Let’s continue the discussion on ILBs. Today we’ll look at some of the players the Eagles are considering.
CJ Mosley – Alabama – Not a dynamic playmaker or great athlete, but a true MLB. Smart, instinctive, tough. Sheds blocks and is an outstanding tackler. Right at home in the middle of the field. Physical player. Solid in coverage. 3-down LB. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll reach pick 22.
Ryan Shazier – Ohio State – Freak athlete. 6-2, 237 but he ran 4.36 at his Pro Day. Wow. And that speed shows up on game tape. The problem with Shazier is that he’s best suited to WLB in the 4-3. That doesn’t mean he can’t play in the 3-4. Take a look at Daryl Washington of the Cards and see how they use him. Similar size and build. Shazier covers a lot of ground and would be an interesting addition for the Eagles since they need speed in the middle of the field. The downside is that he’s not the most instinctive player and he isn’t a great tackler.
Kyle Van Noy – BYU – Played OLB for the Cougars. Primarily a pass rusher in 2012, but spent most of his time in coverage in 2013. Great motor. Relentless in pursuit of the ball. Good blitzer. Good cover skills, which he really showed off at the Senior Bowl. My biggest frustration with Van Noy is that he doesn’t use his hands well. He didn’t engage blockers and then shed. He went around them with spin moves, dips and things like that. An ILB must be able to stack and shed blockers. I do think Van Noy is a smart player and that skill can be coached. Okay athlete, but not as good as I hoped for at the Combine.
Christian Jones – Florida State – This is a guy that could really interest the Eagles. Jones played LB in 2012, but spent most of 2013 playing DE. He is 6-3, 240. Only runs 4.7, but he doesn’t look slow on the field. 3-year starter for the Noles. Led them in tackles in 2012. Didn’t have many sacks to show for 2013, but he was a disruptive pass rusher. The Eagles would like Jones a lot because of his versatility. He has played on the edge and on the inside. He could play OLB in the 3-4 as well as ILB. That makes him good depth, but also means you can be creative on gameday with who you rush and how you use your players. For him, let’s look at a 2013 and 2012 game.
And now see him as a true LB.
Telvin Smith – Florida State – I already covered him here.
Christian Kirksey – Iowa – I already covered him here.
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I’ll go over some of the other guys like Jordan Zumwalt, Jordan Tripp and Preston Brown in another post.
Chris Borland could be a 2nd round pick. He was a stud ILB for Wisconsin, but is just a shad under 6-0 and I wonder if the Eagles have any interest in him. They haven’t shown any. I don’t know that they’d want another short ILB to pair with Mychal Kendricks.
Shayne Skov is a huge ILB, but he has battled injuries and only ran 5.2 at his Pro Day. I think he could be a UDFA, as crazy as that sounds.