While a few backups on the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster could probably start for bad teams, there really is no accomplishment in that. The one player that could actually start for other good teams is defensive end Phillip Hunt.
You remember Phillip Hunt. He was the player the Eagles signed from the CFL prior to the 2011 season. His signing was generally ridiculed and laughed at and a good number of people still aren’t really sure of who he is.
It’s time to get to know him. Hunt is small for a defensive end, weighing in at just around 250 pounds. He saw action in just nine games and mostly played at the end of the rotation.
He really was an afterthought in all the ups and downs of the 2011 season. So why is he the one player?
For one, despite how little he was used, Hunt was actually quite productive when given the opportunity. In nine games he recorded 2.0 sacks, 15 quarterback hurries and a quarterback hit. One of his sacks was a safety.
Those numbers may not pop out, but if you look at the three games he played over 25 snaps he was a little more impressive.
In those three games he recorded both of his sacks and eight quarterback hurries. Those games also happened to come during the four-game winning streak.
In his first five games he played just 28.0 percent of the team’s defensive snaps and he had five quarterback hurries and one quarterback hit.
Over the last four he played 33.6 percent of the snaps and had 2.0 sacks and 10 quarterback hurries. He was becoming a force at defensive end once he started actually playing.
According to Pro Football Focus Trent Cole and Jason Babin were the top two 4-3 defensive ends in the league based on their statistic Pass Rushing Productivity. When you look at Hunt’s rating, he ends up ranked right between Cole and Babin.
On top of his numbers and productivity, Hunt was named by Football Outsiders as one of the NFL’s top 25 prospects at No. 22.
Hunt has a combination of ability, productivity and some recognition as a player on the rise. He also may get to prove that he can start for another team because he may not make the Eagles final roster.
They already had a deep group at defensive end with Cole, Babin, former first-rounder Brandon Graham and Darryl Tapp. They also just drafted Vinny Curry and signed Monte Taylor.
While other Eagles backups could get on the field elsewhere, none of them would really be impact starters. Phillip Hunt is the one player out of a starting job that could earn one and be successful with another team.
Here is hoping he sticks around because he can play and you can never have too many pass rushers.