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Eagles 2020 breakout candidate: Josh Sweat has a chance for a big season


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Eagles 2020 breakout candidate: Josh Sweat has a chance for a big season



By Dave Zangaro June 10, 2020 8:00 AM


Over two weeks, I’m taking a look at 10 Eagles players who might be primed for a breakout season in 2020. I have already looked at Boston Scott, K’Von Wallace, Sidney Jones, T.J. Edwards, Jalen Reagor, Isaac Seumalo and Derek Barnett. 

Up today: Josh Sweat 

Age: 23

How acquired: 2018 4th-round pick 

Entering: Year 3

After a really limited rookie year that ended on Injured Reserve, Josh Sweat started to show some real promise in 2019. He played in all 16 games and saw an increased role in the defense, playing 355 defensive snaps (34 percent). 

Last season, Sweat was behind starters Derek Barnett and Brandon Graham and got less playing time than Vinny Curry. So he was the fourth defensive end option in 2019. Heading into 2020, he’s No. 3 and there’s not a clear No. 4 anymore. 

Behind Sweat are Genard Avery, Shareef Miller, Joe Ostman and an injured Daeshon Hall. So in Year 3, Sweat is going to have plenty of opportunity. 

In 2019, Sweat had 4 sacks, 21 tackles, 7 TFLs and 10 QB hits. That means that last year, Sweat averaged a sack every 88 snaps, a better rate than Graham (93) and Barnett (109). To be fair, though, Sweat probably saw more action on third downs. 

One big reason we saw a jump from Sweat in Year 2 was added weight. Sweat showed up to training camp in 2019 weighing 265 pounds. A year earlier at the NFL combine, he weighed just 251. He played just 68 snaps as a rookie before landing on IR with an ankle injury that wasn’t really that serious. From there, he vowed to get bigger and stronger. It worked. 

At the beginning of training camp last year, Sweat said he felt not only bigger but also more explosive. Sweat already had explosiveness but now he has some power too. That showed on the field. And think about it: He was still getting used to playing about 20 pounds heavier last year. Now, he has a year of experience with that weight, which should help him quite a bit. 

One great thing about Sweat’s NFL career is that we haven’t seen him slowed down by a knee injury he suffered in high school. That knee injury was a devastating one and Sweat still wears a knee brace. The Eagles had Sweat graded much higher than the fourth round where they took him and a likely reason he was available was that knee, despite the fact that he was pretty durable at Florida State. 

Two years into his NFL career, that knee has held up just fine and Sweat has a chance to realize his potential in Year 3. 



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Given the current state of play at DE we need Sweat to step up and deliver. He flashed last year so let's hope we see another leap from him this year. 

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I like Sweat. He was fairly productive in his opportunities. If you consider his per snap numbers, he had pretty much an identical season to Graham. 


1 sack per 88 snaps

1 tfl per 50 snaps

1 pressure per 23 snaps


1 sack per 91 snaps

1 tfl per 51 snaps

1 pressure per 25 snaps

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