The name Luke Kuechly has been thrown around many times since the first half draft order has been released. The junior linebacker out of Boston College has been linked to the Eagles with the 15th overall selection. As much as there is a hole in the Eagles linebacker corps, the chances of the Eagles selecting a linebacker in the first round are slim. They haven’t done so since 1979.
Two linebackers that Kapadia mentioned were Curtis Lofton, of the Atlanta Falcons, and Stephen Tulloch, of the Detroit Lions. Lofton is a four year veteran out of the University of Oklahoma and he will be 26 years old come training camp. Last year the 6’0’’, 241 lbs. linebacker had 147 tackles, two interceptions, and one forced fumble. Lofton’s 147 tackles were fifth in the league last season. Kapadia points out that D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (yes, the same Ledbetter) does not believe that the Falcons are going to be able to retain Lofton. This would not be a bad idea for the Eagles to pursue.
Kapadia mentions that the Eagles are trying to avoid the multiple personnel changes on every play like in 2011 when Brian Rolle, Jamar Chaney, Casey Matthews, Keenan Clayton, and Akeem Jordan would rotate in depending on the down and yardage. As the Eagles try to move away from that, Kapadia points out that both of these guys would help in that department.
“Pro Football Focus' snap counts show Lofton and Tulloch rarely came off the field last season. Tulloch played 98.4 percent of the Lions' defensive snaps, and Lofton played 99.1 percent of the Falcons' defensive snaps.”
It will be interesting to see what direction the Eagles go to strengthen the linebacker corps: draft or free agency. If they choose not to solidify the linebackers, then Eagles fans are in for another long season.
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