By Peter Brennan
So, what does Eagles big boss Howie Roseman think of his 2017 No. 1 draft pick Derek Barnett?
Barnett is coming off of a season-ending injury in 2018 but is poised to take a leap in 2019:
“I’d say every time he’s on the field, he’s rewarding our investment in him,” Roseman told Eagles.com. “We have a lot of confidence in him as a player and he’s a huge part of our football team. He’s shown that this isn’t a guy that’s going into his third year and we haven’t seen what he’s done.”
Barnett was the 14th overall pick by the Eagles in 2017. First round picks instantly have expectations to be stars in the NFL and Barnett showed his potential in his rookie season.
In 2017, Barnett had 5.5 sacks, eight tackles for loss, and 16 hits on the quarterback. The rookie pass rusher also came up big for the Eagles in the playoffs, where he had a strip sack in the NFC Championship game. Then, in the Super Bowl, he recovered a fumble from Tom Brady.
Now, in his third season in the NFL, Barnett is ready to make the leap to stardom at defensive end. Philadelphia already boasts an insane defensive front with Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson, and Brandon Graham. If Barnett can ascend his game, quarterbacks better beware of playing the Eagles.