Many experts and mock drafts have the Philadelphia Eagles picking a safety or linebacker in the first round, because those are their biggest needs.
While those two positions are positions of need this 2010 offseason, an every down left defensive end is essential to making the entire defense better.
One day I would like to see the Eagles display a front four that applies pressure on the QB without needing to blitz as much. Sometimes it looks like they possess that ability, but it needs to be more consistent.
The Eagles currently have talent on the defensive line, but it could definitely use some improvement. A lot of guys on the roster are either getting older or are one-dimensional.
If there's one constant, it's that Cole is a threat to get to the quarterback on every play. He's become reliable against the run as well.
The Eagles should be secure at right defensive end for quite a few years.
Patterson is a good player, but I thought the Eagles gave him a contract extension prematurely in 2006. The positive side is he gives his all on every snap he plays.
Having said that, I feel he has peaked as a player. He’s good against the run, but is limited in pass rushing in my opinion.
Either way, Patterson is going to be an Eagle at least two or three more seasons.
I question why the Eagles haven't signed Bunkley to a contract extension yet. He's clearly the best interior lineman on the Eagles defense.
He has the ability to defend the run and collapse the pocket on pass plays.
Parker has been starting at left end the past two years, but that’s mainly due to the fact that Victor Abiamiri has yet to prove he can stay healthy.
Parker is undersized for the left end position and is better off being part of a rotation to keep his legs fresh throughout an entire season.
His eight sacks in 2009 prove that he’s a good pass rusher. He should be primarily a third down rusher at this point in his career.
For the money the Eagles spent on Clemons, he has proven to be a complete waste. He was brought in to produce sacks after he recorded eight during his only season in Oakland.
He didn't match that total after two full seasons in Philly. He should be released ASAP.
Abiamiri has not proven he can be the starting left end the Eagles envisioned him to be. He’s had trouble staying healthy the past few years and is starting to go down the path of Jerome McDougle (minus the mid-first round selection).
Even when he was on the field, Abiamiri’s name was not mentioned for making a play often. Making sure the left defensive end position is addressed should be a top priority for the Eagles this offseason, and the Notre Dame product may not fit into the equation.
I thought the Eagles drafted a bit too high for the purpose of adding depth to the defensive tackle position. Down the stretch of the season, he's been a healthy scratch.
With Patterson and Bunkley slated as the starters for the next few years, Laws could very well be trade bait.
I was criticized earlier this year because I felt the Eagles should have tried to trade Howard after a ten sack season last year. His value was the highest it would ever be and I doubted he could duplicate his 2008 production.
Howard isn’t a bad player, but $3.5 million in base salary is a lot for a third down inside rusher. If 2010 becomes an uncapped season, Howard will very likely be released.
Babin was excellent at the start of the preseason, and I thought he would be utilized more during the regular season.
He's not going to be a starter, but he takes full advantage of the few opportunities given to him.
I was rooting for Dixon to come to Philly before the draft weekend last year. I felt the Eagles could use a run stuffing, 330 lb. tackle on their roster.
Luckily the Washington Redskins didn't keep him around after the final cuts were made, and the Eagles scooped him up. Dixon has been a productive asset when called upon, highlighted by a field goal block against the Chicago Bears.
The undrafted rookie has been activated over Trevor Laws a few times. I hope they keep him around because his size and run stuffing ability give the Birds an added dimension.
The Eagles need a left defensive end. They need an every down defensive end. They need an end that can both defend the run well and rush the passer. This can’t be said enough times.
Depending on his demands, pending free agent Julius Peppers could solve that issue immediately. Aaron Kampman would be a risky move because he’s currently recovering from an ACL injury.
There will be plenty of guys available in the draft that could fit the mold, especially in the first round. The Eagles would likely have to trade up to get Carlos Dunlap, Everson Griffen, or Derrick Morgan. They’ve proven in the past that they’re not afraid to make that move if they feel a player is worth it.
Another pass rushing tackle wouldn’t hurt as well. That guy could be Laws, but he has a lot of work to do this offseason. If Sean McDermott really isn’t please with Laws, the Eagles might address that.
As I stated earlier, if the Eagles are able to produce a constant four man rush, the entire defense will improve immensely. It will also make their blitz package more effective because it won’t be as predictable.