Instant analysis: Eagles sign former Chargers linebacker to one-year deal

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According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Philadelphia Eagles have made another free agency signing.

IT’S A LINEBACKER. LIKE, A REAL ONE. AN ACTUAL FOOTBALLING BACKER OF LINES. I’m just as shocked as you are. Here’s everything you need to know about the signing.

At 5-11, 221 lbs, Jatavis Brown is slightly undersized for the OLB role, but posted some ridiculous athletic numbers ahead of the 2016 NFL Draft, where he was selected in the fifth round.

33 reps on the bench
A 4.44 40-yard dash
10.41 Broad Jump
1.53s 10-yard split.

Mamacita.

*Side note: These are relatively similar numbers to Kevin Pierre-Louis who I thought was a dream fit for the Eagles.

He quickly became a playmaker for the team, amassing 79 tackles (64 solo) and leading the Chargers in that metric. He also and a half sacks as a rookie too along with six passes defensed and two forced fumbles.

In 2017, the production was similar, and one year later a career-year saw him rally to 97 tackles and 5 passes defensed. An injury kept him out of the playoff push, but it was a career year nonetheless.

2019 was an interesting season for the Akron star. He spent most of his time (which was 72% of snaps in week 11 and not much else) as an interior linebacker which really highlighted weaknesses in his game. If he was a little light to be on the outside, trying to get off blocks against zippy guards and centers was never going to be easy.

It also didn’t help that the Chargers defense found some strong linebacking talent in the meantime, forcing him further down the pecking order.

While wildly athletic, his tackling production can fluctuate, with flawed mechanics sometimes leading to chaotic efforts. This is a slight concern to the Eagles whose entire linebacking position outside of T.J Edwards struggled with the same problem.

I think that Brown would be a perfect replacement for Kamu Grugier-Hill, who the Eagles let walk at the beginning of free agency. Brown may be a lot smaller than KGH, but he possesses similar range and athletic prowess which bodes well for what the Eagles demand out of their weakside backers.

His play has steadily dropped off, but it’s contextual. We’ll be bringing you a film breakdown in the coming days with some tape from 2018…and that one game of 2019 against the Chiefs. But initial thoughts are cheap, cheerful, and ticking a position of need with a low-risk, high-upside player who’s still young enough to develop.

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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