Welcome to The Best Eagles Inside Linebacker IDP Target article on Gridiron Ratings. Where after the Eagle’s made a few offseason maneuvers, IDP owners are trying to hit on a flier for his possible future IDP production boost. And we’re going to break it all down to determine the best target to get the right guy on our rosters. Because we all know to have the fantasy football advantage now, always gives us an IDP advantage later.

linebacker idp target

IDP Production At Stake

It’s been quite some time since the Eagle’s have offered an upper LB1 for fantasy football purposes. But for the last few years, IDP owners, including myself, have tried to figure out just who may be the guy to change the situation. And now we find ourselves going through this all over again this offseason. So because of the recent misses, the stakes aren’t potentially IDP high right now. And it’s this writer’s opinion that taking the steps for a swing at who may emerge is worth what we’ve seen recently. Granted, I base this opinion on the Eagles defensive coordinator’s history as much as anything.

Since Jim Swartz joined the Eagle’s in 2016, we can only name a couple of linebackers that’s touched LB1 status. Because as far as I know, only Nigel Bradham (2016, 2018) and Jordan Hicks (2018) have topped 90 combined tackles since then. And Bradham is the only one of the two to have broken the triple digits with 102 in 2016. Sure there have been injuries and other factors that have pigeon-toed this scenario. But in reality, we should consider it may be because of the defensive scheming. And not put it all on the personal, they have tried to use within the scheme. Afterall the NFL teams do get what they pay for in what they put into their linebacker stock. But the scheming of the defense dictates everything off the top and controls the flow.

So as we break this potential LB2 ceiling down, keep this in mind as everything is put together. And keep your fingers crossed that something changes, and we hit the IDP motherload of an upper LB1. After all, the fantasy football gods giveth as well as taketh away, am I right?

linebacker idp target

Our Targets Stock Shares

Currently, no one has less stock invested in linebackers than the Eagles, according to Spotrac.com. And have only committed 2.07 % ($573,333 on average per player) of their overall cap space to the linebacker position. So that’s not a real encouraging number on how they value the position.

Eagles Inside IDP Linebacker

The Current Targets

The following veteran players on the Eagles roster are candidates with a shot to fill the inside linebacker need in 2020. And possibly for the next few seasons beyond that. We’ll also mention that there are currently a lot of depth charts out there to refer to. And this list is my opinion based on who is under contract at this moment. And not a refection of any depth chart in circulation at this time. In other words, I’m applying player metrics and my knowledge by researching to try and get this right. So if you don’t see a linebacker listed, it’s solely because that player isn’t under contract at the time of this article.

For those readers that might have caught my most recent article about the Rams linebackers (HERE), we’re taking a different approach this time around. We will go with a process of elimination ending with who I suggest we target at this point. And considering the link is HERE, if you’re interested in player contracts, we’ll forgo those as well. Taking note, a couple of the rookies haven’t signed yet, or the site hasn’t been updated.

The Process Of Elimination

  • Dante Olson isn’t going to get a second glance as a 2019 undrafted free agent here. He is just a special team signing with a long road of development ahead of him.
  • We are also taking 6th round rookie Shaun Bradley out of the conversation at this point. His draft status and reportedly Bradley is an elite athlete, but he lacks any type playmaking ability in coverage with only two pass breakups over three years in college. His range and speed are top-notch, but his overall instincts need work. And after locating this information from a trusted resource, his odds in 2020 are very slim of making an IDP impact. So there wasn’t any need for digging deeper or film review.
  • Alex Singleton originally signed with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and then went on to play three seasons with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. He joined the Eagles during training camp during the summer and played special in 2019. And currently, he doesn’t offer any upside right now. But we will keep an eye on him as the NFL events kickoff, and he happens to make a good impression in the preseason.

The Elimination Breaking Point

  • Duke Riley has already shown us what he has to offer on film from his time with Atlanta. And it would be hard to believe that after all this time he can physically get the job done. We know he has mental lapses and can’t take on blockers to stop the run. And any role he might fall into would likely be as a part-time player if we were lucky. Rostering him at this point in his career isn’t worth the swing and miss again after failing already a couple of times.
  • The Eagles signed former Chargers Jatavis Brown over the offseason, and IDP owners took note of the situation. But in this article HERE, I explain how at the time it simply was a veteran depth signing. And how at the veteran minimum he is slated to be a special teams demon for the Eagles and an emergency veteran depth piece.
  • Riley and Brown were given their dues in this section of the breaking point for those reaching deep. Both have at least three years in the NFL, and at one time or another, played with first-team squads. If either slip-up and start the season as a starter, it’ll likely be short-lived or be as a part-time player throughout the season. And, also be an indication just how little the Eagles feel they need highly skilled linebackers on the field. So if we are trying to hit that LB1, if it’s going to happen, this is our breaking point.

The Other “Penciled In” Targeted 2020 Starters

  • 2017’s 5th round selection Nathon Gerry is an obvious target for this gig. He started for the Eagles the last twelve contests of the 2019 season and recorded 74% of the snaps available in seven of those games. Notably, after garnering some contests playing 90% or more of the snaps, it tapered off the last six games. And he hit lows of 53%, 54%, 63%, and 64% during those six contests as a starter during that period. Could have it been a sign that this PFF grade of a 58.4 (HERE) caught up with him? Watching the film, I’d take a wild guess and say it did. And he wasn’t just average for PFF purposes and in his film review either. Because if we take out the two contests, he was way over being productive by default. And when he recorded ten plus tackles per contest, he averaged just 4.6 combined tackles per contest. And for IDP owners trying to make a playoff run, that’s a killer wall to hit.
  • We’re going to go ahead and pencil in this year’s third-round rookie Davion Taylor here as a starter. Noting that he’ll need to be on the ball considering the shortened NFL offseason and prove he can handle being thrown into the fire whenever preseason starts. If not, this opens that window for Riley or Brown we already mentioned. He is out of the University Of Colorado, and on paper, we’re giving him the benefit of doubt here as a potential starter. He’ll have to outperform his draft status. As well as overcome his smallish physical stature for the next level and do it fast to get on the field. And more importantly, he’ll need to lean on his speed and closing abilities. Because in college, he seemed to be a bit inconsistent overall and reportedly didn’t always play a traditional linebacker position. Likely meaning, for now, we should have possibly penciled him in with the Riley and Brown tier. Either way, it all doesn’t translate into an every-down player in the NFL right now.

Our Best Eagles Inside Linebacker IDP Target

Second Year Linebacker T.J. Edwards

2019 PFF Grade: 86.6

Before we go on, I’m going to make a statement here, or a disclaimer of sorts.

I am not going to take credit for what I’m about to pass on. I was in my process of doing what I do and came across all the following information. Yes, I had eliminated and reached this same conclusion as I went through my process and did all the takes on the above players. But to help my cause here, and to give credit where credit is due, I’ll simply say I agree 110% and loved what I saw on film.

Noting, film review was short, he only played 11% of the snaps available on the year with the first unit. And only one contest with 30% of the snaps available. In those snaps, he was targeted five times and only allowed two competition (40%). That’s outstanding, but of course, with a very small sample. And whether or not they were on special teams or with the defense, he ended the season with just one missed tackle. Owning a great 3.2% missed tackle rate, with 30 attempts. He didn’t exactly light up any particular game in 2019 with stats, but that can be expected with his spermatic usage.

So before I pass this on, Edwards isn’t my personal breakout call. But based on what I know, laid out, and the following, he is our Linebacker IDP Target in Philadelphia, if I’m going there. But I’d only expect solid LB2 type numbers, hoping for a real breakout according to this gentleman’s information.

Again, my purpose in IDP life is to help fantasy football owners. And if that means passing on solid content I’m not going to take credit for, then so be it.

linebacker idp target

Thank you for joining us at Gridiron Ratings.  

Gary VanDyke

“The IDP Tipster”

The IDP Tipster

Would you like directly have access to Gary VanDyke and his fantasy Football IDP “takes” or interact? You can find him here @TheIDPTipster via Twitter. His most active account. Or chat with us using our member’s chat on site. We look forward to hearing from you.

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