Now that our All-NFC East offense team is in the books, it’s time to assemble the defense. And so that’s exactly what RJ Ochoa and I did in the latest NFC East Mixtape episode, which lives on both the Bleeding Green Nation and Blogging The Boys podcast feeds.
Listen to the show for the entire results but, for you non-podcast people out there, I’ll let you know that the Philadelphia Eagles finished with three out of the 11 starting spots. At least on my edition of the list, which differs a bit from RJ’s list and then the master edition we created.
Defensive end - Brandon Lee Graham
BLG is my favorite Eagles player, so it’s easy to accuse me of being biased with this pick. And I am. But I still genuinely believe he deserves to be on this list based on merit. No NFC East player has more sacks than his 16.5 over the past two seasons. He’s one of two edge rushers (the other being Chase Young) in the division to make a Pro Bowl in that same span. And Graham is just an awesome dude who’s always gonna bring max effort and energy in addition to a great locker room vibe. If you want to make the case that Montez Sweat can/will be better than him this year, that’s fair. But RJ trying to argue for DeMarcus Lawrence over him was silly. There are 50 players who have more sacks than DLaw over the past two years ... including Graham (and Sweat).
Defensive tackle - Fletcher Cox
Do I really need to explain this one? The bigger question is who to pick as DT2.
Safety - Rodney McLeod
Coming off another ACL injury doesn’t work in McLeod’s favor. But the Eagles’ Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee was having a good season before getting hurt. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed just a 47.3 passer rating when targeted. On a related note, McLeod finished as PFF’s eighth-best safety in terms of coverage grade. McLeod also had one of the lower missed tackles rates for his position. If you want to argue Anthony Harris should be here instead (or in addition), there’s a case for that. He might be able to get back to his 2019 form when he led all safeties in interceptions. But he’s going off a down 2020 season.
Combining the offense and defense, here’s how the 22 starting spots were ultimately divvied up by team:
Dallas Cowboys — 6
Philadelphia Eagles — 5.5
New York Giants — 4.5
Blame RJ for the halves. And, yes, Darius Slay didn’t make the cut at cornerback.
THE REVERSE REVIEW: If you’re an Eagles fan who enjoys the NFC East Mixtape, leave us a rating and review on BGN’s Apple podcast feed telling us that you like the show! If you’ve already done so (or if not), however, you can also go over to BTB’s Apple podcast feed and also leave a review there. You’re even encouraged to trash talk the Cowboys as long as you leave a 5-star rating. And if you’re somehow a Cowboys fan reading this, well, I’ll allow you to poke fun at the Eagles in the Apple podcast review section as long as you leave a 5-star rating as well. Thanks for the support as we try to get this new weekly pod off the ground!
Post your own All-NFC East defense in the comment section below. Here’s the format we used as a guide: