3 Eagles reserve linebackers who could break out in 2017

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 5: Nathan Gerry /

Depth has been a word that has been thrown around for quite some time, particularly as it relates to the Eagles linebackers.

Okay here comes one of those controversial statements. Expect that there will be a breakout by one of these reserve Philadelphia Eagles linebackers at some point. It almost has to happen. The starting corps doesn’t seem as solid as it once did.

Jordan Hicks, though able to complete an entire 16-game slate in 2016, scares people with his injury history. He’s one of the best in the biz when he’s on the field, but he has to be on the field. Nigel Bradham appears to have some issues with self control, and we’re not even sure if Mychal Kendricks will be on this team when the games start counting.

If you haven’t noticed, the three guys mentioned have the best chance to start and are currently at the top of the depth chart at the position. One of the reserves need to step up, and they need to do so in a hurry.

Here’s what we have:

Kamu Grugier-Hill

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This is a guy the coaches like. He’s been mentioned by defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz in talks with the media. He’s been praised for attacking holes, filling gaps and, on the sixth day of camp, he had a really nice play where he met a ball carrier in the gap and totally blew up a running play. His is a name that you may hear more frequently.

Joe Walker

As the great Deion Sanders would say, “Hey ma. It’s that man again”. Walker, a seventh-round draft selection, missed his entire rookie season after suffering a torn ACL last August, but it appeared as though he’d make the team prior to being injured. Now, almost twelve months later, he’s making a pitch to be a part of the 53-man roster when the Eagles open the season on September 10th against the hated Washington Redskins.

He’s looked good, especially in individual drills, and it seems the explosion is back.

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Nathan Gerry

Rest easy Eagles fans. This isn’t Gerry’s first attempt at mastering the linebacker position. He spent some time there while with the Nebraska Cornhuskers before making the transition to safety. The same can be said for Grugier-Hill. Both proved that he can be a bit of a ballhawk or a headhunter, whatever was needed at the time. It’s a trait that should serve them well at the pro level seeing as how most teams spend a lot of time in three-wide receiver sets.

That means the Eagles may play a lot of “nickel” coverage. The guys at the second level will have to help in pass coverage, and that’s something Kendricks has shown us he struggles with. Philly may need to add one or two pieces here, but don’t surprised if all of these guys make the roster.