Philadelphia Eagles: Daeshon Hall has thoroughly outplayed Josh Sweat

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Despite the best wishes of the Philadelphia Eagles, 2017 third-round pick Daeshon Hall has thoroughly outplayed 2018 fourth-round pick Josh Sweat at defensive end and deserves a roster spot in Week 1.

A few weeks back, it seemed almost cruel to slot 2019 preseason superstar Daeshon Hall onto the Philadelphia Eagles‘ stacked final 53 man roster (if you want to read such an article, check here), but apparently, no one told that to Daeshon Hall, as week after week, he proved he deserves a spot in the NFL.

And if Hall does, in fact, earn a roster spot, let’s hope Hall’s fate doesn’t mirror that of last summer’s training camp star DeAndre Carter, who was bounced back and forth between the Eagles’ active roster and practice squad before finally finding a home with the Houston Texans.

To me at least, Hall feels different.

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Unlike former bottom-of-the-roster preseason stars like Steven Means, who spent two years as Jim Schwartz‘s fifth defensive end despit seldom seeing the field, Hall has some sizeable pedigree to back up his flashy stats.

Measuring in at 6-foot-5, 265, Hall flashed an NFL skill set as a dedicated rusher coming off the edge at Texas A&M, where he amassed 14 sacks and 32.5 tackles for loss over his final three seasons in College Station. With experience in both a base 4-3 and a wide-9, Hall’s draft stock vaulted into Day 2 territory after a strong showing at the Combine and was ultimately selected by the Carolina Panthers with the 77th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

But after his rookie season was limited to one game, Hall found himself the odd man out in the Panthers’ 2018 trim down to 53 and was waived in favor of international feel-good story Efe Obada, and almost-an-Eagle Bryan Cox.

Through no fault of his own, Hall soon found himself bouncing around the league as a practice squad player, spending a week with the San Francisco 49ers, and then the Houston Texans, and then the Houston Texans again a few weeks later before finally being signed by the Eagles after a string of injuries limited their defensive line depth – ironically to replace 2018 fourth-round pick Josh Sweat.

In a way, that feels oddly fitting, as Hall may once again replace Sweat some nine months later.

Now don’t get me wrong, all chatter points to Sweat having a solid summer in training camp, but he’s been shockingly silent when it actually matters in-game. Sure, he can run very fast, as highlighted by a near sack against the New York Jets from some 20 yards out, but if Sweat isn’t going to bring down the QB, all of the athleticism in the world doesn’t amount to much in the way of production.

Granted, Hall’s 40 was a 4.76 – .26 slower than Sweat’s 4.5 – but he’s sacked opposing quarterbacks four-time, including three where he stripped the ball in an attempt to force a turnover – that matters.

Hall has also arguably outperformed Vinny Curry this summer too and baring a surprise trade for Jadeveon Clowney, he’s more or less locked in as the Eagles’ first defensive end coming off the bench.

While one would assume Shareef Miller will get a free pass onto the 53 man roster since he’s a brand new draftee – and has looked promising as a preseason reserve – it doesn’t seem like Sweat will be afforded such an opportunity if Howie Roseman opts to simply keep five defensive ends going into the regular season.

Frankly, that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Though some, like yours truly, assumed that the Eagles wouldn’t release a second-year fourth-round pick after an injury-shortened rookie season, Hall is only two-years older than Sweat and was actually a more touted prospect coming out of college. While the Eagles would get an additional season out of Sweat on his rookie-scale deal if he stuck around, as Hall’s three-year, $1.9 million deal expires at the end of 2020, the duo have basically the same career trajectory moving forward and could fill the same role in the Eagles’ future.

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The Philadelphia Eagles have gotten to where they are today – the proud owners of the best roster in the NFL – by consistently filling out their 53 man roster with the best 53 players around, even if it means waiving a player they traded up to acquire, like Donnel Pumphrey, before their rookie season. While it may be a bitter pill to swallow for the scouting department, Daeshon Hall has thoroughly outplayed Josh Sweat this summer and deserves a roster spot in Week 1.