Today we’re continuing our preseason football roundtable discussions by talking about the Eagles’ defense. Here are our thoughts on who will be the team’s most improved player on d - leave your opinions in the comments!
AJ Black: I am going to say Noa Merritt up the middle. The defensive tackle position is certainly an area of concern going into this season, but I think we saw what Merritt is capable of doing last year in the Quick Lane Bowl when he was a force up the middle. Does he need to play perfectly? No, but I think with Landry and Zach Allen making plays, that’ll leave Merritt in more favorable matchups and he could have a big season.
Matt: I’m excited to see Will Harris this year on defense. He had a really strong season last year with 47 tackles, but I think this year that number will go up, and his ball skills will be better, which will result in a few more interceptions in the improved secondary.
Joe P: From everything we've heard through the preseason, and given the way he finished last season, it should be Isaac Yiadom. The senior corner has always had the speed and length, but he's bulked up and now has the experience to be a No. 1 corner. As Matt said, this secondary could be poised for vast improvement across the board, and I think Yiadom will make everyone's job easier.
Coach: I am going with another in the secondary, Lukas Denis. He got picked on mercilessly early last year and made great strides in just locating the ball and played with a competitive ferocity. I am not saying he will be the best cover in the secondary, I believe that will be Yiadom, who everyone should be extremely proud of in how he has developed over the years, but the most improved will be Denis.
Hoff: I’m going with Zach Allen. He had a real solid sophomore season getting 10 tackles for a loss and 6 sacks but I think he will be even better this year. I’m looking for him to take his game to an All-ACC level which means 10 sacks and 20+ tackles for a loss.