Derek Barnett; he remained almost unfazed by his drafting to the team in midnight green, and the fans were lukewarm to his selecting. And why?
Is it because that running back and cornerback were considered more pressing positions? Was it because he was known to be occasionally sluggish with his first step? Or perhaps it was simply because Barnett is the safest, yet least sexy pick for the Philadelphia Eagles.
I’m not exactly sure what Eagles fans were feeling. Barnett possesses an impeccable resume consisting of 32 sacks, 52 tackles for loss, 198 total tackles, a slew of quarterback pressures, and has the ability to drop into coverage like a dime linebacker throughout his college career. The former Tennessee Volunteer destroyed all of former-Eagle Reggie White’s collegiate records, and the fans have the audacity to go “meh”?
The defensive ends currently employed by Philly (that have plans to remain in said city) are 28-, 29-, and 32-years-old, and one of those names includes Vinny Curry who has been a misfit since the Eagles have asked him to become a fulltime end.
So while the Eagles are still in need of a cornerback, or two, as well as an every down tailback, the fact that the Birds have solidified their pass rush with a 20-year-old Vol who broke all the records of an Eagles’ all-time MVP says an awful lot about the direction of the franchise.
The Eagles made a terrific selection in Barnett. Adding to a pass rush that was far from ranking within the top half of the NFL will allow the inevitable cornerbacks that extra moment in time to stick their man and prevent the passing X-play that has been destroying Philadelphia seasons since the loss of Asante Samuel.