This past season, the Philadelphia Eagles opened 3-0 and opened quite a few eyes. Convincing wins over the Cleveland Browns (29-10) and Chicago Bears (29-14) were one thing. Holding the Pittsburgh Steelers to a field goal in a 34-3 victory in Week 3 was quite another. Keep in mind that this was a club that finished 30th in the NFL in total defense in 2015. Suddenly these new-look Birds had held their first three opponents to a combined 27 points. Eventually new head coach Doug Pederson and his club came back to earth but this is now a franchise headed in the right direction.

However, free agency has robbed the Eagles of one of their better players in defensive tackle Bennie Logan. He’s now a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.

What the Birds are losing

You will recall that before the start of the ’16 season, the Philadelphia Eagles’ new coaching staff included defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. That would mean a change in scheme from the 3-4 to the 4-3 in terms of the front seven. The Birds felt they had the right people for the job and that included Logan. He would make the transition from nose tackle to pairing inside with talented Fletcher Cox, one of the best defensive linemen in the league. Logan would make 13 starts and total 24 tackles, 2.5 sacks, a pair of forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

But according to Pro Football Focus, he was only so-so when it came to stopping the run.

How to fill the void

Losing Logan is a fairly bitter pill to swallow. Another year in Schwartz’s system would have been very beneficial to the Philadelphia Eagles improving defense. For now, the replacement is 2014 seventh-round pick Beau Allen, who has not missed a game in three seasons and made three starts this past year.

He finished ’16 with 29 tackles but also graded out even worse against the run (46.9) than did Logan (65.1). The Eagles have been busy in free agency on offense – adding wide receivers Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery, guard Chance Warmack and backup quarterback Nick Foles. But look for Pederson and general manager Howie Roseman to address defensive tackle somewhat early in the draft.