When NFL free agency begins on March 16, the Eagles will be looking to bolster a roster that made it to the playoffs in Year 1 under Nick Sirianni.
We’ll look position-by-position for some possible targets. We started with running backs, receivers, quarterbacks, offensive linemen and tight ends. We will flip to defense today and start with defensive tackles.
The Eagles in 2022 will bring back Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave, who both make big money. So if the Eagles are looking to round out their rotation, I’d bet against them spending big. They still have Milton Williams as the No. 3 but Hassan Ridgeway is set to become a free agent so there’s a potential deep need here.
Here are five defensive tackle options that might interest the Eagles in free agency:
B.J. Hill: If the Eagles want to spend some money on this position, then Hill would be an option. The 26-year-old was drafted by the Giants and spent his first three seasons in New York until they traded him to the Bengals in 2021. He played in 16 games in 2021 with 2 starts and had 5 1/2 sacks and 12 1/2 QB hits this past season.
Tim Settle: Down in Washington, Settle has been playing behind some really good interior defensive linemen early in his career. And in four seasons, he has just 7 sacks and didn’t register a single sack in 2021. But the former fifth-rounder from Virginia Tech is still just 24 and could still be ascending. Wouldn’t be a bad depth option at all.
Sheldon Richardson: It’s hard to believe Richardson is already 31 and has been in the league since 2013. He’s also a long ways away from his lone Pro Bowl with the Jets in 2014. But at this point in his career, the Eagles could give a guy like Richardson a Ryan Kerrigan-like contract on a one-year deal and actually get some production out of him. In 2021, Richardson played for the Vikings and had 2 1/2 sacks, 39 tackles, 13 QB hits and 6 TFLs. He still has something left.
Derek Nnadi: The 2018 third-round pick from Florida State isn’t a top-tier pass rusher; he had a career-high three sacks in 2021 and just four in his career. But he’s a more prototypical 1-technique who could eat up some blocks and stuff the run in the middle of the Eagles defense. He’s still just 25 and the Chiefs have some other free agents to prioritize over him.
Maurice Hurst: With the 49ers in 2021, Hurst missed most of the season with a calf injury. Hurst was thought to be a first-round talent in 2018 but a heart condition led to his slipping into the fifth round to the Raiders. Hurst hasn’t been great in the NFL but when he’s been healthy, he’s been solid. And the Eagles could get him for a relatively cheap deal to bolster the depth at the position.