Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
2) Inside Linebacker
The Philadelphia Eagles wanted to improve their thin inside linebacking group when the two starters Mychal Kendricks and DeMeco Ryans both missed time due to injury, and the team was forced to stretch their already thin depth. Because of this, Chip Kelly traded pro bowl running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for ILB Kiko Alonso.
Now the Eagles are officially loaded at inside linebacker. The team still has Kendricks and Ryans on the roster for now and now with Kiko in the mix, the team has 3 starting ILB. Kiko is coming off an ACL injury but in his rookie season he had a staggering 159 tackles and 4 interceptions. Kendricks is also cut from the same mold as Alonso as they are both playmakers, Kendricks in the past two seasons has 8 sacks, 3 interceptions, 5 forced fumbles, and 180 plus tackles.
Ryans has been and will be the leader of the defense and even though age has sort of caught up to Ryans a bit, he still provides that fire for the team. The depth guys behind Ryans, Alonso, and Kendricks are Jordan Hicks, the 2015 third round pick, Najee Goode who stepped in and played well in 2013 but missed 2014 due to injury, Emmanuel Acho who took over for Ryans/Kendricks last season and provided good depth, and Brad Jones whom the team signed in the summer and has also had starting experience in his career.
The Eagles have 7 inside linebackers that could be starters for a number of teams, and three of them have pro bowl potential in Rynas, Kendricks, and Alonso. The defense is really coming along for the Philadelphia Eagles and the inside linebacker position is as deep as I’ve ever seen it.
Next: 1) Running Back