If the Philadelphia Eagles could steal one player from the Detroit Lions, who it would be and why? Let’s keep that question in my as we preview the roster of the Eagles’ Week 3 opponent. (Depth charts via Ourlads.com.)
Matthew Stafford’s had an interesting career in that he’s been good enough to stick around as the Lions’ franchise passer but he hasn’t led the team to much success. The Marvin Lewis of quarterbacks, if you will. He’s 67-75-1 as a starter in the regular season, 0-3 in the playoffs, and has a 88.6 career passer rating. Stafford’s off to a good start through two games this year with a 102.6 passer rating. I don’t think he’s a total slouch, by any means. But he’s also not someone who strikes fear into the hearts of men.
Kerryon Johnson showed enticing potential in 2018 as he averaged 5.4 yards per carry. He’s off to a slower start in 2019 with just a 3.2 average and zero touchdowns. Johnson does have four receptions for 60 yards and one score, however. Lions rookie running back Ty Johnson has only logged six carries this season but he’s gained 36 yards on them. The speedster could be a nice change of pace guy in the backfield. Still, I think the Eagles would be sticking with what they have at running back and hoping Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard can play better.
Wide receiver is an obvious spot of interest given the injuries to DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery. Kenny Golladay has 12 receptions for a team-high 159 yards (13.3 average) and two touchdowns so far. The Eagles could certainly use him on their team right now. Golladay could be primed for a big game given how Philadelphia’s leaky secondary has allowed the second most passing yards in franchise history through two weeks.
T.J. Hockenson — the No. 8 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft — is off to a strong start with seven receptions for 138 yards (whopping 19.7 average) and one touchdown. He’s only a rookie but he’s the most threatening tight end the Eagles have had to face so far. Philly could really use him on their side with Dallas Goedert banged up.
The Lions have talent on the offensive line. Football Outsiders has Detroit ranked seventh best in adjusted sack rate through two games. In Week 2, the Chargers failed to sack Stafford at all and they only logged one hit on him for the entire game. And this happened despite the Lions missing starting left tackle Taylor Decker. The Eagles have yet to have a defensive end register a sack this season. The pressure to generate some pressure is on and it might not be so easy for the Birds.
The Eagles aren’t the only NFL team whose defensive ends haven’t yet logged a full sack. The only two sacks produced by the Lions’ defensive line have been half sacks by Romeo Okwara and A’Shawn Robinson. Marquee free agent signing Trey Flowers has only logged a single quarterback hit through two games so far. Pro Football Focus has the Lions’ pass rush graded 20th out of 32. (For reference, the Eagles are 15th.)
With Malik Jackson and Timmy Jernigan hurt, the Eagles could use some defensive tackle help. Snacks Harrison is a beast of a run-stuffer but he’s not providing much as a pass rusher. Mike Daniels could be the better fit for what the Eagles need on their defensive line right now.
The Lions’ linebackers have logged five sacks through two games: Devon Kennard has three, Jahlani Tavai has one, and Christian Jones has one. The Eagles don’t really put a high value on the linebacker position but adding Kennard or Tavai next to Bradham could be helpful.
Darius Slay is one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL. The 28-year-old has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of his past two seasons and he was first-team All Pro in 2017. Adding him to the Eagles’ secondary right now would alleviate some concerns with that unit. Slay’s job against the Eagles got easier this week with Jeffery and Jackson both potentially out. Wentz will have to avoid getting picked off by Slay like he did as a rookie back in 2016.
The pick comes down to Golladay versus Slay to me. With the Eagles being so undermanned at wide receiver, I think I have to go with Golladay. I’d rather count on Wentz and the offense to carry the defense than the other way around.
If you were deciding for the Eagles, who would you take?
Pick one Lions player to steal for the Eagles
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