• December 4, 2023

How Good Are The Eagles’ Quintin Mikell And Trent Cole?

Making lists has long been a trick in the journalism world, when there’s not much news to report. You and I know that the inactivity of the NFL is boring fans to sleep because of this lockout. So to make up for it, you have lists. People love reading them, talking about them, and arguing about them.

Publications will put players intentionally high to create a buzz, but at a certain point, it starts to hurt their credibility- and that is exactly what happened to Pro Football Focus with their latest player rankings.

The publication recently released their list of the top 100 players in the game, and to no ones surprise, multiple Eagles made their way onto the list. It is where they landed that will cause a stir.

The list has Trent Cole as the fourth best player in the league, and Quintin Mikell as the twenty-eighth. Needless to say, anyone who watches and covers this team closer than a national publication knows those rankings are comically high.

This is not meant to diminish the talents of either Cole or Mikell, both of which are talented veteran players in this league, but it’s debatable if Cole even belongs in the top 100, and there is little debate that Mikell does not.

Cole has been the best pass rusher on this team for the last few years, but you could make an argument that he is not even among the top ten pass rushers in the league- let along fourth best overall player. Cole finished last season tied for 7th in the league with 10 sacks, but 18 players had either the same amount or more than the former Pro-Bowler. Cole also has a reputation for breaking down as the season wears on, which is something that a Top Ten player should not do.

Pro Football Focus even has “The Hunter” ranked 14 spots ahead of Peyton Manning, one of the best quarterbacks of All-Time. Imagine a draft of all the NFL players, and a GM taking Cole with the fourth overall pick. Cole wouldn’t even go fourth overall in this year’s draft.

While the placement of Cole at number four is clearly way too high, it pales in comparison to the ranking of Mikell at twenty-eight.

The free agent safety is the highest ranked safety on the list, and only three quarterbacks come in ahead of himt. The publication points out a statistic that shows Mikell had more combined defensive stops, interceptions and pass stops than any other safety in the league last year. While this is an impressive stat, it does not justify Mikell being ranked so high.

The former Boise State player has done a nice job for the Eagles, but is not a difference maker on the defense. If he truly was the top safety in the league, there is no way he would hit free agency, let alone be looking for a job. Too many times Mikell left a play to be made on the field. His inability to pick up a fumble laying in his lap against Green Bay in the playoffs would have changed the game.
It’s safe to say Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu make that play.

The list has free agent corner back Nnamdi Asomugha at 38. Something tells me the former Raider will cash in a bigger check than Mikell will this summer, whenever free agency starts.

To put this into a proper perspective and to show how out of whack the list is, they have Michael Vick ranked at 63 and Asante Samuel ranked at 74. Those are arguably the Eagles best offensive and defensive players, not making even the top 50.

Another list of the top 100 players, this time by CBSSports.com, has Cole ranked at 91. They have Vick, DeSean Jackson, and Samuel all ranked in the top 50.

As I said earlier, lists are made to be discussed, and Pro Football Focus got what they wanted. Where do you think Cole and Mikell rank in the top 100 players in the league? Does Vick deserve to be higher? What are your top ten players in the NFL?

Eliot Shorr-Parks

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May 11, 2011 12:43 pm

It is human nature to ALWAYS think the neighbors car is nicer, the house is newer, they have more of this or more of that. We always look for the negatives with our own team. It does not surprise me that any of these players are ranked as high as they are – it is why after every subjective statement made by any person, I request the methodology of how the rankings were made up – what criteria was used to judge the players/draft picks/ whatever. One of the biggest issues – espoecially in today’s press and ESPN is to show repeated highlights of big plays from different angles, giving the impression a player is better then he is (or isn’t in the case of a mistake) It is only after you sit there and watch an ENTIRE GAME on film, and grade and evaluate EACH PLAY, that you can truly say a person had a good or bad game. As most fans do not get to see different sets of films, with different views of each play, combined with knowing what the actual play call was (who got burned for that TD, were they in a zone, man, who had coverage deep etc… can blame be assigned – we have people that see it was the WR, so it must be the CBs fault. Asante Samuel is well know for abandoning his assignment and free lancing to make plays. Bottom line is these rankings are all in good fun – I can’t see QM’s agent saying to the Eagles ‘Hey look, Q is higher ranked the Asante – we want the same money!’

May 11, 2011 12:51 pm

Hmmmm i will be sad to c quinten go. To be honest though he has be a SOLID C sometimes a low B player. He has always done his job just well enough to stay on the field in my eyes. He was never a huge ball hawk. He never has been a lights out hitter. Again he just did his job and theres nothing wrong with that. Now as for my boy trent cole. The guy is like a wild animal AND IS THE SINGLE MOST UNDERATTED DEND IN THE LEAUGUE. No one can argue this fact with me. Highly above average sack totals almost every year. One could argue the point that he may be just as good if not better at stopping the run as he is at rushing the passer. He is not the biggest d end either but he plays with a huge amount of leverage. The only knock ive ever heard on cole is that he “wears down” or “dissapears” toward the end of season/ playoffs time. To anyone who agrees with that statement i say this . Ive literally seen two 300+ pound lineman fighting trying to contain cole at the same time on numerous occasions. Once i even saw a HEADLOCK put on him with no call. My point being considering he is THE ONLY prob bowl caliber d end on our team and every one knows it the dude is constantly getting doubled and tripled and with no help on the other side(or rest of the line for that matter) how long is he supposed to last or get high sack totals all year. Cole is hands down my favorite player on this team and has been for years.

May 11, 2011 1:08 pm

I have nothing but respect for Q and he deserves every penny he gets in free agency. A true role model for kids. I’m not sure if he’s the 28th best player on the Eagles, does he seriously crack the top 15 on this team?

May 11, 2011 1:10 pm

Safety Q Mickell is a True Professional and a solid player, He’s not a Play-maker or a Pro-Bowler type and does not have th best hands for playing in the Secondary, but he is reliable,smart and just an overall Solid player..I would grade him as “B” player and he has had a nice career with the Eagles ans has beought some intangibles as far as being a mentor/leader for many of the young Eagles but it is time for him to move on though he probably has 2-3 very servicable years in him..
T Cole is adifferent animal, he’s progressed so much from his 1st 2 years to what he became which was the best DE the Eagles have had in years.. I do think he is not the same player as he used to be and struggles agains tthe Run, he comes in so hard and wide sompetimes that he actualyl creates a real large running lane for RB’s to run thru… he has a tendancy to wear down as the Season progresses… I think if he played 40 snaps a game, they he would be more effective over the course of the entire season and playoffs and would still get his 10-12 Sacks a Season since he would be fresher for teh stretch run.. He is not a every-down DE in my opinion any longer and he probably con tinues to be so since the Eagles don’t have a lot of depth behind him or at least they haven’s had a lot of success with recent youinger players stepping up to take some snaps form him..

May 11, 2011 1:19 pm

I can agree with all…….. Q. Mickell is a great guy and he’s a real well class gentlemen…… Sure he had a few flaws with himself but doesn’t every player professionally……. What killed me was in the playoff game against GB the ball was right underneath him for the Pickings and he had the lack of awareness…… Troy Polamalu has a real A+ of awareness…… That my friend makes him one of the best SS’s in the league…… Instinct and awareness…….. Q. Mickell was a solid C+ at the safety spot……. i like him but if he goes……. It’s like Michael Lewis leaving…….. Doesn’t hurt like B. Dawk leaving!!!!!!

May 11, 2011 1:29 pm

Trent Cole is a MONSTER/ BEAST/ MAN AMONG BOYS/ I’ll BRING THE DRAMA FOR YA MAMA/ WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION/ BRING YOUR A GAME/ GET OUT MY FACE/ I’ll KILL YOU///////// Thats more slashes than Cordell Stewart……. The guy is a beast hands down……. He brings it every play…..

@Eagles4ever….. Your 100% correct…… He is the most held player in the league…… And he gets cheap shots at him because a tackle has no choice but to do so……. Trent Cole is like a Mercedes or Volvo made in Germany…… Big and reliable engine……. Does great on mileage…… Parts last a long time…… You cant ask for more!!!!!! Their’s not enough Trent Coles in the league today!!!! Thats for sure!!!

May 11, 2011 2:10 pm

Production drops every Season right after Hunting Season for T Cole..
See how many Sacks T Cole has in the Month of December and Playoff Games over his Career and it’s not many which is why I grade him out to a “B”
Big players step up in Big games, just like QB D McNabb failed to deliver in big games so has T Cole in my opinion..

May 11, 2011 2:35 pm

@Paulman….. I think if the eagles would move Trent Cole around on the defensive side of the line he can do damage……. Didnt Rory Seagrest say that “he didnt have the freedom”!……… I think under A.R’s law book it’s his way or the HIS WAY!!!!! Trent Cole is a beast and needs to be in certain different spots within the defense….. With Mcnabb you have to look at the head honcho and thats A.R…….. He didnt deliver in big games as well in 12 years…… If the eagles won one in 2000 or 2001 or 2002 or 2003 or 2004 their would be less bitter fans towards AR…….. Good but not great in my book!!!!

May 11, 2011 2:39 pm

Which is about the status of most of the Eagle players.. Good but not Great..
Remember that in the end, it’s the Players that make the plays to Win or Lose the Games, not the Coaches/Coordinators, Referee’s/GM/Owner or us Fans..

May 11, 2011 2:45 pm

I compare Andy Reid to Stan Vangundy of the Orlando Magic……..
– Buckle under the pressure during big games
– Live and die by one code/ dont like to do things outside the box or in other words……. Do the same thing over and over again!!!!!
– Both look clueless to what went wrong on the last play when the last play was the last play….. LOL If that sounds right!!!!!!
– Have talent around them but dont utilize them well for the teams advantage!!
– Very up and down more of an emotional rollercoaster……. In other words team looks great almost unstoppable one week but the following week WTF happen????
– Speaks up for their players/ not affraid to take blame for coaching woes or mistakes which I like about the both of them!!!!!
– Both have great mustaches but Vangundy loves wearing suits with no ties……. Com on Van Gundy atleast one suit with one tie…….. V-Neck black shirts all the time Vangundy
– Great record during the regular season…… Will get you there but get out coached by a team who you can destroy but get beat like a Drum!!!!!!

May 11, 2011 2:47 pm

Trent Cole might not be the 4th best player on the Eagles. Idiots. By the way, Jroc, Volvos are not made in Germany. They are made in Sweden. I like Cole, but that list is comical.

May 11, 2011 2:58 pm

@paulman….. Your right players make plays…… But we’ve seen games where A.R. has no clue on stopping plays……. And coaching staff as well……

1) Dallas Screen pass game…… We knew it was coming but they just smacked/punched us in the face with that same screen pass!!!!

2) Fake throw draw hand-off play by the infamous Tony Romo play……. Dallas was getting 8-10yards a pop off that play against us and they used it till the wheels fell off…… The coaches didnt have a clue in the regular season and as well in the playoff game!!!

3) Antoine Winfield corner blitz was plain as day…….. We knew he was coming but he was un-touched at times and had a career day……

4) Ellis Hobbs vs. Kenny Britt….. UMMMM should someone send help anytime to help Ellis Hobbs???? Kenny Britt set a record….. I think he beat Haywood Jeffreys or Earnest Givens….. If im not mistaken!!!!

5) The dreadful 1 yard conversion…… That has haunted us for years…….

In other words Coaches play a major part in games…….. Players morale and knowledge or lack of consist on the coaching schemes or play calling……. If you ask me Leaders who men fail…… It shows upon leadership!!!!

May 11, 2011 3:02 pm

what ever it is……. I know that foreign cars last long and work to code……. Thats all I was basing my opinion upon….. Thanks for the correction…….

May 11, 2011 3:02 pm

I can’t argue with ther JROC, I agree 100%
You couod also add that Monday Night Debacle where W Justice was put in
at LT with no help and the Giants teed off on him and sacked McNabb about
10-12 TImes if I recall… Just Brutal..
It’s always been my biggest beed with AR and the Coaching staff, they are very poor about making adjkustments on the fly, as the game and situations present itself and this is just another reason why Coach AR will never win the big one and seperates him from being a “good coach” but not an “elite coach” in my book..

May 11, 2011 3:18 pm

LOL! Ohhhhh I forgot about the Winston Justice Fiasco….. Man what a night that was OMG!!!! I didnt want to show up for work the next day!!!!!! I was working in NY and they let me have it like a whore in manhattan!!!!!!! I didn’t hear the end of it………. SMH!!!!! Trust me I like Andy Reid but their’s nothing wrong with mixing and matching….. In other words putting the right player against an opponents weakness……

Another thing I hate is when a team is 30th in the league in rushing and 28th in the league in passing and 30th against the run and 28th against the pass and we go out there and give up 180 yards rushing and 340 passing and we pass for 180 yards and get only 39 yards rushing?????? WHY WHY WHY?????

Why do teams seem to turn thing around against the Eagles……. ANd the next week that same team goes back to being terrible once again????

Wr. Eddie Kennison wasn’t one of the best Wr’s maybe average at best…… Lito Sheppard was getting beat like none other and Kennison said that was the highlight of his career!!!!! But why Eddie Kennison…. Guys like him make a name for themselves against Philly and you dont hear from them later!!!!!

I could name a ton more but I know some of yall gotta feel me on this subject????? I guess it’s A.R. I guess???

May 11, 2011 3:37 pm

Anyone not saying Cole isn’t spectacular clearly isn’t paying close enough attention to the Eagles. Cole has zero pass rush help opposite of him, you think he breaks down halfway through the year? How about you consider the fact that we ask him to do everything, rushing the QB and being our best run stopper on the edge with ZERO pass rush help? Juqua Parker regularly gets off to big sack starts then has none the rest of the year, Graham showed glimpses last year but certainly wasn’t a consistent threat on a week to week basis. Once we get Cole some help, everyone will see that he’s a top 5 defensive end in the NFL, but we may have waited too long to get it.

May 11, 2011 3:42 pm

I have said this numerous times over the last year or 2 and still stand by it.
The DE position on the Philadelphia Eagles is the weakest position on the entire team, with CB, LB, TE not far behind..
Take a look around the NFL, even bad teams have a couple of decent pass rushers from the DE postion…

May 11, 2011 4:25 pm

jroc – the 1 yard thing is not true for the past few years. why are you blind to that. And you’re saying that Andy doesn’t think out of the box!? That’s ridiculous – most people criticize him for doing so TOO much.

May 11, 2011 4:29 pm

No dline, oline no CB or LB and still manage to win a division titles. I mean if the team is so weak at so many positions and still is a perrenial playoff team who gets the credit? Gotta give it to Big Red dont ya? lol. Can you imagine being in Cinncy, Detroit, Buffalo, Miami, Wash, and so on and so on. Them teams dont make the playoffs for 8,9,10 years at a time. How many playoff games has dallas won in 13 years? I go back and forth with this Reid thing. This has been the greatest 12 years in Eagles history. Reid cant adjust on the fly, no run game, no recievers for years, bad draft picks but has us contending every damn year.

May 11, 2011 5:17 pm

who’s mikell? never heard of him.

May 11, 2011 6:07 pm

Quinton Mikell?

Have we been relegated to evaluating a special teams player who is on the roster because he could play average for cheap?

Give me a damn break

Our Special teams suffered because he was promoted and the guys who should have been starting went elsewhere..Is he as good as Damon Moore was?

Hell no! He can’t come within 2 football fields of Dawks Jock..and Cole could be better if he had more talent around him.

We’ve wasted Cole prime years and by the time we have help in other areas he’ll be gone.

Welcome to Philly

May 11, 2011 6:57 pm

My top 10:
1- tom brady
2- p. Manning
3- ed reed
4- Chris johnson
5- Andre johnson
6- drew brees
7- nmandi asomogha
8- clay matthews
9- d. Revis
10- t. Polamalu
My top 5 for most underrated are(not right order):
G. Jennings
W. Welker
N. Collins
M. Ryan
S. Rice
Top 5 overrated:
P. Rivers
E. Manning
R. Bush
C. Ocho cinco
M. Sanchez

May 11, 2011 7:44 pm

Trent Cole is one of the best, most complete D-ends in the NFL…. as coach Washburn said, he is a “WEREWOLF”…at the Eagles “Chalk Talk” event a few months back, Washburn said Cole is going to be a superstar in his system…. he said “the past d-coach did not utilize him correctly and did you know he had Cole drop into coverage 50% of the time”…. “STUPID”.. he said!! Washburn said “Cole is one of the top 3 ends in the NFL and will prove it this coming year”.

As for Mikell, he is overrated and looks good with Dawkins along side of him…. w/o Dawk he was exploited and showed his weakness, pass coverage. He is solid, but not a top safety…

May 11, 2011 7:46 pm

to add to my statement, Washburn said he is going to use Cole all over the field……he said Cole needs help on the other side and was consistently double teamed.

May 11, 2011 11:52 pm

Cole reminds me of mcnabb and ryan howard. great stats during reg season but when u need them in every game of playoffs against better players they wilt. i don’t remember cole in packers game

May 12, 2011 7:17 am

T Cole was running downfield chasing after RB Starks all game tydm
Sparks got a 125 yards versus Eagles and about 80 of them running around the left end right past T Cole if you recall…
Check the stats and history of games where RB have had big games, many times it was when team run right at him… This is why I don’t consider T Cole an Elite DE.. He’s good, the best on the Eagle team but is not Pro-Bowl Caliber

May 12, 2011 11:08 am

Asomugha is overrated and old, even if you lay his career stats next to Lito Sheppard’s he would would be put to shame. I’m not the biggest fan of Quentin Mikell, but I recognize that there are players that tip the scales pretty dramatically in favor of their team and he’s one of those guys. Mikell is not a superstar, but he’s nowhere near average either, so I don’t have a problem with him being ranked where he is.

Cole…C’mon G you’re really going to criticize Trent Cole after McDermott had the guy playing in coverage for half the season…seriously?

May 12, 2011 11:18 am

cole at the DE end postion over the past 5 years has been the best de against the run, and is only behind jared allen in sacs,fumbles and tackles. And thats stats my friend!!!! There were on philadelphia eagles web site. He is the second best DE in the league behind allen over the past 5 years. I have no problem with his ranking!!