Eagles DRE Trent Cole
Height: 6-2¼ Weight: 269 Speed: 4.72
Notes: Despite grading out as a second-round talent as a senior, Cole fell to the fifth round in the 2005 NFL draft after showing up at the NFL Scouting Combine at 236 pounds while still recovering from pneumonia and having a right hamstring injury that excluded him from performing. He lined up everywhere along the line during his time at Cincinnati, starting his career on the nose before kicking outside, and finished his career with 238 tackles, 48 tackles for loss and 19 sacks. With the Eagles in ’05, he took over the starting DRE job in Week 10 as a rookie and finished with 46 tackles and five sacks. Was thrust into a more prominent role after Jevon Kearse went down with an injury in ’06 and finished notching 62 tackles and eight sacks, which earned a five-year contract extension through 2013 worth roughly $27.3 million. Started every game the next three seasons, leading the NFC in tackles for a defensive linemen with 70 in ’07, coupled with a career-high 12½ sacks, earning a Pro Bowl invitation. Racked up 77 tackles and nine sacks in ’08 and 57 tackles and 12½ sacks in ’09, again earning a Pro Bowl nod. While playing through an ankle injury suffered in the preseason during 2010, he tallied 65 tackles and 10 sacks. Suffered a right calf injury vs. San Francisco on Oct. 2 and missed the next two games in ’11, but has recorded 21 tackles and five sacks in seven starts. Has racked up 12 career forced fumbles. Is nicknamed “The Hunter” for his offseason hobby as an avid outdoorsman.
Positives: Has a sturdy, solid build and good functional strength to play off blocks and defend the run. Very good football intelligence and awareness. Has quick hands, a long second step and good balance and lateral agility. Is athletic enough to zone-drop and is alert in coverage. Excellent competitor and on-field demeanor — plays with emotion, has a sense of urgency and has recorded excellent career effort production. Consistently makes plays in pursuit. Very humble, hardworking and down-to-earth. Plays through pain.
Negatives: Lacks elite closing burst and acceleration at the top of his rush. Does not showcase variety as a pass rusher. Can be undisciplined and get caught out of position overpursuing, trying to jump the snap and hitting the quarterback after the ball is gone. Can be trapped and schemed to overaggressively run himself out of plays. Has been slowed by injuries in recent years and is beginning to show signs of aging.
Summary: A very good, functional football player who has flown relatively quietly under the national radar. Cole stands out most for the energy, emotion and hustle he brings to the field, often selflessly freeing up his linemates (Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins) to make plays. Is very tough, aggressive, competitive and instinctive, but has been schemed in Juan Castillo’s finesse, fly-at-the-snap defense to pin his ears back. Has been part of an Eagles defense that has been heavily creased against the run this season.