Philadelphia Eagles training camp preview: The linebackers
What may be the NFL’s most talented and most loaded team, the Philadelphia Eagles may have only one weakness, and it’s at the second level.
Ladies and gentlemen, we couldn’t escape the talk about pressure for long. The Philadelphia Eagles aren’t sneaking up on anybody in 2018. They’re the defending Super Bowl Champions, and they’re loaded. The makers of EA Sports’ Madden 19 know it. It seems as though every writer and analyst knows it.
Each level of this team’s infrastructure seems to be carrying a loaded rifle, every level, of course, but one. If there’s one concern on this team, it’s on the defensive side of the ball, and it’s at the second level.
The linebacker grouping is a concern. Don’t be surprised if Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman makes a move as the regular season nears.
Here’s how things look as of right now.
1. Jordan Hicks
If Jordan Hicks could stay healthy, he’d, no doubt, be a part of the Eagles’ long-term future. Unfortunately, he’s never proven he can, so Philly offering him a deal is no sure thing. No one’s concerned about him earning a roster spot. They’re concerned he can’t stay on the field once he does.
2. Joe Walker
Mr. Walker should make the Eagles roster as well. Unfortunately, he, like Hicks, has shown a propensity to be a tad fragile. The top two men on Philly’s depth chart at middle linebacker will, no doubt, have Mr. Roseman looking for an insurance policy.
Related Story: Eagles training camp preview: The tight ends
3. Kyle Wilson
If Mychal Kendricks still played for the Eagles and had Paul Worrilow stayed healthy, Kyle Wilson might not even be in Philly. As you know, Kendricks is gone and Worrilow is too, so here we are. It’s funny how swiftly things change in the NFL. The rook will have to grow up quickly in this defense if he’s going to hold on to a roster spot.
4. LaRoy Reynolds
Entering his sixth season in the NFL, LaRoy Reynolds is already somewhat of a journeyman. His NFL career has already seen suspension, dismissal by three NFL teams and a trip to the Atlanta Falcons‘ injured reserve list.
This may be his final shot to make an NFL roster in Philly.
5. Nigel Bradham
Every Eagles fan is familiar with Nigel Bradham. He’s on the squad. Put a period on that sentence. Philly just needs to find a stand-in while he misses the first game of the regular season.
Related Story: Eagles training camp preview: The wide receivers
6. Asantay Brown
NFL.com’s impression of Asantay Brown was he probably needs time in a developmental league. That’s actually all their draft profile on him says. Obviously, there’s no time for that. He’s a long shot to make this Eagles roster.
7. Corey Nelson
Corey Nelson is coming off of a season-ending bicep injury and may be looking at a starting job after spending the majority of his NFL career on special teams. No one knows how this is going to work out, not even Nelson himself.
Related Story: Eagles training camp preview: The running backs
8. Kamu Grugier-Hill
The ‘Flying Hawaiian’ is finally going to get a realistic shot to earn some major playing time. He’s on the team. How big of a role he has is completely up to him.
Next: It’s time for the Eagles to bring back Corey Graham
9. Nathan Gerry
If Gerry’s on-field production equals the tenacity that the Eagles have gotten from him in the weight room, the sky is the limit for this safety turned linebacker. The door is wide open for this second-year standout. Will he walk through it or have it slammed shut.
That’s it ladies and gentlemen. Those are the guys. Again, there are concerns. Again, don’t be surprised if Howie Roseman goes shopping.