Eagles Have Three Linemen In PFF Top 50 Players Heading Into 2020

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

On Saturday, Pro Football Focus began releasing their list of the top 50 players in the NFL heading into the 2020 season.

To no one’s surprise, the Eagles representatives were in the trenches on both offense and defense. It is how Philadelphia has been building for years so it’s good to know that the team has top players at those positions.

Just breaking the top 15 was Fletcher Cox.

Cox is a player who has found himself in a bit of an odd situation throughout his career.

He is arguably the most well-rounded defensive tackle in the league, but due to the pass-rushing dominance of Aaron Donald, Cox still doesn’t get teh amount of attention that he deserves.

Cox certainly gets hype, but it isn’t at the level it should be and he has not done super well in the last two seasons with all of the Eagles attempts to man the second defensive tackle position seemingly suffering injuries throughout the 2018 and 2019 campaigns.

Over the past two seasons, Cox has had to deal with an incredible amount of double teams as opponents don’t fear the UDFA’s that the Birds have had to sign off the streets to play next to him.

If at least two of Javon Hargrave, Malik Jackson and Hassan Ridgeway can maintain their health beside Cox, he will be in a much better position to put up numbers.

Coming in at 34 is right guard Brandon Brooks.

Brooks was robed of both the Comeback Player of the Year Award as well as an All-Pro nomination in 2019.

Pro Football Focus is one of the only national systems that rates Brooks as well as he plays where others tend to give the awards to players who did well, but have the name recognition from something like playing for the Cowboys.

Brooks is now 30, but the offensive linemen has actually seemed to improve the past couple seasons, so it would be no surprise to see him continue his dominance this season.

Just making the list at 49 was defensive end Brandon Graham.

Graham had a rather slow start to his career, so it’s sometimes a surprise to remember that he is 32 years old.

Still, Graham has continued to produce, or at least almost produce.

Using traditional statistics, Graham doesn’t seem all that great on paper. His biggest impact comes from the fact that he forces pressure and causes the runner to change direction. Sometimes that means a back without proper protection and sometimes that means a quarterback throwing the ball away or stumbling into Derek Barnett or Josh Sweat on the other side of the line.

To no surprise, the Eagles selected to the PFF50 were all players that routinely appear at the top of their lists. In fact, they were all on PFF’s All-Decade Top 101 list.

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