time2rock Posted July 20, 2021 Share Posted July 20, 2021 Stock up or Stock Down: How the Eagles' defense changed this offseason Glenn Erby July 17, 2021 8:09 am ET The Eagles are roaring towards the team’s first training camp under new head coach, Nick Sirianni. As Philadelphia sits less than two weeks out from reporting, we’re interested in taking an early stock appraisal of the Eagles defensive roster from last season and how things changed. Jonathan Gannon is in as defensive coordinator and his unit should be among the NFL’s best if Philadelphia can land a cornerback to pair opposite Darius Slay. Defensive End Nov 1, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham (55) reacts after a fumble recovery against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports Graham is a year older and likely a year better as well, while Ryan Kerrigan’s role will be as a high-value pass rusher from the start. Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat are both playing for new contracts. Stock Up Defensive Tackle Texas running back Keaontay Ingram (26) is up ended by Louisiana Tech safety L’Jarius Sneed (1) and defensive end Milton Williams (97) on a run during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) Milton Williams (third-round pick), Tarron Jackson (sixth-round pick), and Marlon Tuipulotu (sixth-round pick) give the Eagles three versatile, high-energy guys that can help take some of the stress away from Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave. Jackson is more of a true pass rusher but could see time in the middle. If Hargrave can take the next step and Williams can hit the ground running, the Eagles could return to their game-wrecking ways in the middle. Stock Up Linebacker Nov 8, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Detroit Lions fullback Jason Cabinda (45) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings defensive back Kris Boyd (29) and linebacker Eric Wilson (50) in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports The Eagles have concerns at linebacker, but talented additions in Eric Wilson and JaCoby Stevens could allow the position to trend up. T.J. Edwards will have a presence on defense, while Alex Singleton could lose reps to young speedsters like Davion Taylor and Shaun Bradley. Philadelphia’s lack of desire in placing any true value on the position places the stock on a continued decline. Stock down until we see an improvement against the pass. Cornerback Nov 14, 2020; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive corner back Zech McPhearson (8) reacts after an interception in the second half in the game against the Baylor Bears at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports The Eagles drafted Zech McPhearson in the fourth round of the NFL draft and he offers immediate value as an athletic cornerback who was tested in the Big 12. Darius Slay returns, but the Eagles will need to hope that Howie Roseman adds another cornerback via free agency or those young players such as Shakial Taylor, Lavert Hill, or Josiah Scott can flourish in Jonathan Gannon’s zone scheme. Cornerback is the one position preventing this Eagles defense from being in the top-10 and until the lack of true depth is addressed, the stock evaluation will continue to trend down. Stock Down Safety Nov 22, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) runs with the ball as Philadelphia Eagles safety K’Von Wallace (42) defends during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports In 2020, Philadelphia finished 29th in interceptions (8) and 23rd in takeaways (19). The addition of Anthony Harris should drastically alter that stat line. Harris is a ballhawk with Range and should complement the versatile Rodney McLeod. K’Von Wallace will look to take the next step while learning Jonathan Gannon’s defensive scheme. Elijah Riley and Marcus Epps offer depth at the position. Stock up thanks to the arrival of both Gannon and Harris, who should finally put fear in quarterbacks who enjoy taking deep shots. https://theeagleswire.usatoday.com/lists/philadelphia-eagles-defense-outlook-2021-nfl-season-fletcher-cox-brandon-graham/ Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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