Philadelphia Eagles: Top Five Non-Pro Bowl Talents: Defense Edition
A few days ago I did a piece on the top five non-pro bowl talents on the offense and, as promised, I have come up with five on defense.
I had this slideshow finished yesterday and my No. 1 slide was CB Sheldon Brown, so obviously yesterday threw a bit of a monkey wrench in my slideshow, so I started again.
As you will see my new top five will consist of new players the Eagles just acquired and players that were on the Eagles' roster in 2009.
Hope you all enjoy!
Stewart Bradley—Middle Linebacker
The Eagles need Stewart Bradley to return to his former self before enduring a season ending injury at the Eagles Flight Night on Aug., 2, 2009.
Bradley quickly made a name for himself his rookie season in 2007 in his first career start.
He became the first player in franchise history to register both a sack and an interception against New Orleans QB Drew Brees at New Orleans on Dec., 23, 2007.
In Bradley's first season as the Eagles starter he finished second on the team with 151 tackles in 2008.
Nobody knows how Bradley's injury affected the Eagles defense in 2009 like defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and he is hoping Bradley's return in 2010 can put an end to the revolving door at the middle linebacker position.
Can Stew return to the pro bowl worthy player he was in 2008 or will the knee injury prove to have taken its toll on a fantastic young talent.
If the Eagles draft a LB in the 2010 draft I have come up with a short list of possible players who could fill the need but it is included on a different slide!
Ellis Hobbs—Cornerback/Punt Returner
Now that CB Sheldon Brown has been traded to the Cleveland Browns, looking at the other corners the Eagles have it would seem fitting to believe that CB/PR Ellis Hobbs will become the second corner opposite Asante Samuel.
The 5'9" 195 pound Iowa State product was drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round (84th overall) of the 2005 NFL draft.
Entering his sixth season, Hobbs has become a solid cornerback in the NFL and a prolific return man, setting the NFL record for his 108-yard kickoff return in 2007.
He has notched a total of 11 INTs, nine regular season and two postseason INTs, 174 tackles, and two and a half sacks.
The Eagles have a question mark now that Sheldon has been traded so if the Eagles decide to go with a cornerback in the first round of the 2010 draft, I'll provide three potential suitors. The talent at said position is slim in this years draft so bear with me and if I missed someone let me know!
2010 Cornerback Prospects:
1. Joe Haden—Florida (Jr.)
2. Patrick Robinson—Florida State
3. Kyle Wilson—Boise State
Darryl Tapp—Defensive End
The Eagles believe they found a defensive end that can compliment Trent Cole beautifully.
As a backup on the Seattle Seahawks roster, defensive end Darryl Tapp put up some numbers that just jump right out at you.
The 6'1" 270 pound product of Virginia Tech, notched 149 solo tackles, 37 assisted tackles (186 total), and has also produced 18 sacks, 11 defended passes, eight forced fumbles, and two INTs, one of which he returned for six points.
Tapp's four year stint with the Seahawks ended this offseason when the Eagles proposed a trade sending defensive end Chris Clemons and a fourth round pick to Seattle for Tapp's services.
Darryl is the best option so far at the LDE position at this point in time and I believe the Eagles feel he is the man that will help make the defensive line a much more feared line if he can continue his level of play as a starter that he applied as a backup.
The Eagles could still draft a defensive end in this months draft and if they did it would most likely happen with one of the second round picks the Eagles have or in the third round.
If they do decide to draft a DE in the first round here are some prospects.
2010 Defensive End Prospects:
1. Carlos Dunlap—Florida (Jr.)
2. Greg Hardy—Ole Miss
3. Brandon Graham—Michigan
When Brian Dawkins parted ways with the Eagles multiple players like Demps, Macho Harris, and Sean Jones all try to become the Eagles starting safety.
Drafted in the fourth round of the 2008 draft Demps was expected to become Dawkins' replacement when the time came. Well, that time came and Demps didn't produce even though it was widely speculated that he would be a very physical force at the safety position.
Quintin lost his starting job in training camp to then rookie Macho Harris and then suffered multiple injuries in 2009.
In the second quarter of the Eagles-Panthers game Demps was sidelined by a hamstring injury that deemed him inactive for the remainder of that game and the next two contests.
He then suffered an ankle sprain on Dec., 27, 2009, that kept him out for two games against San Diego and Chicago.
Quintin has all the tools to be a great safety in the NFL. He has speed as we've all seen on his 100-yard kickoff return in 2008 and he is very strong—just not durable.
Can Demps resume responsibility as the starting safety or will his injuries in 2009 be reason enough for the Eagles to draft one in the higher rounds of this years draft?
I think the Eagles will make a trade on draft day to move up in the first round to acquire a stud safety to compete for the starting position.
2010 Safety Prospects:
1. Eric "superman" Berry—Tennessee (Jr.)
2. Taylor Mays—USC
3. Morgan Burnett—Georgia Tech (Jr.)
Akeem Jordan-Weakside Linebacker
Linebacker Akeem Jordan has been a fairytale story in the Philadelphia Eagles organization.
Originally drafted as a rookie free agent out of James Madison, a division l-AA school, Jordan jump started his career midway through the 2008 season when he was promoted from the team's practice squad to active roster.
After opening some Eagles executive eyes, and possibly his own, Jordan showed up at training camp in 2009 ready for business.
He approached his offseasson vigorously and his reward was being named the Eagles starting weakside linebacker for the 2009 campaign.
Jordan had a career year in 2009 contributing 82 tackles in just 12 games, which was third on the team. He managed two INTs in a single season which has not been done since Ike Reese back in 2004.
The first one came on Sept., 13, 2009 against the Panthers and the second one occurred Sept., 20, 2009 when the Eagles squared off with the Super Bowl champions New Orleans Saints.
At first glance one might say he only had two picks last year but if you look at the dates again you will see they came in back-to-back games, which has not happened since the William Thomas days back in 1995.
Jordan is a quick linebacker who is showing he has a knack for making plays. With a full season under his belt as a starter I expect he will come out even better in 2010.
Linebacker is still a must in this years draft in my opinion.
2010 Linebacker Prospects: Round One
1. Brandon Spikes—Florida
2. Sean Weatherspoon—Missouri
3. Rolondo McClain—Alabama