2011 NFL Free Agency: 6 Defensive Players The Philadelphia Eagles Must Target

Jason KarlAnalyst IIIJanuary 21, 2011

2011 NFL Free Agency: 6 Defensive Players The Philadelphia Eagles Must Target

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 05:  Tamba Hali #91 of the Kansas City Chiefs sacks quarterback Kyle Orton #8 of the Denver Broncos during the game on December 5, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    The Philadelphia Eagles offense is prolific and built for the future. They have weapons at every position, and the offensive line needs a couple of pieces to be solid.

    The defense, on the other hand, is not so good. With a lack of playmakers, former Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott had almost no chance to succeed.

    Was it his fault the defense was a bunch of undrafted players, as well as numerous seventh-round picks?

    This defense needs major upgrades, especially starting with a nonexistent pass rush and a complement at cornerback to star Asante Samuel.

    So, here are six defensive studs the Eagles should like to sign in the 2011 offseason:

6. Jason Babin

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    PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 08:  Jason Babin #94 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrate after he sacked quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys in the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on November 8, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Could we see Babin in this uniform again?

    He is very likely to come to Philadelphia, especially after the Jim Washburn hiring. Babin even talked about his future, calling it a "tough decision" on whether to follow Washburn and rejoin the Eagles or stay in Tennessee.

    Jason Babin had 12.5 sacks last year and could be a great complement to star pass rusher Trent Cole. Babin also, for the first time in his career, played the run extremely well.

    He had 58 tackles, which is a solid number for a guy more known for his pass rush.


5. Chad Greenway

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    MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 17:  Tight end Jason Witten #82 of the Dallas Cowboys tries to get away from Chad Greenway #52 of the Minnesota Vikings during the game at Mall of America Field on October 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    The addition of Greenway to the Eagles would finally give them a playmaking player at linebacker. Greenway started off slowly in his career, but is finally reaching elite status.

    If the Eagles let Stewart Bradley go in free agency, Greenway can come in and play the strongside linebacker and impact both the run and pass defense.

    Greenway had 144 tackles this year and was one of the few bright spots on the Vikings defense.

    He would upgrade a group of young linebackers and could quickly become a defensive leader for this team.

4. Ray Edwards

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    CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 14: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears runs for a first down as Ray Edwards #91 of the Minnesota Vikings gives chase at Soldier Field on November 14, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Vikings 27-13. (Photo by Jonathan Da
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Edwards is young at 26 and is a rising superstar at defensive end. The Eagles can finally have a competent player across from Trent Cole to apply pressure.

    Ray Edwards, in a down year, had eight sacks and also missed two games. He is a complete defensive end, like Trent Cole, and could be worth the long-term investment.

    The Vikings will try to keep him, but there is no doubt the Eagles should pay to upgrade one of their biggest weaknesses on the team.

3. Haloti Ngata

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 13:  Haloti Ngata #92 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after a play against the New York Jets during their Jets home opener at the New Meadowlands Stadium on September 13, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by J
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The Baltimore Ravens will do everything they can to re-sign one of their best players on defense, one that certainly makes the defense elite.

    Ngata can play defensive tackle in our 4-3 scheme and be effective. He would be an upgrade over the guy many thought would be the better defensive tackle in that 2006 draft, Brodrick Bunkley.

    The Eagles would be foolish not to make an offer to this guy, even though in all likelihood he will remain with the Ravens.

2. Tamba Hali

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 02:  Linebacker Tamba Hali #91 of the Kansas City Chiefs rushes the quarterback in a game against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Tim Umphrey/Getty Images)
    Tim Umphrey/Getty Images

    Hali plays the linebacker position in the 3-4, but can make the transition back to the 4-3 defensive end.

    He is big at 6'3", 275 pounds and can certainly dominate the opponent's offensive line, evidenced by his 14.5 sacks with the Chiefs this season.

    Hali would combine with Cole to form arguably the best defensive end tandem in the league. Both are complete defensive ends who can terrorize the opponent.

1. Nnamdi Asomugha

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    SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 05:  Nnamdi Asomugha #21 the Oakland Raiders looks on from the sideline against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on December 5, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 28-13.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Ge
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    If you are an Eagles fan, did you really expect someone other than Asomugha be at No. 1 on this list?

    Asomugha is the best defensive back in football. He can play against the run, play off coverage, zone coverage and man-to-man coverage (which is what the Eagles run the majority of the time).

    Asmougha and Samuel would form the best cornerback tandem in the league.

    On one side you have the shutdown corner, while on the other you have the playmaker, who is a ballhawk.

    Scary, huh?

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