I’ve covered this a few times, but it is worth discussing again. The Eagles need help at OLB. They are set at LOLB with Connor Barwin. He is just about perfect for what the Eagles want there. Barwin can play the run. He can cover. And he is an effective pass rusher. Ideally they would prefer a more explosive athlete who could bring more pressure off the edge, but Barwin is pretty darn good.
The ROLB situation is different. The Eagles need help. In a fantasy world they would be able to add someone that was a complete LB. The goal then would be to not have offenses know which guy was going to rush and which one was going to drop back in coverage. Coaches love flexibility.
While that is the ultimate goal, it isn’t a realistic goal. There just aren’t many guys that can fly off the edge and drop back and cover well. Dion Jordan is one such guy and that’s the reason the Eagles were talking to the Dolphins about a trade. That’s not likely to happen so the Eagles are now focused on finding LB help in the draft.
For now, the Eagles are looking for a pass rusher.
The ROLB is going to face LTs most of the time. Occasionally he’ll get blocked by a TE or RB, but mostly it will be the LT. That guy is the top pass blocker on the offense. The ROLB must be able to win enough battles against a LT to be disruptive to the offense. You cannot just stick any player at ROLB and expect to have success.
The player must be a natural pass rusher. He must be a good athlete. Being an effort guy or a power guy will only get you so far. The player needs some explosive traits. So when we talk about fits for ROLB, look for pass rushers with some athletic and explosive potential.
Adrian Hubbard of Alabama isn’t a pass rusher. Nor is he explosive. The Eagles might look at him as a backup at ROLB, but they won’t see him as The Answer to that spot. They’ll need to spend a pick in the first 3 rounds to find a likely answer. You never know when you’ll find the next Trent Cole, but those guys coming out of the 5th round is rare. You generally need to invest early picks to find pass rushers.
I didn’t have time to cover everyone in great depth, but wanted to give you an idea of what I thought about the top prospects, good and bad.
I’m sure there will be more than a few disagreements with my thoughts. That’s okay. It is part of what makes draft discussions so much fun. We watch the same players, but see very different things.