The 2016 NFL offseason has begun for the Philadelphia Eagles, which means Howie Roseman and new head coach Doug Pederson will spend the next couple of weeks evaluating the 2015 roster. The team went 7-9 last season and improvement is clearly needed. By the time NFL free agency starts on March 9, the Eagles will have a good idea of which players they'll want to bring back for the 2016 season. Today we'll continue this offseason review series by looking at the nose tackle position.
Numbers: 598 snaps, 1 sack, 1 hit, 11 hurries, 39 tackles
Review: Remember when some thought Logan was too small to play nose tackle? He disproved that once again in 2015 by having a beastly season. Logan finished finished in tackles among 3-4 nose tackles and 4-3 defensive tackles. He ranked second overall in "Run Stop Percentage," which is a Pro Football Focus signature stat that essentially tries to gauge meaningful tackles. So not just tackles where an offensive player runs through a defense and a guy finally brings him down, but instead a tackle where the defender made a good play. In other words, Logan was a run-stuffing force.
Bennie Logan being Bennie Logan. https://t.co/j0FL4UGAug— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) February 11, 2016
Bennie Logan > La'el Collins https://t.co/98MKrGzv5w— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) February 11, 2016
Logan's value to the team was apparent. Philadelphia's run defense was the best in the league early in the season before Logan got hurt and it completely fell apart. Many attribute the Eagles' defensive decline to the amount of snaps played and the loss of impressive rookie Jordan Hicks. Those were definitely significant factors, but so was losing Logan.
In the Eagles' old 3-4 two-gap scheme, Logan was required to read and react. He was very good at doing that, but it didn't free him up to make plays as a pass rusher. In Philadelphia's new 4-3 scheme, Logan will have the chance to attack. The combination of him and Cox as 4-3 defensive tackles should make for a very strong interior defensive line.
Numbers: 349 snaps, 18 tackles, 2 pass deflections
Review: Allen was the primary backup to Logan. He didn't really stand out in a positive way last season. As I mentioned earlier, the run defense declined when he was in and Logan was out. He might be a fine backup player but he didn't show enough to be a good starter.
Who Could Leave
Logan had never played in a 3-4 before joining the Eagles in 2013. Allen, meanwhile, played in a 4-3 defense three out of his four seasons with Wisconsin. One would think these players should be able to handle Philadelphia's scheme change.
Who Could Sign
The Eagles' starting defensive tackles will likely be Logan and Fletcher Cox. The depth behind them could be light so they'll need to fill out the roster at that spot. Nick Fairley has already been suggested. This is a spot where the Eagles could look to add a veteran backup.
NFL Draft Options
Copying and pasting what I wrote before: "There are a number of intriguing interior defensive line prospects in this draft, including A'Shawn Robinson, Robert Nkemdiche, and Andrew Billings. The Eagles have young and talent on the inside so they certainly don't need to force a pick. They could afford to draft some depth, though."