WegENT

For the last handful of years, the Eagles have shuffled through mediocre linebacker play. This off-season the Eagles went out and addressed the linebacker position in a major way. The Eagles have a solid nucleus of linebackers who could all be crucial to the defense’s success.

Starting with the inside linebackers, the Eagles have Nakobe Dean, Kyzir White, T.J. Edwards, Davion Taylor, JaCoby Stevens, and Shaun Bradley. This unit includes a lot of youth, but a lot of talent as well. The two starting inside linebackers look to be Dean and White. Both new additions to the team, Dean and White will most likely see a bulk of the snaps. Dean, highly regarded as the top linebacker in the 2022 draft class, fell into the Eagles’ lap in the third round. Getting not just a potential starter, but a legitimate difference maker in the third round in Dean was a dream come true for the Eagles. Before drafting Dean, the Eagles signed former Charger Kyzir White to a one-year deal. White was a leader on the Chargers’ defense and will look to bring that success here for the Eagles. Depth-wise, T.J. Edwards was arguably the Eagles’ best linebacker last year. Edwards will still see a solid amount of snaps in 2022. Davion Taylor is the most athletic linebacker on the team. While he most likely won’t start, the former third-rounder could push for snaps with a solid training camp. Bradley and Stevens are both special teams players, but Bradley was one of the best special teams players in the league last year. Neither will likely see meaningful snaps unless of injury, but they’re good depth pieces to have.

Now looking at outside linebackers/ edge rushers, the Eagles brought in one of the best defensive weapons in the NFL, Haason Reddick. The Eagles outside linebacker depth consist of Reddick, Kyron Johnson, and Patrick Johnson. The Eagles will likely move Reddick all around, but he does most of his damage when standing up, not with his hand in the dirt. Kyron Johnson, the rookie sixth-rounder out of Kansas, will most likely be the immediate backup to Reddick and could see some snaps in his rookie year. Patrick Johnson, entering his second year out of Tulane, may now be on the bubble with these recent additions. Johnson can play himself onto the roster with a good camp, but at the moment he looks like a practice squad candidate.

In the last couple of years, it has been hard to get excited about the Eagles linebacker position. This season it is the complete opposite. The Eagles linebacker unit consists of youth, talent, and athleticism we haven’t seen in quite some time. If the Eagles can get above-average play out of their linebackers this year, they could make a push to be a top-five defensive unit in the NFL.

Featured Image: Chris Unger/Getty Images

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