Welcome back to the weekly BGN Mailbag. This post will be here every weekend from now until early August or so. Thanks to everyone on Twitter who sent in a question. Let's talk some Eagles football.
To the Q&A...
@FREDFFIV asks: Which new defensive addition will have the biggest impact next year?
The Eagles added a slew of new defenders to their roster this offseason. The biggest playmaker of the bunch is Kiko Alonso. He's an impact player. As a rookie, he had four interceptions, five passes defensed, one forced fumble, and two fumbles recoveries. That's great, and it's not just a fluke. In his final two years at Oregon, Alonso had six interceptions, nine passes defensed, and two forced fumbles. It's not perfectly clear how the Eagles' inside linebacker situation is going to play out, but it's safe to say Alonso will be on the field quite a bit after the team traded LeSean McCoy away for him. And when he's out there, he will be making plays.
@Pdubzzz23 asks: Will Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham both have 10+ sacks this season?
The Eagles' beastly defensive line can make it possible, but I don't think it's likely. Barwin's coming off a 14.5 sack performance in 2014 but I think he's going to hover more around the eight mark this year. As for Graham, I could see him reaching 10 before Barwin does. Graham has been a really good pass rusher in limited snaps, so it'll be interesting to see how he holds up with more playing time.
10+ sacks for Barwin and Graham or not, Philadelphia's pass rush still projects to be very good in 2015. Fletcher Cox is a monster who draws attention and generates pressure. He opens up opportunities for Barwin, just like he did last season. Vinny Curry has been very effective off the bench and the team could be looking to get him on the field more often. Graham can use his strong combination of power and speed to beat blockers. Barwin's a great athlete who can take advantage of the space he's given. Then there's Mychal Kendricks who can rush from the inside linebacker position. It's just a really good unit.
@gowd11 asks: Out of all the free agent acquisitions, who is at most risk for re-injury?
Sam Bradford's injury history is obviously scary, but I think Walter Thurmond could be the biggest injury risk. He's had issues dating back to his senior season at Oregon in 2009. He's never played a full 16 game season, and he's played a total of 22 games in the past four years. That's an average of 5.5 games per season. Not only is Thurmond an injury risk, but the team can't really afford to lose him. The converted cornerback is the Eagles' best option at safety next to Malcolm Jenkins.
@ZipSquad_JihaD asks: Seen reports Jaylen Watkins and Travis Long are on the roster bubble. Why cut them over the older Chris Maragos and Bryan Braman?
"There's three ways to make this football team: special teams, special teams, special teams." - Chip Kelly, circa September 2013.
It's as simple as that. Maragos and Braman are really good special teams players. The former led the team in ST tackles while the latter finished fifth. There's more to special teams than tackles, which is why I suggest you check this piece which highlights Braman's blocking, but both players are responsible for Philadelphia's special teams unit being the best in the NFL last season.
@GottahBV asks: What are the top 3 options for an Eagles jersey (based on long-term potential)?
Check out Dave's Official Eagles Jersey Buying Guide for everything you need to know. As far as my opinion goes, I would say Jason Peters, Connor Barwin, and Fletcher Cox. I think you're going to get good mileage out of those ones. Peters may be reaching the end of his career but he's a future Hall of Famer. Barwin is a player you can be proud of both on and off the field. I have a really hard time believing Cox won't be around for the considerable future. He's such as beast and he's only 24.
@Southern_Philly asks: Tupac or Biggie?
The Notorious BLG says ... Tupac.