3. Derek Barnett will notch double-digit sacks
Fletcher Cox led the Eagles in sacks last season from the defensive tackle position. The team also got nine sacks from Michael Bennett from the edge. That’s the position Barnett is going to occupy in 2019.
Injuries derailed the former Tennessee star’s second season in the NFL. He played only six games, but it’s interesting to note that he still managed to record 2.5 sacks. That isn’t a brilliant return, but it does show that he’s capable of pressuring the quarterback when he’s healthy.
It’s a bit of a stretch to project him to do better than Bennett did last year, but the key difference here is the addition of Jackson on the inside. He and Cox are going to force opposing offenses to try to double team both defensive tackles on a lot of snaps. That means Barnett should be free to work one-on-one the vast majority of the time.
If that happens, he’s going to have a big season. Barnett isn’t the most athletic edge rusher in the NFL, but he’s got a ton of moves. That, combined with his ability to bend and use leverage against his opponents will allow him to generate a ton of pressure in 2019. Barnett should enjoy a breakout season and notching 10 sacks is well within his grasp.