Philip Hunt and Brandon Graham both looked good vs. Pittsburgh
With starting defensive ends Trent Cole and Jason Babin both sidelined with injuries, the Eagles had an opportunity to showcase the depth of the D-Line. Phillip Hunt was one of the most impressive players in the game, recording two sacks and forcing a fumble while wreaking havoc on the Steelers' offensive line.
Rookie Vinny Curry, a second-round pick who was the Conference-USA Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, had an extraordinary Eagles debut. Curry was constantly getting pressure on the quarterback and led the team with five tackles.
Over the last two seasons of his college career at Marshall, Curry recorded a total of 23 sacks. He also had six forced fumbles as a senior, second most in college football. The Eagles may have found a steal here.
Brandon Graham, the player selected over Jason Pierre-Paul and Earl Thomas two years ago, may finally be poised to prove his worth. According to Dan Graziano of ESPN, Graham says that he is in the best shape of his life, and he's certainly tired of being labeled a bust.
He was solid on Thursday night, getting pressure on the QB and recording a sack. While the Eagles will always be lamented for selecting Graham over the two Pro Bowlers mentioned above, perhaps, he can develop into a good player in the Birds' rotation.
While the defensive ends look very strong, the depth at defensive tackle is also outstanding. With first-round pick Fletcher Cox, starter Cullen Jenkins, underrated Darryl Tapp and veteran starter Mike Patterson, who is recovering from offseason surgery, the Birds have one of the deepest, most talented defensive lines in the NFL.
With very serviceable players like Derek Landri and Antonio Dixon also in the fold, many teams will be lining up to see who the Eagles are forced to cut before the regular season kicks off.