What About NT?

Posted: April 14th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

Malik Jackson played the 3-tech role for Jacksonville. I watched a lot of his tape and never saw him line up as the NT. That doesn’t mean he can’t do it, but his specialty is playing the 3-tech. Fletcher Cox can play anywhere he damn well pleases…3-tech, NT, DE. He’s that good. You don’t want him at NT too much because it can be easier to double-team him.

Treyvon Hester is a quick, up the field DT. He’s better suited for the 3-tech role. Bruce Hector isn’t anything special athletically, but he makes plays more with effort than size or power.

Basically, no one on the current roster is a true NT. Tim Jernigan played that role the past two years. While he’s not a particularly big DT, Jernigan is powerful and plays with great leverage. He wasn’t afraid to do the dirty work, eating up blocks and stuffing the run.

Do the Eagles need to draft a NT? The team has shown a lot of interest in pass-rushing DTs, but not so much with big guys. In today’s NFL, you don’t need mammoth DTs who can hold the point, play after play. You do need DTs that can play the run effectively. As Jernigan did. And Bennie Logan before him. Interestingly, both are still available as free agents. The Eagles could sign one of them, or some other veteran, after the draft.

Once May 7th comes, you can sign free agents and not have it affect the compensatory pick formula. I think that is why there has been so little movement in the past couple of weeks. Teams are focused on the draft, but also hesitant to sign players until May.

I do expect some signings around the draft. Not all teams are going to be in the hunt for comp picks so they don’t all have a reason to wait.

There is one interesting target at DT, Dexter Lawrence. He is 6-4, 342. He has long arms and big hands. Lawrence did 36 reps at the Combine and ran 5.05. That’s a crazy time for a guy that big. Clearly he’s not just a run-stuffer.

That’s a powerful DT, but one who has good agility and skill. He would be an interesting addition to the Eagles DL.

Per Tony Pauline, Lawrence is a hot name right now and could go earlier than expected. That means the Eagles might not have a shot at him. If he does go earlier, that pushes someone else down.

Greg Gaines from Washington isn’t huge at 6-1, 308, but he is an outstanding run defender. He’s strong and physical. He can shed blocks. Good bull rusher. Excellent motor. Gaines could be a good role player in the NFL.

Daylon Mack from Texas A&M can be a fun player to watch. He is 6-1, 336 and is one powerful player.

Mack’s highlights are so fun. But you have to watch whole games to really get him. He can get blocked when he doesn’t win right away. Mack has the tools to be a starter in the NFL with his explosive first step and natural power. Still, he needs plenty of work. Mid-round target.

I am interested to see what the Eagles do at DT. They are going to have good options.

*****

Mills has his share of weaknesses, but being a wimp isn’t one of them.

If the Eagles want to punish Mills, they should bench him…until offenses get in the Red Zone.

*****

In case you need a good laugh.

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