The Philadelphia Eagles finally bring in a linebacker.
One could argue the Eagles will probably draft a linebacker earlier than the fifth round. It’s a safe bet. This is still early in the draft process. The three previous players were hard to pass up but that could change by late April. Either way, the Eagles will add a talented linebacker at pick 135 with Monty Rice from the University of Georgia.
While the Eagles have seen improvement from their linebackers throughout the year, it’s never a bad idea to bring in competition. They have two undrafted linebackers starting – Alex Singleton and T.J. Edwards. They’ve been great but they will have to make more strides in 2021 to remain starters. Nathan Gerry shouldn’t be re-signed. Duke Riley might be brought back as a special teamer but he shouldn’t be starting. Maybe Jatavis Brown will come out of “retirement” but that’s not a guarantee. Fans hope to see more Davion Taylor but we don’t know what he is yet. He’s crazy athletic but he’s still so raw.
While Monty Rice doesn’t have ideal size (six-foot-one, 235 pounds), he has the instincts. He’s been great in pass coverage for UGA – something the Eagles linebackers have consistently struggled with. He pairs his athleticism with his play recognition. He’s also just a playmaker. The numbers speak for themselves: two forced fumbles, one defensive touchdown, 49 tackles, four tackles for loss, and one sack in just nine games in 2020. If teams want to pass on him just because of his size, he could fall right into Philly’s lap.