Jalen Carter already making 31 teams look silly for letting Eagles nab him

The Eagles traded up in the first round to take arguably the best player in this year’s NFL draft. So far, so good for defensive tackle Jalen Carter.

It still has to sting a bit. The Philadelphia Eagles won the NFC East with a 14-3 record. The team rolled the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs. After 30 minutes of play in Super Bowl LVII, Nick Sirianni’s club owned a 24-14 lead over the Kansas City Chiefs.

By game’s end, the Birds were on the short end of a 38-35 score. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was voted the MVP of the win and his 26-yard run with less than three minutes to play set up the game-winning field goal. All told, the Eagles gave up 119 yards on the ground in the second half and a total of 158 yards rushing in the three-point setback.

Sirianni’s team had a fatal flaw, and the Chiefs took advantage of it after intermission. During the season, Philadelphia gave up the second-fewest total yards in the league and the fewest passing yards per game. However, the Birds were tied for 16th in the NFL vs. the run. The team finished with a league-high 70 sacks during the regular season but had zero in Super Bowl LVII.

The team arguably had the deepest defensive line in the league a year ago, led by Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, and Brandon Davis. However, the club lost a vital piece in free agency when Javon Hargrave departed for San Francisco. General manager Howie Roseman acted fast on the first night of the NFL draft, traded up, and selected highly-regarded defensive tackle Jalen Carter.

So, how are the early reviews for the former Georgia Bulldogs standout?

Of course, breaking a blocking sled is nothing compared to lining up against the best guards and centers in the National Football League. There’s still training camp and the preseason before the defending NFC champions kick off the season at New England on September 10. For now, there’s the opportunity to marvel at Carter’s feat. What’s far more important is that the run defense becomes a team strength.

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