Up next in my Philadelphia Eagles Player Profile or “PEPP” series is inside linebacker Kiko Alonso. In this series of post, I’ll discuss each and every single player on the Eagles’ current 90-man roster, in alphabetical order. For each player, I’ll discuss their career history, measurables, individual outlook for the Eagles in 2015 and their chance to make the final 53-man roster.
It was the trade heard around the NFL, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly shipped out the Eagles’ star running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for inside linebacker Kiko Alonso. Coming off a major knee injury, Alonso missed his entire second season in the NFL but showed a ton of promise during his rookie season. Will he return to that form in Philadelphia?
Drafted 46th overall in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Alonso was a polarizing prospect. He showed flashes of brilliance at Oregon on the field but had question marks off the field. Luckily he landed in a good situation with the Buffalo Bills where he was able to see the field right away and focus on football. As a rookie, Alonso lit up the NFL, finishing his rookie season with 159 total tackles, 4 interceptions and 2 sacks. He was a major snub in terms of awards following his rookie campaign and wasn’t named Defensive Rookie of the Year or to the Pro Bowl.
Before the injury, Alonso was the talk of Buffalo and there was so much hype building around him that “The Legend of Kiko Alonso” was born:
But Alonso was ready to become even better during his second season in the NFL, sadly he suffered a torn ACL during an offseason workout in Oregon and missed the entire season. Alonso had practically a full year to recover from the injury and get himself back to full health. Towards the end of his recovery, Alonso was traded to the Eagles and reunited with his former coach at Oregon, Chip Kelly. Now he’ll look to take that next step in his career in a new uniform, hoping to take the Eagles to the next level as well.
Kiko Alonso’s measurables, according to Mockdraftable.com.
Alonso has great size for an inside linebacker at 6-3, 238 pounds. Although some may question his weight, Alonso uses his “slim” build to make plays all over the field. He didn’t blow anyone away with his underwhelming 40-yard dash time, but he’s at his best moving side to side and especially in coverage. Which is evident by his impressive times in both the 20-yard shuttle and 3-cone drill. Alonso isn’t the most physically imposing player but he’s got a knack for making plays and knows how to find the ball.
Eagles’ Outlook for 2015
It’s tough to predict what exactly the Eagles and defensive coordinator Bill Davis are going to do with the inside linebacker position. They have a plethora of talent at the position with Alonso, Mychal Kendricks, DeMeco Ryans and Jordan Hicks. But one thing is for sure, Alonso will be a huge part of those plans. He’s just as versatile as Kendricks but he isn’t heading into the final year of his rookie contract and hasn’t been involved in trade discussions.
Alonso is already fully healthy and is participated in the Eagles’ voluntary workouts, OTAs and minicamps. He’s constantly paired with either Kendricks or Ryans as the team’s starting inside linebacker and although Kendricks seems like the easy choice to pair with Alonso, Ryans is in the mix as well. Either way, Alonso should be one of the Eagles’ starting inside linebackers and if he can stay healthy, he should have a Pro Bowl caliber season in the City of Brotherly Love.
Chip Kelly’s #Culture Grade: 👍 🐦👍
Two thumbs up and let’s pretend that’s a duck in the middle. Alonso had some issues off the field in college at Oregon while Kelly was coaching there but he’s been clean since coming to the NFL. Kelly wouldn’t trade specifically for Alonso, especially give up the team’s star player, if he didn’t believe he would be a great fit both on and off the field.
Chance of Making Eagles Final 53-Man Roster: 100%
There’s no doubt about Alonso making the Eagles’ final roster. If he’s fully healthy, he could compete against defensive end Flecther Cox as the most talented player on their defense. Alonso showed some insane ability during his rookie season with the Bills and if he can play anywhere close to that level in Philadelphia, he will likely be making a trip to the Pro Bowl at the end of the season.
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