The Eagles defense wasn’t consistent enough during the 2021 season. Most times, it enjoyed success against inexperienced quarterbacks and struggled against the more experienced ones.

Perhaps one of the most effective ways to impact the outcome of a game revolves around how a team affects the opposing quarterback. On several occasions, the Eagles didn’t do enough. The team finished with the second-lowest number of sacks, 29, in the league.

The team’s most glaring hole is at pass rusher. Besides Pro Bowl defensive end Josh Sweat, the Eagles don’t have any proven options at the edges.

Defensive end Brandon Graham — on the cusp of entering his 13th season — is coming off a torn Achilles injury and turns 34 in April. Derek Barnett is set to become a free agent. Ryan Kerrigan was one of the biggest whiffs in last year’s free agency. Tarron Jackson might be developing, but only appeared in 253 defensive snaps with one sack in his rookie season.

The Eagles should consider addressing the position during the upcoming NFL draft. The team has 10 selections, including three in the first round at Nos. 15, 16, and 19. This year’s draft class has plenty of promising pass-rushing prospects, but it’s never a guarantee general manager Howie Roseman will utilize the team’s picks to address this specific need.

» READ MORE: Should the Eagles use all 3 of their first-round draft picks, or will there be a trade?

“We are evaluating our team and continuing to figure out ways to build,” Roseman said in January. “We are not happy about the fact that our season ended in the playoffs. We want to build a team that has home playoff games, gets to play in front of our fan base, and really build a team that gets a bye.

“Those assets allow us to continue to build and really helps us add good players to this team. Our job is to look at everything, to evaluate every position, every player.”

Heading into the 2022 season, the Eagles are projected to have around $21.5 million in cap space, according to Over the Cap. The number can fluctuate in the offseason based on roster retainment, restructured deals, and cap manipulation.

The new league year is fast approaching and teams will be able to sign free agents starting March 16. The Eagles have nine free agents, but what about bringing in talent at edge rusher via free agency?

Let’s take a look at some pass rushers slated to hit the market and who might make sense for the Eagles.

Haason Reddick, Carolina Panthers

The Eagles got a first-hand look at Reddick’s dominance during their matchup against the Panthers on Oct. 10. Reddick, who spent his college career at Temple, sacked quarterback Jalen Hurts twice and later garnered more attention from the offensive line. Over the past two seasons, Reddick, 27, has 23 1/2 sacks, including 11 this past season. For comparison, Sweat and Javon Hargrave led the Eagles in sacks with 7 1/2 each. Reddick’s success in transitioning from off-ball linebacker to edge rusher is also intriguing considering the multiple roles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon typically asks of his players. The Eagles would likely need to create more cap space for this type of signing, but of the top-tier edge rushers available, Reddick appears to possess the most value and a high ceiling.

Justin Houston, Baltimore Ravens

At age 33, Houston likely won’t warrant a long-term deal. He could be a one-year veteran rental similar to the Kerrigan experiment — however, there’s a lot more to like with Houston, who developed his reputation as a powerful pass rusher during stints with Kansas City and Indianapolis. Houston has proven he’s capable of playing in both 4-3 and 3-4 defenses. If the Eagles can convince him to sign for less than $5 million, it might be worth taking a risk. Other one-year rentals worth considering: Jerry Hughes, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Melvin Ingram III. After all, not much can go worse than the Kerrigan signing.

Arden Key, San Francisco 49ers

Originally a third-round pick in 2018 by the Raiders, Key rejuvenated his career with the 49ers, finishing with a career-best 36 quarterback pressures and 6 1/2 sacks. Despite appearing in a rotational role behind Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead, Key made the most of his limited opportunities. Key possesses flexibility to move across the line, and could play a similar role in backing up Graham and Sweat.

Charles Harris, Detroit Lions

Playing for his third team in five years, Harris enjoyed sustained success in attacking opposing backfields. He finished with a career-best 7 1/2 sacks, 65 tackles, and 16 quarterback hits. The Lions were terrible, but Harris was one of the team’s few success stories. He also played the most defensive snaps of his career (872). Harris’ previous career high was 497 in his rookie season in 2017. Harris turns 27 next month, and after rediscovering himself and breaking out in 2021, his best days might still be ahead of him.

Jacob Martin, Houston Texans

Another Temple product, Martin has been under the radar most of his career. He possesses explosiveness and solid technique — traits he displayed while at Temple — but he has always been criticized for 6-foot-2, 240-pound frame. He has shown spurts of affecting the edge and chasing quarterbacks. He finished with a career-high four sacks last season; he has generated at least three sacks in all four seasons despite limited playing time (averaging just 378 defensive snaps per season).