Stewart Bradley: Fourth year - 6'4", 255
Ernie Sims: Fifth year - 6'0", 230
Akeem Jordan: Fourth year - 6'1", 230
Omar Gaither: Fifth year - 6'2", 235
Joe Mays: Third year - 5'11", 246
Alex Hall: Third year - 6'5", 250
Moise Fokou: Second year - 6'1", 236
Keenan Clayton: Rookie/Oklahoma - 6'1", 229
Jamar Chaney: Rookie/Mississippi State - 6'0", 242
Is it possible for the Eagles to have three solid linebackers on the field playing at the same time?
They sure have a legitimate shot, as Stewart Bradley is expected to make a full recovery and return, while the Eagles added a top-notch weakside LB in Ernie Sims from the Detroit Lions.
This is another position that is fully stocked with players to compete during camp. So who plans on taking the next step in his game and becoming a force at strongside?
There are a ton of names on the current roster. Some are true linebackers, while others are hybrid DE/LBs. The team must get to a mandatory maximum of 75 players, and this is one position where players will get cut.
Expect a lot of tough, no-nonsense competition at this position come training camp.
Bradley is the main man in the middle, so the roster spots there will all be for a backup role, but as seen last season, the Eagles need a sure answer if the need should arise again.
Is that where Hall comes in?
Gaither is a solid player but lacks the ideal size to play the strongside, so I believe he and Sims will compete for the weakside. Sims will win out, making Gaither a backup on the roster.
Jamar Chaney and Keenan Clayton are both very competitive rookies who could end up surprising a lot of people this summer.
We must also not forget that hybrid player Ricky Sapp. Sure, he is better suited as a 3-4 linebacker, but do you actually think Andy Reid won't rehash his experimental days and see what Sapp has to offer?
In the end, I believe the battle for strongside will come down to Gaither, Fokou, Hall, and Clayton.
Clayton has a good skill set and earned All-Big 12 conference honors after notching 75 tackles, two INTs, two forced fumbles, and 1.5 sacks. He needs to bulk up to land a starting job, but he is a player to absolutely watch during camp.
Wait, I'm not done yet!
Andy Reid also has DE Darryl Tapp, could make a transition to LB with the Eagles. Fokou will start the season off as the starter, but Tapp will close out the year manning the position as soon as Reid feels Tapp is comfortable enough with the system—thats my prediction!
Projected Starters: Fokou/Tapp (SAM), Bradley (Middle), Sims (WILL)