Eagles Should Take A Look At These Three LB Prospects

Cedric Gray, Philadelphia Eagles
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL offseason continues to draw closer, the Philadelphia Eagles have quite a few holes that they need to fill. After a brutal late-season collapse, the front office has quite a few decisions to make.

One area that the Eagles must improve in is at linebacker. They need to add more talent to the position. It was a glaring weakness for them at times throughout the 2023 season.

With that in mind, there are a few different prospects that the Eagles should take a look at. Let’s take a look at three potential fits for Philadelphia in the 2024 NFL Draft that they should be monitoring.

Payton Wilson, NC State

Payton Wilson, representing NC State, has also earned his place on ESPN’s prestigious top 100 list, ranking 13th. Over his five years with the Wolfpack, Wilson’s impressive resume includes 403 tackles, 15 sacks, and seven interceptions. Notably, his 138 tackles and 17.5 tackles for loss in 2023 outpaced all other players in the ACC.

Jaylan Ford, Texas

Jaylan Ford, hailing from the University of Texas, has undoubtedly made a name for himself with his exceptional performance on the field. Over his last two seasons with the Longhorns, he amassed an impressive stat line, recording three sacks, three forced fumbles, six interceptions, and a remarkable 220 tackles. In 2023 alone, Ford’s four interceptions placed him at the top among all FBS linebackers.

Ford’s versatility shines through as he has been effectively deployed in various defensive alignments. His prowess in zone coverage, a skill lacking in Philadelphia’s current linebacker lineup, sets him apart. Among the Eagles’ starting linebackers, only Zach Cunningham managed to secure a top-50 coverage score (49th) according to Pro Football Focus. It’s worth noting that Cunningham is heading into free agency in 2024.

Standing at an imposing 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 240 pounds, Ford shares similar physical dimensions with Cunningham. However, he towers four inches above Nakobe Dean, the Eagles’ third-round pick in 2022. Despite being projected as a sixth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, Ford could potentially be a steal for Philadelphia on Day 3.

Cedric Gray, North Carolina

Gray was one of four Tar Heels named to ESPN’s list of the top 100 college football players for the 2023 season (67). He had 367 tackles (29 for loss), 8.5 sacks, five interceptions, 13 passes defended and five forced fumbles over his last three seasons. His 121 tackles in 2023 were the second-most in the ACC.

Gray was named second-team All-American in 2022 and earned first-team All-ACC honors in each of his last two seasons. Considered a solid all-around linebacker and sound tackler, Gray isn’t exceptional in one particular area but is athletic enough to become a three-down linebacker and could go in the second round of the draft.

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