As a part of our lead-up to the NFC Championship Game, we’re doing a couple of themed posts with our friends over at Bleeding Green Nation, SB Nation’s home for Philadelphia Eagles football. They’ve already done a similar post to this one over on their site.
The Eagles have a lot of talented players on their roster. I mean, obviously. . .you don’t get to be 13-3 with a bunch of schlubs. We know that the Minnesota Vikings have a ton of talented players as well. However, the question I want to pose here (and that I’m going to answer myself) is this:
If you could steal one player off of the Eagles’ roster and put him on the Vikings’ roster, which one would it be?
The “obvious” answer would probably be quarterback Carson Wentz, if a) he wasn’t injured and b) the Vikings didn’t have enough quarterback questions already. Yes, Wentz was probably on the fast track to being the NFL MVP when he tore his ACL, but he wouldn’t do the Vikings a bit of good now. So, I’m going to pass on him.
He’s not the only talented offensive player the Eagles have by any stretch. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery reportedly passed on a bigger contract from the Vikings during the offseason to sign with the Eagles. (It’s probably a good thing he did. . .if he hadn’t, who knows if Adam Thielen would have emerged the way he did?) They also acquired running back Jay Ajayi in midseason, and tight end Zach Ertz is among the league’s best at the position.
Rather than look at the offensive side, however, I think I would instead work on strengthening Minnesota’s already elite defense. Looking up and down the Eagles’ roster and attempting to figure out what would be best for Minnesota, there’s one name that I keep coming back to.
If I were to take one player from the Eagles and bring him to Minnesota, that player would be defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.
I know that we all love the work that Tom Johnson has done as the starting defensive tackle next to Linval Joseph in the wake of the (likely) career-ending injury to Sharrif Floyd. But could you imagine having a guy like Fletcher Cox next to Joseph on the interior? You’d be looking at about 650 pounds of very large, very powerful, very angry men in the middle of Minnesota’s defensive line. Oh, and defenses would still have to deal with Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter coming off of the edges, too.
Linval Joseph was graded by the folks at Pro Football Focus as their #11 overall interior defensive lineman, which is outstanding. Cox is one of the few players that ranks above Joseph on that list, as he came in at #6. And while Joseph has been known as more of a run stuffer during his career (though his pass rush skills have improved quite a bit since his arrival in Minnesota), Cox is relentless in pursuing opposing quarterbacks.
If the Vikings could somehow pair Fletcher Cox next to Linval Joseph, it would give them the most devastating pair of defensive tackles in the National Football League, and quite frankly could give the Vikings’ famed “Williams Wall” a run for their money. With the Vikings’ secondary being among the best in the National Football League, beefing up the defensive line would make this defense even more suffocating than it already is.
That’s why, if I could take any member of the Eagles and bring them to Minnesota, Fletcher Cox would be my choice.
How about you folks? If you could take one player from Philadelphia and transplant them in Minnesota, who would you choose?