3. Philly’s current linebackers’ best qualities have nothing to do with skill.
As of right now, Philly’s linebacker corps looks like this. They have Jatavis Brown, T.J. Edwards, Nathan Gerry, Alex Singleton, and Duke Riley on the current roster. Outside of Gerry, the best quality they all share is they’re young and inexpensive, but let’s be honest. Though that’s been one of the goals this offseason, the Eagles need some horses. They need to take the task of building this linebacker unit into a formidable one more seriously.
Yes, Gerry inspires confidence, but even though Edwards has been given the nod of having a great deal of potential, nobody is going to say that this is the guy Philly needs to turn the responsibility of being the “Mike” linebacker over to, at least not right now.
Edwards is more of a depth option and no one is convinced that he should be relaying the defensive signals from Jim Schwartz.
Philly hasn’t taken a linebacker in Round 1 of any NFL Draft since they took Jerry Robinson from the UCLA Bruins in 1979, ironically with the 21st-overall selection. If there’s any year that they might want to seriously invest in someone to solidify what they have at the second level of their defense, this is that year.
No one will be disappointed if Philly lands Justin Jefferson, but it’s also fair to ask questions. Is he anything more than a slot guy? Can he play on the outside? If he couldn’t separate consistently at the collegiate level, how will he do so in the mighty NFL?
Is he a top-tier receiver or is he closer to giving the Eagles what they’ve gotten from Jordan Matthews in the past than he is to doing what D.K. Metcalf did with the Seattle Seahawks a season ago? You never know. These drafts are crapshoots remember?