Last week, three bold predictions for offensive players was published. This week will cover three bold predictions for the Eagles defense. The Eagles defense had some bright moments in 2020, but also saw some struggles. Pro Football Focus had the Eagles ranked 19th in defense during the 2020 season. They allowed 418 points last season, which needs to be improved on if the Eagles have a shot at making the playoffs.
The Eagles defensive line includes Derek Barnet, Javon Hargrave, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham. The linebackers who are projected to start for the Eagles are breakout linebacker Alex Singleton, Eric Wilson and Shaun Bradley. The starting cornerbacks include Darius Slay and, more than likely, Steven Nelson. However, Avonte Maddox will probably get a lot of playing time, too. Rodney McLeod and Anthony Harris will hold down the fort at free safety. This article will give three bold predictions for the Eagles defense in 2021.
Derek Barnett will double his numbers in 2021
Barnett showed that he can play defense in the NFL. He had 21 solo tackles and 5.5 sacks on the season. His sack total tied for 48th in the NFL. Barnett was one of the guys that stepped up for the Eagles and has really become a key part of the Eagles defense in 2021. He knows how to put pressure on the quarterback and turn field position in the Eagles favor. Barnett will have an even better season in 2020.
The bold prediction for Barnett will be that he will double his sacks by at least eight sacks in 2021 and double his tackle total, which would be around 41 tackles in the 2021 season. If this happens, then this will make a decent looking Eagles defense even better in 2021.
Avonte Maddox will put up better numbers this season
Maddox will have to fight for his starting position during training camp which has already started. He now has Steven Nelson, who has more experience and better overall numbers, to compete with. This does not mean Maddox won’t see a lot of time on the field. He played well enough last year to be able to play a lot this year, even though he may not be a starter. He got the job done in tackling last year with 36 solo tackles and 40 combination tackles.
Maddox will improve on those number this coming season even though he might get less playing time. It is also predicted that he will at least get two interceptions this coming year to make up for 2020, where he had none. Maddox has a bright future with the Eagles and is still a young cornerback in the NFL who has earned his keep so far.
Ryan Kerrigan makes a difference for the Eagles in 2021
Kerrigan is a defensive end that has played for the Washington Football Team for most of his career. He was a dominant pass rusher during his time in Washington. During his career, he has 95.5 sacks, which is impressive at the NFL level. In 2014, he had 13.5 sacks which was his career high.
Kerrigan is now with the Eagles and is a little older as a player. Kerrigan will be playing behind Brandon Graham during the 2021 season. He only had 5.5 sacks in 2020, but I think the veteran can get to 10 sacks one more time during his career, which is my bold prediction. If Kerrigan can get this done, then the Eagles defense will be that much better in 2021.
This was 3 bold predictions for the Eagles defense in 2021.