Philadelphia Eagles: Defensive Player Spotlight – Derek Barnett
It is easy to pick a rookie as a spotlight player so I will continue the trend here. The Philadelphia Eagles selected Derek Barnett with the No. 14 pick and they are expecting him to produce right away. Can Barnett be the one that pushes the Eagles defense to the top of the mountain?
While some fans will try to compare Barnett to former Eagle– Reggie White, that is a bit unfair to Barnett. Yes, it is the same position; yes, they may have at attended the same college but give the young kid time before you compare him to a legend.
What the Philadelphia Eagles should expect from Barnett is total dominance. The Eagles front seven is one who takes great pride in attacking the QB. Last season they finished 9th in sacks and with the Eagles being in the NFC East they have a chance to go bigger.
Eli Manning nor Kirk Cousins are not great runners, which will play well into the Eagles hands. Now, with Barnett and his youthful speed on the outside that could cause havoc to even the Dallas Cowboys O-Line.
If the Eagles can improve on their horrible, pass defense that could give opportunities to a player like Barnett. If the secondary can hold a receiver’s route 3 seconds longer than last season that gives Barnett time to get, free and hurry a QB. They will say the same if Barnett can find himself in the backfield in 4 seconds or less. A great pass rush will improve the Eagles pass defense and this is what the Eagles should expect from Barnett.
His ceiling for the 2017 season should be 10 sacks and 35 tackles. He has the talent, while some question his drive. However, he is with a team that is expected to contend and fans who expect him to be like No. 92.