Mike Patterson and Broderick Bunkley are both okay, but they have yet to warrant their first round selections in 2005 and 2006, respectively. I think the Eagles should look into trading one or the other this offseason.
Trevor Laws has been surprisingly impressive as a pass rushing tackle this year. Antonio Dixon is very good run stuffer who deservingly took Bunkley’s starting spot.
That said there are plenty of options for the Eagles to improve their interior D-line. Unfortunately, Auburn’s Nick Fairley won’t be one of them.
Potential free agents
- Brandon Mebane (Seattle Seahawks): New Seahawks coach Pete Carroll might not include Mebane in his future. If that’s the case, he would be a good fit on the Eagles next to Dixon.
- Clifton Ryan (St. Louis Rams): At 6’3”, 324lbs Ryan has the ability to occupy two blockers which would free up both the defensive ends and linebackers. A team with a 3-4 defense may pursue him more if he hits free agency, but he has experience in a 4-3 under for Eagles’ assistant Steve Spagnuolo.
- Stephen Paea (Oregon State): Paea’s scouting report fits the description of what the Eagles like in their defensive tackles. Quick, powerful and has a high motor.
- Jarvis Jenkins (Clemson): Unlike Austin, Jenkins is known to have high character and improving as a leader. He’s a disciplined interior lineman which would fit the Eagles’ system.
- Marvin Austin (North Carolina): Austin is one of many talented Tarheels who will be under the microscope for the behavior this season. Austin is currently suspended indefinitely. His talent is top rated, so we might not get an idea of his chances in the NFL until the next Draft Combine.