signing an interior defensive lineman early during the free-agent frenzy isn’t out of the realm of possibility either. Why? That’s how Philly rolls, but we’ll be honest with you. If they do so, you won’t hear an argument from us, especially if that first signing keeps Javon Hargrave around. He recently earned a nice mention, and deservedly so.
Eagles news: Javon Hargrave tops Pro Football Focus’ list of the best defensive tackles entering free agency.
Say what you will about Pro Football Focus and those analytical and statistical engines. You know as good as we do that they’re always worth a conversation.
Recently, PFF released its ranking of the top interior defensive linemen entering free agency. Javon Hargrave topped the list. Daron Payne (Washington Commanders), Dalvin Tomlinson (Minnesota Vikings), Dre’Mont Jones (Denver Broncos), and Zach Allen (Arizona Cardinals) round out the top five. Here’s some of what Brad Spielberger, the writer of this one, stated as his reasoning for making Hargrave number one.
"Hargrave moved from western Pennsylvania over to the East Coast during 2020 free agency and has been a force in Philadelphia, blossoming into one of the elite interior pass-rushers in the NFL over the past few seasons. Since 2020, Hargrave’s 92.2 pass-rush grade trails only Aaron Donald and Chris Jones at the position, with his 18.8% pass-rush win rate also ranking third… Hargrave will be 30 years old for the 2023 season, but we’ve seen many interior defenders maintain longevity well into their 30s recently… His run-defense grades were much better in his first stop, but it seems he can excel at whatever is asked of him, which is good to know for interested teams that likely don’t frequently deploy a five-man front and do a lot of the other exotic things Philadelphia does up front."
Forgive us for repeating ourselves, but we feel the need to do so again. We’d have zero issues with Philly signing a defensive tackle early, especially if that defensive tackle is Hargrave.
More Eagles news: Linebackers coach Nick Rallis officially leaves the nest.
Add an experienced linebackers coach to the Eagles’ offseason shopping list. Nick Rallis, who has served as Philly’s linebackers coach will join Jonathan Gannon in Arizona as the Cardinals’ new defensive coordinator.
Philly is now in search of an LB coach as well as two candidates to fill their vacant offensive and defensive coordinator positions. The 2023 offseason has gotten off to an intriguing start. Keep both eyes on Philadelphia. It will be interesting to see what types of moves they make next.