Ranking the top five Eagles at every defensive position

We think we have the Eagles depth chart figured out, but until they officially announce one, we'll take a gander at the talent pool.
Jordan Davis (90) and Jalen Carter (98), Philadelphia Eagles
Jordan Davis (90) and Jalen Carter (98), Philadelphia Eagles / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Gannon's unit was a fireworks show. Well... They were before Super Bowl LVII at least. He left. We thought we liked Sean Desai a lot better, but it seems as though his players didn't. There was a disconnect, so the Philadelphia Eagles relieved him of defensive play-calling duties and handed them to Matt Patricia.

Things only got worse from there.

Enter Vic Fangio. He's the guy Nick Sirianni wanted on his coaching staff all along. He's finally and officially part of Philly's coaching staff though he served as a consultant during Philly's disappointing 'crash and burn' versus Patrick Mahomes and company. That didn't work out too well. Let's see how things go now that he's a full-timer.

Fangio has weapons. You can argue that he has a star at every defensive position. Let's take a moment and take a look at some of his chess pieces.

The top five Eagles at EDGE

1. Bryce Huff
2. Brandon Graham
3. Josh Sweat
4. Nolan Smith
5. Patrick Johnson
Worth mentioning: Nolan Smith

If Philly is going to be effective, they're going to need to get more out of their pass rush than they got late last season. This is Brandon Graham's swan song. Expect him to go out with a bang and play in a rotational role.

Outside of Patrick Johnson's mention, nothing else probably surprises you we're certain, but he's better than Nolan Smith... if we simply take what we have seen into evidence.

Smith will be okay. So will rookie Jalyx Hunt. If one or both take a massive step forward, this can be a dangerous rotation.

Philly's top five interior defenders

1. Jalen Carter
2. Milton Williams
3. Jordan Davis
4. Marlon Tuipulotu
5. Moro Ojomo?

It's been 365 days since Moro Ojomo was drafted, and frankly, we aren't sure if we know any more about him than we knew this time last offseason. Marlon Tuipuoltu and Milton Williams have been good when given an opportunity. They just haven't seen many. That will change now that Fletcher Cox has retired.

Jalen Carter and Jordan Davis will be two of the top three guys on the depth chart at the position. Look for Carter to take another step forward and for Davis to turn the corner.

The five best Eagles linebackers

1. Devin White
2. Zack Baun
3. Oren Burks
4. Nakobe Dean
5. Jeremiah Trotter Jr.

Devin White and Zack Baun have established themselves as the top two linebackers on the depth chart. Oren Burks is no slouch. We'll see if Nakobe Dean can turn the corner and if there's something there with Jeremiah Trotter Jr. Something tells us there will be if everyone doesn't expect to see the second coming of his father early.

Philly's top options at corner

1. Darius Slay
2. Isaiah Rodgers
3. Kelee Ringo
4. James Bradberry
5. Quinyon Mitchell & Cooper DeJean

Slay is the elder statesman. We see nothing to complain about with Isaiah Rodgers and Kelee Ringo. Say what you will about James Bradberry. He's still effective if allowed to play to his strengths (i.e. let him play zone and off coverage). He also normally follows an off-year with a better showing.

Stay tuned...

We like Quinyon MItchell and Cooper DeJean already. They have more good football ahead of them than James has left, but for now, placing two rookies who haven't played a down of football yet ahead of a former All-Pro seems slightly disrespectful, even if those rookies are as talented as Mitchell and DeJean.

Philly's best safeties

1. C.J. Gardner-Johnson
2. Reed Blankenship
3. Sydney Brown
4. Tristin McCollum
5. Mekhi Garner

C.J. Gardner-Johnson returns to the city in which he enjoyed his best season (and perhaps his most controversial). Reed Blankenship, a former undrafted rookie free agent, has made a name for himself.

Sydney Brown enjoyed some nice moments as a rookie. He also, unfortunately, tore his ACL in last season's regular-season finale.

It was Brown's injury that opened the door for Tristin McCollum to see more playing time. He and Mekhi Garner, however, aren't assured of anything.

Hey, James Bradberry cross-trained at safety some (or, so we heard), but are we even certain that he'll be on the roster come September?

Time will tell!

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