2. The current Philadelphia Eagles linebacker unit is loaded with potential.
At first glance, the guys on Philly’s starting linebacker unit, the one they’ll take into their opening day tilt at Washington, don’t jump off the page, but this trio does bring more experience than expected.
Riley is more of a special teams demon that was given his captain bars a season ago, and he’ll maintain that role heading into 2020. He also has 16 career starts to his name, and he plays with high-intensity whenever he’s on the field. It’s likely that he’ll leave the field when Gerry and Edwards are the two linebackers on the field in nickel packages.
More from Inside the Iggles
- Eagles captains earn high praise on roster blending veteran leadership, youth
- How former Eagles star Cre’Von LeBlanc helped Renegades upstage Cowboys
- Eagles 2023 schedule: Every WR duo Darius Slay, James Bradberry will battle
- Imagining better names for Jason Kelce’s Good Guy Award
- Bold predictions for the Philadelphia Eagles offense in 2023
Gerry, affectionately known as ‘White Snake’ saw the most playing time of his young career a season ago. He quietly had a bit of a breakout, racking up 78 tackles (52 of which were solo) 2.5 sacks, and two interceptions, one of which was returned 51 yards for a touchdown. Gerry was arguably the Eagles’ best linebacker in 2019, and he enters the 2020 campaign as their most experienced.
Speaking of a breakout season, the man manning the middle, T.J. Edwards, has become a trendy pick to be one of the Eagles’ breakout players in 2020. The second-year pro and former undrafted free agent has been complimented by everyone from Pro Football Focus, USA Today, and NFL.com. He finished his maiden voyage with the highest tackle rate among linebackers with a minimum of 100 NFL snaps (20 percent, or 22 tackles on 110 defensive snaps). He also earned the second-best run defense grade among linebackers in the NFL per PFF’s grading system (90.3).
It’s also worth noting that the Eagles drafted linebackers Davion Taylor and Shaun Bradley in the third and sixth rounds respectively this offseason. Taylor is the project but freakishly athletic. Bradley, a local kid from Temple, is being mentioned as someone fans would like to see do well.
When all of this is taken into consideration, the Eagles, all of a sudden, have an exciting young core of linebackers heading into their first game against Washington, but there are a few other things we must consider.