Defensive Line facing the most pressure entering 2017

There’s no doubt Carson Wentz will be facing the pressure this season.  A lack luster second half led to some ups and downs during his rookie year.  I expect more of the same from Wentz this year.  I believe he’ll be better but there will still be growing pains.  It happens with all young QBs.  All the pressure for me falls on the defensive line.  This unit needs to be better both against the run and the pass.  Timmy Jernigan and Chris Long have been added and will surely help the depth along the line.  Going into 2016 the DL was going to reck havoc on opposing Offensive Lines.  Brandon Graham was a bright spot.  He continued to make plays but really wasn’t able to finish at the QB.  Fletcher Cox led the team in sacks but based on his contract and 15 production he didn’t live up to his or our standards.  Did Vinny Curry dress for any games during the 2016 season?  He wasn’t quite 100% dealing with an MCL sprain for part of the season but injuries are no excuse.  He was paid a lot of money and didn’t produce at all.  I can guarantee the Eagles have looked at ways to get out of his contract in the future.

As our Eagles wrap up another week of OTA’s and head towards training camp the success of this season and DL is tied together.  This Eagles defense as a whole is in transition.  At every level of the defense the Eagles have a playmaker.  By my count with age as a factor they have three individuals they can build around.  Again I mentioned age as a factor so take out the Malcom Jenkins of the world.  At 30 years old he’s not a player the Eagles can necessarily build around for years to come.  He’s a win now player.  That being said this DL can mask some of the problems in the secondary.  The Eagles will struggle against the pass this year.  They have some young DB’s they think can ultimately produce a solid tandem going back to the Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent days followed by the Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown days.  A solid, stout fundamental DL can help with pass defense.  The addition of 1st Round Pick Derek Barnett and 6th round Elijah Qualls will certainly boost the play of this unit.  By all accounts Barnett has been impressive during practice so far.  It will be fun to see what he does in pads during camp when the hitting begins.

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