Eagles Defensive Projections: Defensive LineBREAKING NEWS, Defensive Line, Eagles Friday, May 18th, 2012
The Philadelphia Eagles have done a lot to address their issues on the defensive side of the ball in the offseason. They’ve said brought in significant talent to upgrade several positions, and hope to be a much more efficient group than they were in 2010-11.
In the front four, the starting lineup from last year should be kept intact with Jason Babin and Trent Cole playing the defensive end positions, and Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson manning the defensive tackle spots.
Babin led the Eagles with 18 sacks and also forced three fumbles, but he must become more conscious of his run defense as well, or he may lose some snaps to some of the newcomers to the line. Cole is the most well-rounded, complete end on the roster, capable of playing both the run and pass efficiently. He finished with double-digit sacks (11) for the fourth time in the last five years, and should be able to stay fresh at the end of the season thanks to additional depth on the line.
Jenkins took a pay cut to remain with the team after recording 5.5 sacks a year ago. He established himself as one of the leaders on the defense, and proved that he could stay healthy for a full season. Patterson is solid though unspectacular. He can be counted on to continue to play the run well.
It’s safe to say that first-round pick Fletcher Cox has the potential to be an impact player from day one, and might fight for a starting job by the end of the year. The top draft pick will immediately help out the defensive line by providing interior pressure and bolstering the run defense by clogging up the middle. He could be the addition that puts the defensive line over the top.
Also in the mix are former first-round pick Brandon Graham and this year’s second round pick Vinny Curry. Graham hopes to prove his worth by having a bounce-back season, and finally make an impact after disappointing in his first two seasons. Curry will look to also be an impact player during his rookie season.
The tenacity of this front four will without a doubt cause problems for offensive lines throughout the league as they did a year ago, but they’ll be an even more efficient unit thanks to the new faces they’ve added through the draft. The defensive line is loaded with quality players, as the Eagles hope to mimic the success of the New York Giants by attacking their opponents with waves of defensive ends.
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