Javon Hargrave
The Eagles struck gold by signing Javon Hargrave. Philadelphia quietly adds another killer to their defensive line for a reasonable cost. (MATT SUNDAY / DKPS)

I love watching the Senior Bowl. In 2016, a defensive tackle from South Carolina State was just kicking everyone’s ass. I can’t say I’ve watched South Carolina State. All I know is this dude was killing people. He was my sleeper of the draft. I didn’t even need to see the guy play. All I know is I want him on my team. That guy was Javon Hargrave. The Steelers picked him in the 3rd round and he’s been a terrific player since.

Hargrave has been dominating in the NFL. You just aren’t talking about him. It’s the same when Hargrave was in college. He dominated, you just didn’t care. After 4 really good years in Pittsburgh, Hargrave signed a modest contract for $39 million over 3 years. I’m not sure if Philadelphia actually knows what they got because the Eagles struck gold by signing Javon Hargrave.

Since 2017, the Eagles have generated the best pass rush in the NFL.

Javon Hargrave

A couple of thoughts here. One: Think about just how bad the Eagles secondary has been with this pass rush. It’s mind blowing how bad Philly’s secondary has been.

Two: Notice how the Steelers are 2nd on that list. Javon Hargrave has a lot to do with that. There’s a reason why TJ Watt and Bud Dupree and able to run wild. Hargrave kills people.

Javon Hargrave

That’s Shaq Mason. If you watch or know football, then you know that doesn’t happen to Shaq Mason. He is one of the best guards in football and a stalwart to the Patriots offensive line. You won’t find many defensive tackles who can do that. When I try to tell you that Javon Hargrave is a killer, I wasn’t lying.

Hargrave wasn’t always a dominant player. Like any rookie, it took some time to get going. As the years have gone on, Hargrave has turned into the player I saw at that Senior Bowl. A monster that destroys everything in his path. Hargrave has 10.5 sacks the past two years but really more than anything, he creates havoc on every snap.

Hargrave, 27, is coming off a fantastic 2019 season. The former Steelers third round pick generated 49 pressures on 345 pass-rushing snaps in 2019. That generated a 14.2% pressure rate which ranked third in the NFL for defensive tackles. The other two names ahead of Hargrave on the list: Aaron Donald and Chris Jones. Yeah… Javon Hargrave is that good.

Think about what the Eagles just did here. We all know how good Fletcher Cox is. Outside of Aaron Donald, Cox is that dude along the interior. Philadelphia didn’t just add Javon Hargrave, that means Malik Jackson is a rotational player. How many teams bring someone like Jackson off the bench to rotate in? Add in Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham, and Josh Sweat off the edge. Along with the news that Darius Slay is on the way as well.

Philadelphia was already the best team in the NFL at getting after the quarterback. That was before they added a killer like Javon Hargrave. This is everything the Eagles hopped Timmy Jernigan would be. Jernigan just hasn’t been able to stay healthy. It looks like the Eagles struck gold with Javon Hargrave and that should terrify the rest of the teams they play in 2020.