The Eagles don’t have another scheduled practice until the end of July and free agency seems to have ended for the club. Barring any unforeseen news, we won’t hear from the team for at least a month. So while we have some down-time, it’s time to grade out the best Eagles at each position over the last two decades. The Philadelphia Eagles have been one of the winningest teams in football over the last 20 years with two Super Bowl appearances, one title, and six conference championship appearances.
Today is the final edition of our series with covering the safety position.
5. Michael Lewis
Lewis’ rise in Philadelphia was as fast as his fall. A 2002 second round selection, Lewis made the pro-bowl along with Brian Dawkins and Lito Sheppard in 2004. It was one of the rare times that a team had sent three players in their secondary to the pro-bowl.
Lewis was dominant in 2004 and 2005, totaling over 85 tackles in three straight seasons. The reason he isn’t higher is because his fall was stunning. In 2006, the safety was replaced by Sean Considine and never got to play in Philadelphia again.
4. Quintin Mikell
There were a ton of Eagle safeties that were underrated and under-appreciated because of who they played alongside with. Mikell was a prime example of this.
A very solid eight year career in Philadelphia, Mikell made the pro-bowl once and was a two time second team All-Pro. Mikell mixed very well with Dawkins in his final years in Philadelphia and was a major reason the ’08 Eagles were one of the best defenses in football.
3. Rodney McLeod
McLeod’s numbers don’t really stick out as well as the next two on this list, but his impact on the Philadelphia community, and the locker room is extremely important.
His best year came in 2017 when the former Ram intercepted three passes, had six passes defensed and forced one fumble. In the playoff game against Atlanta that year, McLeod came through with a huge sack and massive deflection late in the third quarter to keep momentum on Philly’s side.
A role model in the community, McLeod certainly deserves this role.
2. Malcolm Jenkins
What more can you honestly say about Jenkins that hasn’t already been said. A Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, a three time Pro-Bowler, two-time Super Bowl champion and leader in the clubhouse.
Jenkins was the consummate professional in Philadelphia and was the best player on a collective defense that needed a voice and leader.
Enter Malcolm Jenkins.
You can pick any year over his six years in Philadelphia and can argue they were his best. He never missed a snap for the Eagles and solidified the back end. He was one of the main leaders on the Super Bowl team in 2017 and beyond.
Any other franchise probably has Jenkins as the best safety in their history. Jenkins is an all-time great Eagle, but he’s not number one on this list.
1. Brian Dawkins
A Hall of Famer. 9x Pro-Bowler. 4x first-team All-Pro. One of the greatest Eagles of All-Time, and the face of the franchise for over a decade.
The accolades speak for themselves. Dawkins is the greatest Eagles safety to ever live and will forever be beloved in the city. There won’t be a child 100 years from now who won’t know about Brian Dawkins in Philadelphia.
He is on the Eagles Mt. Rushmore. Philadelphia sports Mt. Rushmore, and will forever be.
The only debate is where do you put him on a list of Reggie White and Chuck Bednarik? Those are the greatest Eagles of all-time and Dawkins is right there with them.
He didn’t become a full-time starter until 2007, but then was as dependable as they came.
Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire