Eagles 53-Man Roster Prediction: Defensive Line

PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 26: Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (91) chat during the game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles on December 26, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

With Eagles camp just about two weeks away, it’s time to speculate who will make the final cut and be a part of the 2022 Philadelphia Eagles.

Today, we look at who stays and who goes with the defensive line. As of right now, we have 26 current players on the roster, and the Eagles have historically kept nine defensive linemen. Let’s see who stays on this year.

DL on the Roster

Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham, Tarron Jackson, Matt Leo, Josh Sweat, Fletcher Cox, Jordan Davis, Noah Eliss, Javon Hargrave, Milton Williams, Marvin Wilson, Renell Wren, Maron Tuipulotu

DL that should make the 53-man Roster

Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham, Tarron Jackson, Josh Sweat, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Jordan Davis, Milton Williams, Maron Tuipulotu

Last year, the team carried five defensive ends and four tackles. I think this year it switches up for a couple of reasons.

First, the addition of linebacker Haason Reddick as a pass rushing dynamo negates the need for a fifth defensive end. I don’t put Reddick on the DL because he is more of a replacement for Genard Avery anyway. Then you have the flexibility of Milton Williams. Williams can play both inside and outside and his improvement will be a determining factor of how good the Eagles front seven can be.

There are, of course, question marks. At 34-years-old, Brandon Graham is a player that is coming off major surgery and could begin to show his age. How he performs will be a huge question mark going into the season.

The next duo up is Josh Sweat and Derek Barnett. Sweat should be the unquestioned starter on the other side of Graham and could be in for a big season. Barnett was brought back when 31 other teams told him that having more penalties than sacks is a bad thing. Could he be a good backup? Sure. Is he good enough that I would trust him in case Graham or Sweat go down to injury? No way in hell.

The Eagles do like what they have seen from Tarron Jackson so his development will be on to watch from last year’s draft class. On the defensive tackle side, Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave paired together will look to continue to play well while the living tank that is Jordan Davis will fill in extremely nicely in his first year.

As always, the Eagles defensive line will determine how good this roster will be. If they improve on the sack number that was 31st in the league, the defense could be a lot better next year. If not, it could be a very long and disappointing season in Philly.