The Eagles have continued to implement their ‘prove-it’ offseason formula by signing veteran linebacker Paul Worrilow. The former Falcons and Lions defender makes his way to the City of Brotherly Love, bolstering their linebacker depth with even more experience. But what does this mean for the Eagles?
Worrilow started eight of 13 games played for the Detroit Lions last year having signed with the team in free agency one year ago, registering 20 tackles, one pass defensed and a fumble recovery in the process. Prior to this, he started 43 games for the team to give him his first shot in the NFL, the Atlanta Falcons. With 242 tackles, 2 picks and 3 forced fumbles in that span, Worrilow became a tenacious tackler and esteemed run defender.
Now as he seeks greener pastures (literally), Worrilow has a chance to use his run defense prowess in the most stout system in the NFL when it comes to that category. While he’s not an electric athlete, the middle linebacker has made his name stuffing holes and using his thick base to bring down bigger backs and tight ends.
The Eagles have their starting middle linebacker in Jordan Hicks, but they don’t have long-term security. Simba has taken over the Animal Kingdom, but injuries have plagued two of his three season’s in the NFL and have left the Eagles shy of starting talent on both occasions, opening up a gaping hole. Worrilow adds a sense of serenity to the position, giving the team the perfect position heading into the draft.
Prove-it contracts have allowed the Eagles to build through the draft. By targeting developmental talent in the later rounds and enabling them to sit behind proven veterans and spend a year in a very well-proven coaching system. With the likes of Joe Walker, Kamu Grugier-Hill and Nate Gerry all waiting in the wings, having a player who has more experience is always valuable when injuries hang heavy over a position.
What’s even more impressive is that Worrilow played in 48.7% of Detroit’s special teams snaps in 2017. If the team decide to fully part ways with Najee Goode, Worrilow brings experience on Fipp’s top-ranked unit and would be more than a worthy replacement.
The Eagles also added Corey Nelson recently, solidifying the linebacker group for the season ahead and minimizing the immediate need prior to the NFL Draft. With plenty of depth and an array of talent across the board, this offseason promises to be one of excitement for the Eagles linebackers, captained by Hicks and Bradham. While the future of Mychal Kendricks remains uncertain, the Birds’ are beginning to string together an abundance of contingency plans for a number of scenarios.
Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports