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Top 5 Graded Eagles in 2017 (PFF)

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With the 2017 NFL regular season in the books, there are several successes that the Philadelphia Eagles can look back on. One of the major contributors to the turn-around was the high-level production the coaching staff pulled from new additions and embattled players looking to quiet trade rumors.

This is a look at how Pro Football Focus graded the top five Eagles’ players from 2017 and the reason for their lofty grades comparative to the rest of the players at their respective positions. We start the list off with a Pro Bowl snub and for my money, the best center in the NFL in 2017.

1. Jason Kelce (93.2)

The Eagles zone running and screen concepts would be a mere shell of themselves without the athletic and technically proficient Kelce, who played extremely well throughout the entire season. The Pro Bowl snub bounced back after two penalty and bad snap plagued seasons, grading out as the highest center in the league, per PFF.

The Eagles ranked 3rd in yards per game on the ground (132.2) and 4th in yards per rush (4.5) with Kelce in the middle of it all, working off double teams and sealing off linebackers and safeties. He also only allowed 2 sacks and 20 pressures all season, proving as sturdy in pass protection as he was in the run game.

2. Brandon Graham (91.3)

Rocking a new, heavily incentive-laden contract, Graham bet on himself and won. Racking up 9.5 sacks and 60 total pressures on 435 pass rush snaps while boasting an astronomical 13.7 run stop percentage. Simply put, there wasn’t an area in which he lacked production.

Graham, the 8th highest graded edge defender in 2017, is signed through 2018 but a big story in the off-season will be the negotiations surrounding his potential extension. Not allowing General Manager Howie Roseman to preempt the market in a shrewd/savvy business move, Graham has held off engaging in any serious contract talk to this point.

3. Patrick Robinson (90.7)

Who saw this coming? Robinson’s performance in training camp was legendary for how poor it was, but once he got kicked inside to the nickel role, the light went on. What followed was a steady, if not excellent season.

Robinson finds himself in elite company among top graded cornerbacks, only being bested by LAC  Casey Heyward, JAC Jalen Ramsey, and the Buffalo Bills rookie standout Tre’Davious White. For the season, he only allowed _.__ yards per route run against slot wide receivers, __ among nickel corners.

4. Fletcher Cox (90.5)

Not only did Cox benefit from new running-mate DT Timmy Jernigan, but solid depth in the interior allowed Cox to stay fresh (-170 snaps from 2016). The result? Cox graded 5th among interior defenders and 2nd in pass rush grade on an Eagles defense that ranked 1st in rush yards allowed per game (79.2).

He also contributed 5.5 sacks and 50 pressures, ranking 5th in PFF’s pass rush productivity metric for interior defenders.

With Jernigan signed through 2021, Cox should continue to dominate with teams less able to divert extra resources his way.

5. Brandon Brooks (88.7)

Having battled with anxiety during his 2016 campaign, Brooks was a key piece of the Eagles offense line in 2017. Possessing a desirable athletic profile with the physical prowess to move bodies, Brooks contributed to a right side that was arguably the leagues’ best.

Tying for 3rd best among guards with CAR OG Andrew Norwell, he also ranked 5th in PFF’s pass blocking efficiency metric by allowing 0 sacks and only 17 pressures on 607 pass blocking snaps.

Other Notables

You’re probably asking, “where is Carson Wentz?” Despite not cracking the top five Eagles, he did crack the top five for quarterbacks with an 87.6 grade, lower than only Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, and Drew Brees.

LB Mychal Kendricks dazzling preseason performance carried over to the regular season and earned him a solid 86.0, highest of any Eagles linebacker and putting him in the top 10 for all off ball ‘backers. SAF Malcolm Jenkins was tasked with taking away opposing tight ends and contributing as a run defender in the box, grading out well at 85.0.

To get access to these grades and more, give Locked On Eagles 5 stars in iTunes, leave your Twitter handle in the review, and you’ll be entered to win a free PFF Edge subscription!

Michael is an NFL Draft enthusiast, aspiring scout, and grandson of longtime East Stroudsburg (Pa.) HS football coach John P. Kist. He hosts Locked On Eagles and writes for Inside the Pylon & Breaking Football.

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