July 20, 2020
|Brandon Graham||Genard Avery||Shareef Miller||Daeshon Hall|
|Derek Barnett||Josh Sweat||Joe Ostman||Casey Toohill|
The coaching staff's love of Barnett isn't matched by many fans, which is understandable, considering the following:
Barring an unexpected trade or DE signing, Sweat is now the Eagles' DE3, and he's going to receive a bump in playing time in 2020.
Sweat has a long injury history going back to high school, and he played in all 16 games in 2019, which is a good sign from a durability standpoint, even if he was only a rotational guy. In those 16 games, there were flashes where he looked like a potential starter, and other times in which he disappeared. On the season, he had 19 tackles (7 for loss), 4 sacks, and 10 hits on the quarterback.
Sweat was being hyped up by his teammates during 2019 training camp, and while he showed some progress during the season, he needs to continue to make significant jumps going forward. As he continues to figure out the NFL, his upside remains reasonably high, due to his freakish athleticism.
Avery is an explosive-but-undersized (6'0, 31" arms) pass rusher that the Eagles acquired at the 2019 trade deadline for a 2021 fourth-round pick, and he only wound up playing 33 snaps in the regular defense for the Eagles the rest of the season. While the trade for Golden Tate at the 2018 deadline was more of a "win-now" type of move, the trade for Avery had the long-term in mind, per Howie Roseman.
"He obviously had two and a half years left on his contract," Roseman said during his year-end press conference in January. "He was someone we thought was a young player who had explosive traits and when we talked to the defensive coaching staff, they said this trade will pay off more in the future than it will through the course of the year, and so we understood that. We understood that it was a high price to pay, but it's hard to find guys with his skill-set and he's a versatile guy. But he'll be best served with an offseason."
Obviously, Avery won't get that full offseason with the Eagles in 2020.
In April we took a detailed look at Avery's game, and cut up some clips in the following Twitter thread.
This offseason, we're looking at a handful of Eagles players who are either new, or are already with the team but we perhaps don't know a lot about them just yet due to limited action. Here we'll cover Genard Avery. 🔥 (Thread and article)https://t.co/wAKzjKT3DG— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) April 6, 2020
Avery's appeal is that he can maybe be a hybrid linebacker / pass rusher. The Eagles only used him as the latter, in his limited snaps. His best usage was as a stand-up rusher in a "Joker" role.
Miller was a 2019 fourth-round pick who was active for two games as a rookie, and he didn't play a single snap with the regular defense, when six other defensive ends were able to get on the field ahead of him. That's not ideal. #Analysis.
Ostman was having a very good camp in 2019 and was going to make the team before he tore his ACL in training camp. The Eagles tried using him in a variety of ways, including the aforementioned Joker role above. To be determined how far Ostman has come along in his recovery, and if he can impress in 2020 camp the same way he did a year ago.
Toohill is another undersized-but-athletic DE that the Eagles took a flier on in the seventh round of the 2020 draft because of his athleticism. His path to making the roster in the short term will have to come via special teams.