The current Eagles’ linebacking corps is… fine. Not great, not terrible, but they get the job done. Bigger issues arise when looking at the upcoming free agents for the team. Looking at that list, you will see the two best linebackers are up for new contracts or are potential options for release. Nigel Bradham, who is thirty, has a team option, and will earn $8,000,000 if he is brought back for next year. He is an option to be released to save the team some money. The other prominent Eagles’ linebacker, Kamu Grugier-Hill, is set to be a free agent. He may not return to the team after he was injured for a large portion of this year. Looking at the depth chart, definite improvements or moves for the future could be made as we progress towards the 2020-2021 season.
In comes Patrick Queen, an athletic linebacker from the recent NCAA College Football National Champions, LSU. Queen brings the range and athleticism to be a true sideline-to-sideline linebacker in the NFL, which is one of most important aspects from the position. His instincts and closing speed make him a dangerous threat to penetrate the gap, and create havoc for the running game. If you sit back and watch the tape, you can see how his athleticism paired with his high football IQ makes him always one of the first people to hit the ball carrier. He is not the strongest player in the world, but his length, tackling technique, and physicality make him a damn good tackler in the open field or in the hole. His length also comes in to play when shedding blocks to make a play, using his length to keep blockers away from his chest. He’s not only a great tackler with his instincts and speed, but he excels in coverage. In zone, he shows a great ability to read and react to route combinations, putting himself in position to stop potential passes.
With all his tools, I have no doubt that Patrick Queen will be a plus starter at the next level. The Eagles should absolutely be considering adding him to their roster, as he can shore up a future position of need, while getting cheaper at the position. At the end of his rookie contract, Queen should be one of the more dynamic linebackers in the league, and a cornerstone for the middle of this defense.