According to Josina Anderson, former Broncos linebacker Corey Nelson is another player set to sign a short-term contract with the Super Bowl winning Philadelphia Eagles.
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 13, 2018
So just who is Nelson and what does he bring to the table?
The 25-year old was drafted in the seventh round of the 2014 draft and during his time with the Broncos, he amassed 88 tackles, one sack, six PBU’s and a fumble recovery. Nelson saw his role gradually increase after carving out a niche on special teams, tallying 18 total tackles on returns during that timespan.
Nelson eventually became Denver’s third option at inside linebacker and a key option in dime and sub packages. But the 2017 season escaped escaped from the 6’2, 225 lbs linebacker. Denver deviated from their natural 3-4 scheme which left Nelson out in the cold, tallying just 4 tackles in 5 games.
His 2017 season ended abruptly after 5 games. The Broncos had went away from their base 3-4 scheme in the beginning half of the season and played more of a nickel and dime scheme. This took both Nelson and Davis Sr. out of the equation for the first 5 games. In 5 games, Nelson accounted for 4 total tackles before suffering a season-ending injury in practice. He saw 115 special teams snaps in that time along with 44 on defense.
He may not be a Jordan Hicks or a Nigel Bradham, but Nelson does have upside. His main weakness seemed to always fall when isolated one-on-one in pass-coverage as an inside linebacker. However there were other times in which he flourished. An underrated cog in the Denver defense that has now slowly began to rust, Nelson now has a chance to compete for a backup role behind Jordan Hicks.
A good comparison would be Kamu Grugier-Hill. A perennial special teamer who does have experience playing on defense and is only getting better as time goes on. Or Najee Goode, who was in a very similar role during his contract year and is now a free agent. It could well be this that pushed the Eagles to find some developmental targets in free agency.
A prove-it deal is something we’ve come to expect from the team by this point and that’s exactly what the situation seems to be. Filling in for Najee Goode as a full-core special teamer who can be an ILB option when called on, the Eagles get younger and more than likely cheaper at a position of great need.
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