Offseason team needs: Eagles defense

Eagles chart - defense


DE: Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton, and Cullen Jenkins should all make seamless transitions from 4-3 DT to 3-4 DE. Added depth would be nice, but this position should be low priority.

NT: The only thing close to a 3-4 NT on the Eagles’ current roster is Antonio Dixon. Here are some observations I made of Dixon from way back in August, when the Eagles were in Lehigh for training camp:

  • One D lineman that does not look good right now is Antonio Dixon.  He is apparently down from the 360 pound range last year to around 330 this year.  He may very well be 330, but he’s playing like he’s 360.  Slow.  No push at all.
  • Antonio Dixon had another bad day, from what I saw of him.  On one play in particular, he was single-blocked with ease by Julian Vandervelde.  Dixon looked to be doing little more than leaning on him.  I don’t know if that was due to fatigue or what, but it wasn’t pretty. He also jumped offsides once.  I would say that I think his roster spot could be in serious danger, but the Eagles are down so many guys on the DL right now that he could be safe simply because he’s still standing.
  • Antonio Dixon showed me absolutely nothing this offseason, and I’d feel totally comfortable picking up a player off the street while I await Mike Patterson’s return.

Yeesh. Dixon’s training camp last offseason has completely tainted my opinion of him. NT may very well be the Eagles’ most glaring need on a roster full of holes.

OLB: This year at the week of Senior Bowl practices, the Eagles spoke with four pass rushers.  They were (in alphabetical order):

Continued at the Allentown Morning Call…


  1. ct17 says:

    Trent Cole is on a young deal and would be expensive to cut.

    If you look at the teams that were in the playoffs this year, defensive continuity in the system is a common theme. The teams that think you can switch schemes at will are the ones that have losing records year after year. They keep on losing because they spend all their draft picks to fit the new scheme rather than get better.

  2. rage114 says:

    Jimmy, you do realize now that you assumed the defense will switch to a 3-4, the Eagles will surprise the world and keep the 4-3, right?

  3. Redskins Fan says:

    Your homerism is coming out here Jimmy. The only reason Demeco Ryans was traded to you was because he CAN’T play a 3-4, he’s a 4-3 only player. He will not be fine making the transition.

    I know you want him to be, because he was probably your best player on defense… but that doesn’t change the past.

    1. Turd.Ferguson says:

      That’s not true. Demeco was traded because he was hurt, was getting paid a ton, and had Brian Cushing playing behind him. Demeco was traded because Cushing had proven very capable of playing the position for a lot less money and he wasn’t hurt.

    2. RogerPodacter says:

      Cushing was the superstar LB that stayed on the field more (3 down LB).
      Ryans was then getting paid a boat load of money to not play too much.
      add in the injury recovery and i can see why houston would want to trade him away.

    3. Joe D says:

      As an Eagles fan I have tend to agree. Eagles fans keep changing the resaon why he was traded… He wasnt a 3-4 guy and Cushing was killing it for awhile there. The transition is gonna be shaky at best if Meco stays

  4. immynimmy says:

    Here’s how you solve the defensive problems:

    1: Luke Joeckel OT [Offensive line needs help…BPA]

    2: Jonathon Cyprien FS/SS [Just solved safety issue…sign a FA like Byrd if not franchised]

    2a [trade up using 3rd and 4th]: Desmond Trufant CB [solved CB issue. Cut Nnamdi and re-sign DRC. I have no idea how people want to cut both. We would have no other starters]

    5th: Kwame Geathers NT [I fucking would LOVE it if we got Geathers. Great size (6’5″ 355 lbs but athletic enough where he plays like he’s 320), great value in the 5th round, dude is built like a rock, and this rock doesn’t move…he does the moving, can eat up blocks with ease, the only problem is he doesn’t have eye-popping stats but playing alongside Cox and Thorton/Jenkins I’m sure he would perform.

    6th: Travis Long OLB [great value, underrated player, good pass rusher, good size, think of Connor Barwin type player]

    7th: Kyle Juszczyk FB [I would love to see what Kelly can do with him…this is just one of those picks]

    7th: Spencer Long OG [O line depth]

    1. RogerPodacter says:

      if it is decided they move to a 3-4 as we all expect, they could very well trade some players that don’t fit the new scheme. they could use that for more draft picks, not just for other players.

    2. mjoedgaard says:

      I really like your mock draft, but I cant see the point in adding the Juice. Havili brings the same to the table and he is a better pass catchers and RB than the Juice. I also think a team like the Niners will draft him before the 7th, because he fits perfectly into what they do on offense.

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