The Eagles were downright awful last season. You know that, I know that, let’s just move past it. Despite finishing the year with the sixth-worst record in the NFL, the team still had some standout performances in 2020, and the name recognition of some of their aging stars could still warrant placement on NFL Network’s “Top 100 Players of 2021” list, which is set to premiere on Sunday, August 15.
The Eagles had five players make the list last season: Brandon Brooks (98), Jason Kelce (94), Darius Slay (92), Zach Ertz (85), and Fletcher Cox (73). Some of these guys probably won’t be on this year’s list, but one or two certainly will, along with an additional player or two that weren’t on the list last season.
Here are the Eagles players who could end up on this year’s “Top 100 Players of 2021” list.
Despite having a bit of a down year in 2020, Cox has routinely been selected for this list, regardless of his seasonal output for any given year. He actually produced at a higher clip this past season than he did in 2019, recording 6.5 sacks, 41 combined tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 9 quarterback hits, and 1 forced fumble.
Coming off his sixth-straight Pro Bowl selection, Cox is probably a fore gone conclusion to get included on this list.
Like Cox, Kelce has been a consistent fixture on the Top 100 list. He’s made the list two years in a row, and coming off another strong year, there’s no reason this future Eagles Hall of Famer shouldn’t be on it this time around.
Not missing a single offensive snap as the Eagles center should get you on this list, given how frequently the team shuffles through injured offensive lineman.
Contrary to popular belief, Darius Slay actually had a pretty solid season in 2020. He had some bad outings against bigger, more physical receivers, but they were few and far between. He only allowed 3 touchdowns and a 12.3 yards per catch average on 90 targets last season.
Slay was routinely matched up with the No. 1 wideout on every opposing team. And for the most part, he completely shut them down. He held Terry McLaurin to 28 yards, Jarvis Landry to 13, Michael Thomas to 33, and JuJu Smith-Schuster to 11. The only two games he gave up more than 50 yards to a receiver was against Seattle and Green Bay. Those receivers were D.K. Metcalf and Davante Adams, two of the best pass catchers in football.
Slay is the best corner the Eagles have had in a long time, and despite not having multiple interceptions this season, he should still be recognized as one of the better cornerbacks in the league.
Brandon Graham earned his first Pro Bowl appearance in 2020, and he should also earn his first appearance on the NFL Top 100.
He’s been one of the best all-around defensive ends in football for years now. Graham has proven to be a versatile pass rusher as well as a stout run defender, there’s nothing he can’t do. And he’s not some freak athlete like Myles Garrett or one of the Bosa brothers — Graham is just a dog.
In 2020, Graham notched 8 sacks, 46 combined tackles, and 2 forced fumbles. He deserves placement on this list.
It may be a bit of a long-shot for Harris to make the list this year, considering he has never made it in his career and he’s been outstanding for the past three seasons. But nevertheless, perhaps the players are willing to give Harris his due this time around.
Despite not recording a single interception last season, Harris posted a career-high in tackles with 104. He also allowed a 58.3 completion percentage when targeted, his best mark over the past three seasons.
Harris has been one of the biggest snubs of the Top 100 over the past few seasons. This could be the year he finally makes the cut.
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