Eagles’ projected defensive depth chart ahead of OTAs

We predicted that the Eagles would look much different when the team reconvenes at the NovaCare Complex for the 2023 off-season program.

Philadelphia lost ten free agents, retained five of their own, and added three free agents from other teams during the first wave of signings and agreements.

The organization then committed five years and $255 million to All-Pro quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Defensive coordinator Sean Deseai is a Vic Fangio disciple like Jonathan Gannon before him.

For the Eagles, that means a 3-4 base, lots of zone coverage, two-high safety looks, coverage on the backend geared to prevent big plays, and producing sacks without blitzing.

With the draft now complete and rookie minicamps approaching, here’s an updated look at Philadelphia’s projected defensive depth chart.


(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Starter — Josh Sweat

2nd — Derek Barnett

3rd — Matt Leo

Barnett is returning from an ACL injury but will likely be a rotational pass rusher in 2023.


(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Starter- Brandon Graham

2nd — Nolan Smith (rookie), Tarron Jackson

3rd — Janarius Robinson

Brandon Graham is returning, as well as Derek Barnett, who missed the 2022 season with a knee injury.

Jackson saw action as a rookie in 2021, and Janarius Robinson offers potential off the edge. The wildcard will be the rookie Nolan Smith, who’s listed as a linebacker, but could complement Haason Reddick by replacing Graham on obvious passing downs.


Starter — Jalen Carter

2nd — Milton Williams

3rd — Moro Ojomo

The All-American was among the first draft picks to sign his rookie deal, proving he’s more than ready to work.

With the 3-4 base, the depth chart doesn’t necessarily dictate snaps and playing time, with Milton Williams, Carter, Ojomo, and Kentavius Street all capable of playing multiple positions.


Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Starter — Jordan Davis

2nd — Marlon Tuipulotu

3rd — Moro Ojomo–rookie, Noah Elliss

Davis returns, starting at his natural position, while Marlon Tuipuloutu will return from a knee injury.


Starter — Fletcher Cox

2nd — Kentavius Street

3rd — Brandon Graham

Fletcher Cox returned on a one-year deal, and he’ll likely be a starter in a reduced role in the Eagles’ deep rotation.

Street can play multiple positions, while Brandon Graham is adept at sliding down to defensive tackle.


(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Starter — Haason Reddick

2nd — Nolan Smith

3rd –Patrick Johnson

4th — Kyron Johnson

Reddick returns after logging 16.5 sacks and will be joined by Nolan Smith, allowing Sean Desai to move both players around.


Starter — Nakobe Dean

2nd — Christian Elliss

3rd: Ben VanSumeren

With T.J. Edwards moving on to Chicago, Dean will get the nod at one linebacker spot, and we predict special teams standout Christian Elliss will make his presence felt as well. Michigan State rookie linebacker Ben VanSumeren lurks as well, but he won’t be added until his signing is official.


Starter — Nicholas Morrow

2nd — Shaun Bradley

3rd– Davion Taylor

The Eagles lost Kyzir White to the Cardinals but signed Nicholas Morrow away from the Bears, where he’ll likely start ahead of Shaun Bradley and Davion Taylor.


(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

Starter — Darius Slay

2nd — Greedy Williams

3rd — Zech McPhearson

4th — Eli Ricks

After signing a two-year, $42 million extension, Darius Slay is back in Philadelphia.

Eli Ricks and Mekhi Garner are both names to watch for the practice squad.


(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Starter — James Bradberry

2nd — Josh Jobe

3rd — Kelee Ringo

4th — Tristin McCollum

The Eagles re-signed James Bradberry to a three-year, $38 million deal, ensuring the NFL’s top cornerback duo stays together. Ringo is the big name as a draft pick, but Jobe proved himself in the SEC, and he’s a year ahead as a pro.

Eli Ricks and Mekhi Garner are both names to watch.

Slot CB

(AP Photo/Matt <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Rourke;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Rourke</a>)
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Starter — Avonte Maddox

2nd — Josiah Scott

3rd — Mario Goodrich


Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Starter — Sydney Brown

2nd — Reed Blankenship

3rd — Justin Evans

Safeties are supposed to be interchangeable, and Brown will battle second-year safety Reed Blankenship for the free safety role.

It could play out that Blankenship and Brown are both more talented than Terrell Edmunds and Justin Evans, allowing the young duo to develop together.


Starter — Terrell Edmunds

2nd — K’Von Wallace

3rd — Mekhi Garner

The safety position is interchangeable in the Eagles’ defense, and Edmunds gets the nod over Justin Evans opposite Reed Blankenship and Sydney Brown.

Story originally appeared on Eagles Wire