All-NFC East: Defensive linemen

All-NFC East: Defensive linemen
June 5, 2014, 1:30 pm
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Who is the best defensive lineman in the NFC East?

If you could build an All-NFC East team for 2014, which players would you chose? Over the next few weeks, we’ll discuss the candidates and break it down, position by position.

Today we’re debating defensive linemen. Here are our candidates:

Barry Cofield, Redskins

Why choose him?

It can be argued that Cofield was a little better in 2012 than he was last season. But he’s still solid against the run and gets to the quarterback. His 29 hurries ranked second on the Redskins only to OLB Ryan Kerrigan, according to ProFootballFocus.com.

Fletcher Cox, Eagles

Why choose him?

Drafted 12th overall in 2012, expectations are high for the 23-year-old Cox. So far, he’s shown flashes—5.5 sacks as a rookie and three last season—but he needs to be more consistently dominant. The potential is there, however.

Jason Hatcher, Redskins

Why choose him?

Hatcher enjoyed a breakout season as a member of the Cowboys in 2013, racking up a career high 11 sacks and 41 tackles. After handing him a lucrative free agent contract this offseason, the Redskins have big plans for the 6 foot 6, 299-pound 31-year-old.  

Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants

Why choose him?

Limited to only 11 games in 2013 because of back and shoulder injuries, Pierre Paul says he feels “great.” Which is bad news for the rest of the NFC East. The last time JPP was totally healthy was 2011, when he racked up 16.5 sacks and 86 tackles.

Cullen Jenkins, Giants

Why choose him?

Even at 33 years old, Jenkins is still among the best tackles in the division. Since 2009, he’s averaged five sacks per season.

Henry Melton, Cowboys

Why choose him?

The 27-year-old missed all but three games last season with the Bears because of a torn ACL. In 2012, however, Melton was a Pro Bowl selection with 44 tackles, six sacks and two forced fumbles. If he returns to form, watch out.

El-Bashir’s picks: Assuming we’re running a 3-4 scheme (and I would), I’m going with Cofield at nose tackle and Hatcher and Cox lining up as my ends.

Your picks: Let us know whom you would choose as your All-NFC East defensive linemen in the poll and defend your choices in the comments. If you feel we have forgotten someone, we’ll consider write-in candidates.

Tomorrow: Interior offensive linemen.