Figuring Out The Eagles Linebacker Depth Chart With @JoeyTheToothIDP

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The Eagles are going almost brand new at the linebacker position without many incumbent starters. @JoeyTheToothIDP sorts through here who is at the top of the depth chart.


The Eagles have been shuffling the middle of their defense since they won the Super Bowl in 2017. They have three rookies from this year’s draft and could all make some impact or another with the team. They also added to the group via free agency this year as well and have three players returning from last year’s team, only one of which played any significant time. Lets take a look at how the Eagles linebacker depth chart will play out.

Nathan Gerry

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Age: 25 years old

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 230 lbs

2019 Stats: 78 tackles (52 solo), 4 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, 5 passes defended, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery and a touchdown

Nate Gerry came into the league with the Eagles in 2017 as a safety but has transitioned to a linebacker for the team. He was mainly a special teams player with the team up until last year having only logged 154 game time snaps in his first two seasons. During 2019 he filled in nicely playing in all 16 games starting 12 of them and showed to be quite the playmaker coming up with 2.5 sacks and two interceptions. He also posted 13 career interceptions in college as a safety on only 99 targets. That is a 13% interception rate. He has the most experienced Eagles linebacker in that system and has a leg up on the rest of the competition. Gerry has a great pre-snap mentality and plays with incredible effort on every play. Gerry may be the only Eagles linebacker who is guaranteed a starting spot.

T.J. Edwards

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Age: 24 years old

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 240 lbs

2019 Stats: 30 tackles (15 solo)

T.J. Edwards was a player coming out of college that I thought had some promise. I had him graded as a 4th round talent yet he ended up going undrafted and later signed with the Eagles. T.J. Edwards enjoyed a solid college career as a four year starter and never had less than 81 total tackles in a season. He proved, though not the most athletically gifted, to be very capable in coverage coming up with 10 interceptions over his final three seasons.

His hips are a little tight and I would not recommend him much in man coverage but his instincts are excellent and he knows how deep to drop and disrupt in zone. Edwards squares up with power when tackling and is very aggressive downhill. What sets him up for success is his mental processing, especially in the run game. He has a very good football IQ and can man the middle of the field.

Duke Riley

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Age: 26 years old

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 230 lbs

2019 Stats: 14 tackles (12 solo) and a fumble recovery

Duke Riley seemed to have so much promise coming out of college and the Falcons drafted him 75th overall in the 3rd round of the 2017 draft. Unfortunately Riley never panned out for the Falcons and lost his starting job to De’Vondre Campbell and even ceded snaps to Foyesade Oluokun. The Falcons gave up on Riley and traded him and a future 6th round pick to the Eagles for a 7th round pick and Jonathan Cyprien. The Eagles linebacker group was real thin last season yet Riley still could not carve out a role appearing in 12 games and only being on the field for a total of 28 defensive snaps. The Duke Riley train has officially left and off the rails.

Jatavis Brown

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Age: 26 years old

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 221 lbs

2019 Stats: 10 tackles (8 solo) and a fumble recovery

Jatavis Brown is a hot name on the waiver wire to be a sleeper or breakout candidate but I am pumping the brakes. His career started out promising having accumulated 255 tackles during his first three seasons while only starting 22 of a possible 43 games. Then the 2019 season happened and the Chargers added a little more depth and Brown found his way to the bench playing a total of 92 snaps. Brown is highly athletic and one of the faster linebackers in the league though his coverage instincts are terrible. He is also undersized for a linebacker at 5’11” and does not have the coverage ability to move to safety. Due to this he may be leave him in a reserve role.

Davion Taylor

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Age: 22 years old

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 230 lbs

2019 Stats(Colorado): 72 tackles (57 solo), 8 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 4 passes defended and 1 fumble recovery

The Eagles selected Davion Taylor with the 103rd overall pick in the 3rd round of the 2020 draft. Taylor does a great job attacking the football. He drives on the football like a scud missile. He is a physical tackler and has great balance and hitting power. Taylor proved in college that he can move all over the field. There were multiple occasions where he lined up in the slot and has good lateral movement. With that said, Taylor’s football IQ and technique are still incredibly raw. He checks off every box athletically but his technique and processing may need some time to develop.

Shaun Bradley

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Age: 23 years old

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 230 lbs

2019 Stats: 86 tackles (61 solo), 8 tackles for a loss, 3 passes defended, 1 forced fumble and a fumble recovery

The Eagles continued adding to their linebacker depth by adding Shaun Bradley at 196 overall in the 6th round of the 2020 NFL draft. He becomes the next Eagles linebacker to compete for playing time. Bradley is young and is a good downhill linebacker but he lacks good lateral agility. He has a super competitive drive when playing and has a quick first step though does not change direction well. His hips are a bit tight as well and does not project to be very good in coverage. Bradley will serve as depth in the Eagles linebacker corps but can make a difference on special teams.

Eagles Linebacker Depth Chart Prediction

Strongside Linebacker

1st Team: Jatavis Brown

2nd Team: Duke Riley

Middle Linebacker

1st Team: T.J. Edwards

2nd Team: Duke Riley

3rd Team: Shaun Bradley

Weakside Linebacker

1st Team: Nathan Gerry

2nd Team: Davion Taylor

Conclusion

The Eagles linebacker group is still thin after adding multiple players to the group in the off-season. Nathan Gerry was the best Eagles linebacker last year and I actually think that he could have a breakout year in 2020. His coverage skills are far superior than any other player on this squad and barring an injury he should man the weakside for the entire season. Moving to the middle is second year undrafted free agent T.J. Edwards.

He showed solid tackling ability and run processing late in the 2019 season and it seemed to be enough the let Nigel Bradham walk. Edwards has good enough coverage skills to drop in zones and knows depth well when asked to drop. At the strongside I think the nod goes to Jatavis Brown. He is undersized for the position though he did play the position a little for the Chargers. His ability to shed tackles and quick pursuit should help him to get to the edge easier. Duke Riley will push Jatavis Brown to start on the strongside but he has been so underwhelming for his career I think he becomes the backup. He will also serve as the backup to the middle behind T.J. Edwards due mainly to his experience in the league.

Shaun Bradley will be on the 3rd team for the middle linebacker position but will make most of his impact on special teams. Davion Taylor was selected in the 3rd round but he still needs a little time to develop at the NFL level. He has all of the athletic tools but he needs to work on his mental processing and ability to read offenses. If he is able to improve this then maybe he moves to starting weakside while Gerry moves to the middle and Edwards moves to strongside alleviating both Riley and Brown of their possible starting position. Nathan Gerry is the only Eagles linebacker I am touching this year.


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I am the content manager for IDPGUYS and have my own podcast The IDP Update with Joey The Tooth. If its not IDP, its not fantasy football.