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Eagles Rookie Profile: Josh Sweat has Pro Bowl upside

Get to know the Eagles’ new pass rusher.

Florida v Florida State Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles selected Josh Sweat with the No. 130 overall pick in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. In order to learn more about the new Eagles defensive end, I reached out to SB Nation’s Florida State site, Tomahawk Nation. Seminoles writer Adam Brown was kind enough to answer my questions.

1) Can you sum up what his college career was like?

Sweat’s college career was productive but always left you wanting more. In the Florida State defense, he often was reacting to run game before rushing the passer. Sweat showed flashes at times of being an explosive pass rusher but the opportunities did not come often. Sweat’s knee injury has been talked about quite a bit and I would say that slowed his development. Sweat took too many plays off in his time at Florida State which always stood out to fans. It would be unfair to say his career was a disappointment because I do not think he got the chance to showcase his skills.

2) What are his strengths?

Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher often spoke about Sweat’s strength and power and you could often find examples of this in games. Sweat was good at setting an edge in the run game with his powerful lower body and hands. Sweat has first round measurables and his 4.5 at the Combine was an eye opener. Sweat shows athleticism when he plays that projects well to the NFL and Eagles defensive scheme. Josh shows the ability to bend on the edge to get around tackles or change direction in run game pursuit. Sweat should be able to kick inside in pass rush packages.

3) What are his weaknesses?

The biggest thing people are going to give as a negative for Sweat’s game is his slow take-offs. I believe this was due to the scheme he was in and doesn’t reflect true take-off ability. For the power that Sweat can create through his hips and lower body he is very lean in his legs which hurts him at times. Sweat lacks any true pass rush moves outside of the bull rush and blow by. I do question Sweat’s motor at times as he took plays off at Florida State. Sweat is a project coming out of college and his game will have to be developed. The knee is a concern and something to monitor but it didn’t hinder his time on the field at Florida State.

4) Are you surprised where he was drafted? Higher or lower than expected?

Following Sweat’s Combine performance, I was surprised he made it into the fourth round. I thought Sweat should have returned to Florida State for another year in a new defense to showcase his ability. I thought that Sweat had fourth round tape but first round potential so I expected him to go in the early third. He should be thanking somebody though as the Philadelphia Eagles are the perfect fit for him. He can come off the bench and learn from some truly elite pass rushers. The scheme fit is there as well.

5) How do you see his NFL career playing out?

I anticipate Sweat being a regular in the rotation of pass rushers for the Eagles after year one. He has Pro Bowl upside but it is going to take some time and effort to get there. If Sweat can improve his get off and find consistent effort he should be a big time steal for the Eagles. I would not be shocked to see Sweat make an impact in spurts this upcoming year but think he makes a big jump year one to year two.

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