clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Eagles defensive line depth is absurd

A first rate second string

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Beau Allen and Vinny Curry in free agency, giving them two backups from the Eagles Super Bowl winning defensive line that they’ll start. Tampa Bay had the worst pass rush in the league last season with just 22 total sacks and a 3.9% sack rate, both worst in the league, along with a run defense that was bottom 10 in both yards per game and yards per carry. Allen and Curry should provide an upgrade for the Bucs, but even with these subtractions for the Eagles and additions for the Bucs, the Eagles second string defensive line is still superior. And they’re not the only team with starters looking up at the Eagles backups.

The Eagles look to enter the season with Derek Barnett, Chris Long, Haloti Ngata as 3/4ths of the 2nd string defensive line, with the second DT spot up for grabs among Destiny Vaeao, Elijah Qualls, Aziz Shittu, Winston Craig, and someone that may be acquired later on whether it be another veteran signing or a rookie draft pick or UDFA. Barnett (5), Long (5) and Ngata (2) totaled 12 sacks last season, and Ngata missed two thirds of the season. The trio also totaled 37 quarterback hits according to the NFL (Long 18, Barnett 16, Ngata 3).

Sacks and QB hits aren’t the the be all and end all for defensive line play, but getting to the QB is crucial in the NFL today, and these are individually credited stats. And this is not meant to be a scientific study anyway, it’s just a fun look at how ridiculous the Eagles defensive line is. If we look at 4-3 defenses, the Eagles backup linemen did better than three teams in sacks, and better than two in QB hits.

Projected lineup via Ourlads depth charts (sacks/QB hits)

Buccaneers: Noah Spence (1/9), Gerald McCoy (6/24), Beau Allen (1/4), Vinny Curry (3/18): 11 sacks/55 QB hits

Colts: Henry Anderson (2/7), Al Woods (1/2), Hassan Ridgeway (3/4), Jabaal Sheard (5.5/14): 11.5 sacks/27 QB hits

Bills: Manny Lawson (4/5), Kyle Williams (3/9), Star Lotulelei (1.5/5), Jerry Hughes (4/11): 12.5 sacks/30 QB hits

49ers: Arik Armstead (1.5/3), Earl Mitchell (1/3), DeForest Buckner (3/22), Solomon Thomas (3/11): 8.5 sacks/37 QB hits

And keep in mind, these totals are for four players, while the Eagles are for three.

Just beating out one team is enough, to out-sack and out-hit multiple teams starters is an embarrassment of riches.