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Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Trent Cole cracks NFL Rank at No. 78

By Phil Sheridan

It isn't surprising that Eagles defensive end Trent Cole landed at No. 78 among defensive players on ESPN's NFL Rank Project. The question is whether Eagles outside linebacker Trent Cole will be as significant a playmaker now that he has moved in Billy Davis' modified 3-4 scheme.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Cole recorded a sack every 75.3 snaps played from 2008-2011. That was ninth among players with at least 2,000 snaps played. Cole made two Pro Bowls during those years. Last season, as the Eagles tumbled to 4-12, Cole registered a career-worst three sacks -- one for every 232 snaps he played.

In Davis' scheme, Cole will rush the passer sometimes. He will also have to drop back into coverage more often. It is a tough transition for a 30-year-old player, but Cole said he feels he is in shape and can do it.

The bigger question, perhaps, is whether any other Eagles defenders will crack ESPN's Top 100. Former Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel, now with Atlanta, was ranked No. 80.