Significant questions for the Philadelphia Eagles at linebacker

The Eagles were less negligent in addressing the linebacker position this offseason. How are we feeling about this unit now?
Nakobe Dean, Philadelphia Eagles
Nakobe Dean, Philadelphia Eagles / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

We have long discussed the Philadelphia Eagles' negligence in addressing the linebacker position. Perhaps it dates back to Andy Reid. Yeah... It was Andy! Most of us never forgot where we were when we saw Joe Jurevicius snag one in front of Barry Gardner and take off in that NFC Championship Game or one of the worst standoffs between the front office and a player in team history, when the Birds tried to slap the franchise tag on Jeremiah Trotter Sr.

Time has healed wounds, and all is forgiven between Philly and Trot. You may have even heard. His son plays for these same Birds now.

There has still existed theories that the Birds don't value the linebacker position enough and that Andy passed that thinking along to Howie Roseman.

Through the years, Jim Scwhartz didn't seem to be a fan of linebackers. Recently, Philly let a homegrown stud, T.J. Edwards, get out of the door, but there was more of an emphasis in adding to the position during the current offseason.

Philly signed Devin White, Oren Burks, Zack Baun, and Julian Okwara. They drafted Jeremiah Trotter Jr. Things aren't perfect, but we like this unit more than we did last January, but we still have questions. Here are a handful that come to mind immediately.

How long is one Dawg's leash, the one belonging to Nakobe Dean?

First things first. We had no issues with Philly taking these Bulldogs during their respective NFL Drafts. Maybe they can recreate some of what we saw at Georgia. Well... That's what we thought at least.

Fast forward, and we're still waiting on Jordan Davis to dominate. Jalen Carter hit the rookie wall. Nolan Smith has that shoulder issue that comes and goes, and we think Kelee Ringo can play... maybe.

That brings us to Nakobe Dean. What can we say here that hasn't already been said fifty times or more.? We were fine with his third-round selection. There wasn't much risk in taking him there, right?

He spent two stints on Philly's injured reserve last season. We'd never call a guy a bust because of injury, but one has to ask. How long should Nakobe's leash be this season? We imagine the Eagles will give him every opportunity to earn a starting MIKE (middle linebacker) job.

Will the change of scenery benefit Devin White?

Devin White has somehow gone from being the best player on the football field during a Super Bowl game to being someone who was recently benched during the Wild Card Round.

We'll see how this goes. He comes to Philly on a one-year, prove-it deal, but if we're being honest, we're a little concerned here.

He could wind up being a steal or another linebacker on Philly's free-agent scrap heap.

How good can Jeremiah Trotter Jr. become?

We all loved seeing Jeremiah Trotter Jr. come home. If anyone was born to be an Eagle, it would have been this guy, but this entire story is about drinking some truth serum, and Trot was a fifth-round selection for a reason.

We doubt he'll start immediately. He may never be as great as his father was, but here's the thing. It isn't like he is trying to be. 'Junior' only needs to be himself and be 'Junior'.

Hmmm... As we say that, a thought crosses our minds of him swinging his imaginary axe.

Okay, with that said, we hope some of what dad had has rubbed off on his son, but we'll need to be patient. He's behind at least two guys on the depth chart, and he has a lot to learn.

Will it come down to Oren Burks vs. Zack Baun?

Oren Burks or Zack Baun are going to make this team, aren't they. Maybe a roster spot comes down to deciding between one or the other. Maybe everything comes down to answering another question?

Is carrying more than four inside linebackers on the 53-man roster carrying too many? There would nee to be at least that many for Vic Fangio's 3-4 scheme, right?

White, Dean, and Trotter are in. They'll make the roster. It would seem as though Burks and Baun have an edge over Brandon Smith and Ben VanSumeren, but who knows? We've been wrong before, and September is months away.

Worth mentioning: Have we given up on Nolan Smith or not?

He's listed as an 'outside linebacker', but technically he isn't. Nolan Smith is an edge guy. Our question is whether or not you have lost faith in him, and if so, why?

Perhaps the scariest thing we ever heard him say was "Sometimes the shoulder works, and sometimes, it doesn't'. That isn't an exact quote, but you can see why we're worried, right?

Frankly, we think this works. Philly was pretty well stocked at EDGE last season, so they didn't have to lean on the then-rookie too much. Fast foward to the present, and we all expect an expanded role for another of our Dawgs. Once this one starts eating, don't act like we didn't tell you so.

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