When looking at the Philadelphia Eagles defense, the strength of that side of the ball is up front.

Veterans Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Ryan Kerrigan, Javon Hargrave, Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat give the Eagles a formidable group.

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They have been of the top teams in the NFL at generating pressure of the quarterback, and that’s why Pro Football Focus’ Ben Linsey has the Eagles ranked as the fifth best defensive line unit entering the 2021 season.

Philadelphia’s defensive line has consistently been one of the NFL's best at generating pressure without blitzing. That was the case again last season, as the Eagles were one of just two teams with a pressure rate above 40% without the aid of the blitz.

The Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham pairing has been at the core of the unit for nearly a decade, but Javon Hargrave’s addition in free agency last offseason gives Philadelphia another player on the interior who offenses must contend with on passing downs. Hargrave ranks in the 91st percentile of qualifying interior defenders in pass-rushing grade since 2019.


Graham made his first Pro Bowl in 2020, recording 46 tackles tackles and 8.5 sacks last season. Cox has consistently been one of the top pass rushing interior lineman and Hargrave has a solid season after getting off to a slow start due to injury.


The Eagles also added Kerrigan, who is the all-time leader at sacking the quarterback for the Washington Football Team, and has Sweat is a pass rushing specialist who had six sacks in limited snaps.

The Eagles need a big season from former first-round pick Derek Barnett, who has dealt with injuries throughout his time in Philadelphia. The team also added some younger players through the draft with Milton Williams and Marlon Tuipulotu.

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