What to expect from Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett this season
7 August 2018 Eagles News
One player who’s not getting a lot of love this training camp is second year defensive end Derek Barnett. I’m here to tell you you need to be paying Barnett a lot more attention.
Drafted in the first round of last year’s draft, Barnett entered the Eagles with a lot of promise. However, on a team with an already pretty good defensive end situation, Barnett saw limited snaps, which for his sake actually benefited him. Barnett was behind Vinny Curry in the depth chart, which allowed him to really take in what life in the NFL is all about.
Through all his efforts, Barnett still posted 21 total tackles, one forced fumble and five sacks. He became a bigger presence down the stretch for the Eagles and made one of the biggest plays of the season in the Super Bowl, recovering Brandon Graham’s forced fumble which ultimately sealed the deal. When it’s all said and done, last season was a learning experience and this season Barnett is set to flourish.
Coming into this season, even though the Eagles added veteran Michael Bennett, the right defensive end spot is all Barnett’s. From what we saw last season, he’ll do just fine as well. Barnett has all the skill to get double digit sacks for the Eagles this season, but what sets him a part from other defensive ends is his work ethic and motor. For Barnett, no play is ever dead and he gives it his all every play. Making the most of every snap is what Barnett’s best at and with the Eagles scheme and defensive line, Barnett is going to be the one man that shines.
Having 37 total quarterback pressures last season after just seeing around 41 percent of the snaps, that number is bound to go up. Even though the Eagles like to rotate their defensive line, the production from Barnett should and will go up. Curry was on the field for 55% of the snaps and Barnett basically took the rest of the snaps at their position. With him gone, there really isn’t another player who’s going to command a high amount of snaps. Basically saying, Barnett will be on the field a lot.
Breakout is a term used a lot around the NFL and this upcoming season Barnett isn’t just going to breakout, he’s going to takeover. Having an elite pass rusher is a big commodity for any NFL team and luckily for the Eagles, they get to have Barnett for years to come.
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