Eagles top 25

A newcomer kicks off top 10 on most important Eagles list

Bryce Huff takes his spot on the list of most important Eagles of 2024.

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Over the next few weeks leading up to training camp, we’ll be counting down the top 25 most important Eagles for the 2024 season.

25. Brandon Graham
24. Nakobe Dean
23. Milton Williams
22. Jake Elliott
21. Nolan Smith
20. Cooper DeJean
19. Reed Blankenship
18. Tyler Steen
17. Devin White
16. Quinyon Mitchell
15. Jordan Davis
14. Landon Dickerson
13. C.J. Gardner-Johnson
12. Dallas Goedert
11. Josh Sweat
10. Bryce Huff

It wasn’t a 1-for-1 trade but it feels that way.

After the Eagles signed former Jets edge rusher Bryce Huff to a three-year, $51.1 million contract this March they then traded Pro Bowler Haason Reddick to the Jets.

So even though they weren’t traded for one another, Huff will take over Reddick’s starting spot in the Eagles’ defense. And those are big shoes to fill.

In his two seasons with the Eagles, Reddick had 27 sacks in 34 regular season games and another 3 1/2 sacks in 4 playoff games. He was the constant source of production on the Eagles’ front in recent seasons and now he’s gone.

The Eagles opted for the younger and presumably cheaper player with Huff, whom they also think is still ascending. Based on projection, Huff might be the better long-term bet but it’s definitely a gamble because he hasn’t done it.

Huff, 26, signed with the Jets as an undrafted player out of Memphis in 2020 and worked his way into the rotation. He broke out with a 10-sack season in 2023 after having just 7 1/2 sacks in his first three seasons in the league.

Of course, sacks don’t tell the full story and the analytics dig a little deeper into Huff’s prowess as a pass rusher. Here are some numbers, via ProFootballFocus:

2023 - Top win % with minimum of 250 pass rush snaps

1. Myles Garrett: 27.5%
2. Micah Parsons: 24.1%
3. Bryce Huff: 22.9%
4. Nick Bosa: 22.3%
5. Aidan Hutchinson: 21.3%

2022 - Top win % with minimum of 150 pass rush snaps

1. Bryce Huff: 25.6%
2. Myles Garrett: 22.5%
3. Nick Bosa: 21.0%
4. Brandon Graham: 20.7%
5. Micah Parsons: 19.5%

It is, however, important to remember that Huff was not a full-time player with the Jets. In 2023, he played 480 defensive snaps, which accounted for 42% of the Jets’ snaps on defense. He did not start a single game in 2023.

On one hand, you could be impressed that Huff was as productive as he was in limited reps. On the other, you can wonder if Huff will be able to be as productive if he’s asked to play over 800 snaps like the Eagles’ starters did in 2023. 

Those 480 snaps were a career-high for Huff. To put that into perspective, Reddick played 862 and Josh Sweat played 828 last season as the Eagles’ top two edge rushers.

Huff this spring said he’s not feeling more pressure in a bigger role with the Eagles.

Not necessarily,” Huff said. “Because I’ve always trained with the mindset of it only takes one play for somebody to get hurt, God forbid, or somebody miss a game. So I’ve always practiced to be fully prepared for any opportunity. I’m just taking that same process into this year and playing my role.”

We’ll have to wait and see how Vic Fangio deploys his defensive line starters but in recent seasons, Sweat has rushed primarily from the defensive right and Reddick from the defensive left. If that holds true in 2024, it means Huff will take Reddick’s spot and face mostly right tackles this season.

This was a gamble from Howie Roseman. We’ll see if it pays off.

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