Will the Eagles finally get serious about strengthening the linebacker position in 2022?
Throughout the NFL’s century-long history, we’ve been introduced to some great linebackers: Lawrence Taylor, Ray Lewis, Derrick Thomas, Junior Seau. Heck, the Pittsburgh Steelers have had several guys who are among the best ever (Jack Lambert, Jack Ham, James Harrison). The same can be said about the Chicago Bears (Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, Brian Urlacher). That isn’t the case with the Philadelphia Eagles though, and quite frankly, we’re sick of it.
No disrespect is intended to Seth Joyner, Bill Bergey, Maxie Baughan, or Jeremiah Trotter. All of those guys are all-world in our book, but if you’re looking for an Eagles equivalent to those legends that we mentioned earlier, you have to board the hot-tub time machine and travel back to eras that included Chuck Bednarik, the only man that was a member of the Eagles’ championship teams in both 1949 and 1960.
It was ‘Concrete Charlie’ that stopped Green Bay Packers fullback Jim Taylor on the final play of the 1960 NFL Championship Game and preserved the Eagles’ 17–13 victory. That was a long time ago, however, and Birds fans have hoped for that type of presence to lead the second level of their defense ever since.
It seems strange that a franchise that has often been known for great defensive teams has allowed itself to devalue the linebacker position seemingly since Andy Reid paced the sidelines, but let’s hope we see a major addition in the coming NFL Draft.
The Eagles have ten draft choices, though we don’t believe they’ll use all of them. Currently, they have three picks in Round 5, zero in Round 6, and one in Round 7. We’ve discussed guys like Nakobe Dean and Devin Lloyd in great detail, but if their selections aren’t in the cards, Philly will have other options.
Here’s a look at seven of the lesser-mentioned prospects, one for each round. Some may rise. Some may fall, but we believe they’ll be available in their respective rounds as Philadelphia makes its way through the selection meeting.