PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 23: Defensive end Derek Barnett #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on as there is a military flyover before taking on the Indianapolis Colts at Lincoln Financial Field on September 23, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

“Ya know, the Joe Ostman injury hurt more than it appears” is a line I never thought I’d find myself saying, until last week when I actually said it.  The injury to Joe caused the Eagles weakest position to lose major young depth they were counting on & they need their youth to take the next big step in a big way. 

 It’s been easy to get caught up in the euphoria of the Eagles returning “to the grass” as Doug & Carson now like to say.  On paper everything does certainly appear to have the Eagles entering the 2019 season with one of the most talented rosters they’ve ever had.  But I do have one concern entering the season & well, just look at this position grouping below & we’ll discuss…

How many known commodities are in that grouping of 7 players?  2.  Two players in that group are known commodities.  Brandon Graham & Vinny Curry.  Brandon Graham has never been a high sack total guy in his career but he’s good against the run,  great at disrupting pockets & really just a general pain in the ass for every opposing QB.  Vinny Curry is a veteran edge rusher that’s never reached double digit sacks but is great against the run & setting the edges & you at least know what you’re getting. 

 That leaves the unknowns.  Derek Barnett was approaching the known category but because of an injury last season, that was put on pause.  To me, Barnett is THE most important Eagle to the season outside of Carson Wentz.  With Derek Barnett, the team is banking on him being that guy & they desperately need him to be a double digit sack total rusher.  A third year typically can be a “bust-out” type of a season for a young player.  The team needs that from him but we just don’t know yet.  He’s trending in the right direction for certain & hell, the guy recovered the greatest fumble in Eagles history. 

 This is then where Ostman, Hall, Sweat & Miller’s roles all come into play.  Typically the wider the net you can cast, the more likely you are to catch fish & the Eagles just lost a rung of that net with the Ostman injury.  Now you’re really banking on Josh Sweat being the guy to take that next step.  The 4th DE on this team plays a big role with the rotations that Jim Schwartz likes to roll out.  I, like others, have hope for Josh Sweat but he is far from a known commodity & that gives me some concerns with this teams DE depths.  They could be an injury away from disaster here. 

 It’s why I fully expect Howie Roseman to be active before the start of the season on the trade market & we certainly know he’ll be scouring around for some veteran depth to bring in to that position room in camp.  I try to keep my Negadelphian buried deep down inside, but sometimes we need to have a reality check with ourselves & my biggest concern is simply the depth here.  Go Birds!