2 Philadelphia Eagles defensive stars crack early part of NFL Network’s Top 100 players
The NFL has focused its spotlight on incoming rookies over the past couple months, but Monday, two Philadelphia Eagles veterans raked in a noteable honor.
Safety Malcolm Jenkins (No. 90) and defensive end Brandon Graham (No. 93) cracked the NFL Network’s list of top 100 players. The network unveiled Nos. 81-100 Monday night, and each of the next five weeks it’ll release 20 more names on a television special, until it completes the list of 100.
The NFL Network compiles its rankings through player votes.
Jenkins, 29, earned his first Pro Bowl nod during the 2015 season and continued providing steady play last season. A safety with the versatility to stuff the run or cover slot receivers, Jenkins has been a lynchpin of the Eagles’ defense the past three years.
And since arriving in Philadelphia in 2014, Jenkins has returned four interceptions for touchdowns, more than any other safety in the league.
After battling for playing time and fending off injuries during the first several years of his career, Graham emerged as a star in 2016. He wound up as an Associated Press second-team all-pro in his seventh NFL season after racking up 5.5 sacks and a career-best 41 tackles.
Jenkins and Graham are both first-time members of the NFL Network’s list.
Last season, the Eagles landed only one player in the Top 100: defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who checked in at 49th in the ranking.
Cox is likely to fall somewhere in the top 80 this year, as well, after making the Pro Bowl for the second straight season. But will any other Eagles sneak onto the list? Recently signed wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, running back Darren Sproles or offensive tackle Jason Peters seem to be the best candidates for inclusion.
And sometimes young quarterbacks garner accolades more quickly than they should, so don’t count out Carson Wentz.
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