It’s now 94 days (presumably) until the Eagles open the season in Landover, Md., against the Washington Redskins on Sept. 13.
From now until then, SI.com EagleMaven will do a jersey countdown, listing the current Eagles player to wear the corresponding number to the days left before the season opener. As a bonus feature, we will list the top three players in team history to have that number.
Current number 94:
Josh Sweat. The rangy defensive end was once one of the top high-school recruits in the country at Oscar F. Smith HS in Chesapeake, Va., before a catastrophic knee injury threatened his football career. Sweat persevered and quickly became a major part of the defensive line at Florida State, ultimately developing into a fourth-round pick of the Eagles in 2018.
From a physical standpoint at 6-foot-5 and 251 pounds Sweat looks like a weakside NFL edge rusher and he’s slowly worked his way into Jim Schwartz’s rotation on the outside. He got his feet wet as a rookie playing in nine games and seven percent of the defensive snaps. By last season, Sweat was behind only starters Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett as well as veteran Vinny Curry and was a key contributor while playing all 16 games and on 34 percent of the defensive reps.
Sweat finished 2019 with four sacks behind only Graham (8.5), Barnett (6.5), and Curry (5.0). He was also fourth on the team in tackles for loss with eight and fifth in pressures with 29 despite his limited playing time.
That production has the Eagles believing Sweat can bump up to the No. 3 role in the rotation this season behind only Graham and Barnett.
The top 3 in team history to wear number 94:
3. Beau Allen. A key member of the interior defensive line rotation during the Eagles Super Bowl run in 2017-18, Allen developed from a seventh-round pick in the Chip Kelly era to a solid complement inside for Jim Schwartz finishing with two tackles in the biggest win in franchise history. By the time his rookie deal expired with the Eagles Allen had proven himself enough to get a $15 million deal with Tampa Bay and is set to begin the 2020 season with the team Philadelphia beat in Super Bowl LII, the New England Patriots.
2. N.D. Kalu. Originally a fifth-round pick of the Eagles in 1997 out of Rice University, Kalu bounced between the Birds and the Washington Redkins over his first few pro seasons before he settled down in a second stint with Philadelphia, amassing 18.5 sacks over four seasons as both a situational rusher and a starter at DE in 2003. The high-water mark was eight sacks and three forced fumbles in 2002. Over four seasons in his second tour with the Eagles Kalu played in 61 of a possible 64 regular-season games. He ultimately finished his career in Houston and got into sports-talk radio.
1. Jason Babin. Yeah, he might have been selfish and Jim Washburn might have gone rogue on the defensive line but 18.0 sacks in the NFL are 18.0 sacks, and few on the planet at any given time can even think about pulling that off. That’s what Babin did in 2011 and he was named a second-team All-Pro. Over two stints with three seasons with the Eagles Babin finished with 26 total sacks.
Montae Reagor. The defensive end who was a Super Bowl champion with the Indianapolis Colts and played his final professional season in Philadelphia back in 2007. Reagor was just a blip on the radar with the Eagles but that blip got relevant again when Philadelphia selected Montae’s son, receiver Jalen Reagor, with the 21st overall pick in the 2020 draft back in April.
Others: Byron Darby, Dan McMillen, Steve Kaufusi, Leonard Renfro, Kevin Johnson, Bill Johnson, Kelly Gregg, Ricky Sapp, Derek Landri, Haloti Ngata
John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Monday and Friday on SIRIUSXM’s Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes, and every Tuesday and Thursday with Eytan Shander on SBNation Radio. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen