Off-Season Notes: Philadelphia Eagles Continue to Emphasize Defensive Line Depth

Philadelphia Eagles Re-Sign DT Derek Landri!

The Philadelphia Eagles have had a relatively quiet off-season, with a big chunk of moves coming in-house, and a large portion of those being on the defensive line.

It started with the long-term extension of defensive end, Trent Cole, and continued on as the Eagles re-signed Antonio Dixon, restructured Cullen Jenkins’ contract, and now most recently Philadelphia has given a one-year deal to defensive tackle, Derek Landri. There have been rumors and speculation since the conclusion of last season that Philly was looking to make a move at defensive tackle in the draft, and that may still be the case, but the team is taking care of the players that are still available first and foremost.

Landri was kind of a quiet hero on the Eagles defense last season, as he was overshadowed by the star-power of Cullen Jenkins, Cole, and Jason Babin. But considering who he was playing with, Landri held his own and ended up finishing with a really impressive season — 21 tackles and two sacks in limited playing time. The attraction with Landri is that he fit Jim Washburn’s system beautifully and he was super effective coming off the bench to relieve Jenkins.

The one-year deal is reportedly worth somewhere in the ballpark of $1.8 million. Landri was trying to scout around and find a long-term offer from another team in free agency after Philadelphia made it clear a multi-year contract was off the table, but after realizing the market was bleak, he ended up back with the Eagles. It really was a good fit, and Landri couldn’t be part of a better defensive line set in the NFL.

But despite re-signing both Landri and Dixon, there is still a good chance the Eagles will look defensive tackle in the first round. The talent pool for defensive lineman in 2012 is insane, and Philadelphia could snag a huge steal in the first round to build around in the future.

Is that my first choice and my belief on the Eagles biggest need? Not a chance.

What I see these defensive line moves as being is something really simple — insurance. In the case that the Eagles projected player, whichever defensive lineman that might be, is taken before the team’s first-round pick, Philadelphia isn’t left cold-turkey with no one to fill-in on the line. There is still a chance that the team looks linebacker, but these moves signal that a defensive lineman may be on the horizon in the near future.

It certainly won’t be a fan-favorite pick, but that looks like the way the Eagles are leaning.

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2 Responses to “Off-Season Notes: Philadelphia Eagles Continue to Emphasize Defensive Line Depth”

  1. Toddo says:

    I definitely see the birds addressing the DT position in the draft; however I dont expect it to be with the first pick. I really believe the Birds FO realizes they need an impact player (a starter) with their first round pick. With that being said the only position to draft for is either safety or lb. With spending two second round picks in as many years on the safety position I think they give this young group one more go with a full season to right the ship. All road signs are pointing to…Kuechly from BC. There is a chance he falls to us but I see if KC is willing to trade the 11th pick which may only cost us an additional third rounder. We’ll see what happens, perhaps just wishful thinking on my part. DT gets addressed in the second round, thompson from Clemson could be a potential starter and would be great as a rotational guy. Good passrush and good with his hands to get off of blocks.

    • Troy Ballard says:

      I’d love to see the Eagles land Luke Kuechly. He’s one of the best linebackers to come into the NFL in quite a few years. He is a great leader, super smart, plays downhill, and has excellent instincts. He’d be a dream pick for Philly. But I see hesitation in trading-up in the first round. It would have to be on the cheap, or it would be off the table.

      Mark Barron as SS would be a very solid pick-up. But I agree, Philly isn’t going to bail on Allen and Jarrett yet.

      And this is a super deep DT draft, so there will be countless players available in later rounds. I also really like Thompson from Clemson. Another guy is Devon Still from Penn State.

      Thanks for the comment!

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