Eagles star Josh Sweat lands on list of NFL's top edge rushers with two teammates

Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, Philadelphia Eagles
Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, Philadelphia Eagles / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Just look at the names: Haason Reddick, Nolan Smith, Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham, Janarius Robinson, Tarron Jackson, and Matt Leo. We have spent a ton of time discussing this talented Philadelphia Eagles roster and its depth. The Birds are loaded at some areas (edge rusher, defensive tackle) and praying that no injuries occur at others (safety, linebacker, wide receiver). Such is life in the NFL.

We spend tons of time discussing guys like Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, newly acquired D'Andre Swift, and Philly's offensive line. There's no reason to complain about that, but in doing so, it becomes easy to forget that the Birds are extremely talented on the defensive side of the ball. The above list is a demonstration of that. Think about it. How often have you talked about Derek Barnett's return to the lineup?

Sweat has come into his own, cracking the starting lineup in 2021 and racking up 18.5 sacks over the past two seasons. He even housed a pick-six in Arlington versus the Dallas Cowboys on Christmas Eve. No Eagles fan has to be reminded of how good Number 94 has been, and it appears he's no longer one of the game's best-kept secrets. NFL pundits are beginning to take notice.

Pro Football Focus snubs Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat on their list of the NFL's top 32 pass rushers.

Here's an interesting read if you have a minute. Pro Football Focus recently offered their ranking of the top 32 edge rushers ahead of the 2023 NFL season. We expect that Nolan Smith will earn his spot on that list at some point next offseason. This time around Sweat, Haason Reddick, and Brandon Graham got the nod.

Here are the explanations. Reddick lands in tier two at number seven.

"Reddick’s 2022 season was a career year, notching 16 sacks (his third straight season breaking double digits) with a 16.8% pass rush win rate."

Trevor Sikkema, PFF

Josh Sweat and Brandon Graham land in tier five, cracking the list at 28 and 30 respectively. Here's Sikkema's explanation for making that decision.

"(Sam) Hubbard (27) is an underrated defender due to how solid he is as both a run stuffer and pass-rusher. He is a better run defender but has recorded 60-plus pressures in each of the last two seasons.

Similarly, Sweat earned a 79.5 run defense grade and an 80.9 pass rush grade, but his pass rush win percentage (hovering around 13.0%) needs to improve for him to jump higher...

Graham, at 34 years old, showed few signs of aging, recording career highs in sacks (13.5) and pass rush win percentage (20.7%)."

Philly's pass-rushing rotation will, again, be one of the team's strengths in 2023. Don't expect 70 sacks. The Birds came close to rewriting the record books while posting the second-highest sack total in pro football's history. Those types of feats are hard to replicate, but no one should be worried about Philly's defense.

Javon Hargrave is gone, but Sweat, B.G., and Reddick combined for 38 quarterback takedowns during the most recent Eagles season. As mentioned earlier, Derek Barnett is back in the mix, and though we aren't certain of what to expect from him, guys like Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith, and Milton Williams figure to factor into the pass rush as well. Sean Desai's unit is going to be boatloads of fun to watch.

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