OTA Preview: Eagles ready to usher in a new era of linebacker play

College football national championship eagles
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – JANUARY 10: Georgia Bulldogs ILB Nakobe Dean (17) lines up on defense during the Alabama Crimson Tide versus the Georgia Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship, on January 10, 2022, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

The fans had been pounding on the table for linebackers for years. Gio The Podcaster went on NFL Network to demand Howie Roseman finally answer the long-term question. And boy did Howie Roseman answer the bell.

The Linebacker position has been Philly’s biggest weakness for over four years now. The team has countered that the old scheme did not need for top LB’s and that’s why the position was ignored.

Not anymore! The linebacker position has had a complete overhaul with one free agent signing and one special steal of the draft. It’s now turned from a position of need, to a position to watch as we get to OTA’s next week.

LB’s on the Roster

TJ Edwards, Kyzir White, Nakobe Dean, Davion Taylor, Shaun Bradley, Christian Elliss, Joe Ostman, Haason Reddick, Patrick Johnson, Kyron Johnson

The Free Agent Acquisitions

Kyzir White and Haason Reddick

A lot of people were very excited about the Haason Reddick and rightfully so. The team needed a top pass-rusher and they got one of the best. But it was Kyzir White that got me truly excited. Arguably the third-best defensive player on the Chargers last season, White was superb against the pass and a quick reader against the run. It’s going to be fun to watch him play on a defense that will allow him to play his style of ball.

I honestly debated between making Reddick an edge rusher here but it seems he will take the place of Genard Avery at the SAM. What an upgrade that is. Reddick has the athleticism to be all over the field, and usher in a new edge of aggressive defensive football in Philadelphia.

The Currents with Something to Prove

TJ Edwards and Davion Taylor

Edwards and Taylor both weren’t bad last year. Taylor showed a lot of promise before his injury and Edwards has always been good against the run but not fast enough against the pass. In the end, their ceilings aren’t nearly as high as some of the newer acquisitions.

A good OTA for both will all but guarantee roster spots for both but their development will be key to determining just how much playing time both will be getting this year.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!!!

Nakobe Dean

How many times have the Eagles passed up on top linebackers over the last decade? How many times has a linebacker fallen into their laps and they just did not take the leap? In the end, it’s a miracle that Nakobe Dean fell into the third round. Injury concerns to his pec was labeled the reason for his drop out of the first round, but according to doctors, he was ready and healthy enough to participate in rookie minicamp.

Any way you look at it, the Dean selection is one of the best on paper the Eagles have made in a few years. Not only did they get a first round player in round three, but they solidified a position of need over the last few years.


Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire