Eagles Take ILB Jordan Hicks In Round 3

Brendan Maloney / USA TODAY Sports

Brendan Maloney / USA TODAY Sports

The inside linebacker room just got a little more crowded, as the Eagles used their third-round pick on Jordan Hicks out of Texas.

“He was our highest rated player by far,” said Chip Kelly. “We had him rated in the second round. We had great exposure to Jordan. I think he’s the individual we saw the most this offseason, whether it was exposure at the Senior Bowl, his pro day, individual workouts, top 30 visits…I think he’s the player we’ve seen the most.

“He’s got a great skill set. He’s a three-down linebacker. Can cover. Is an outstanding special teams player and we’ll bring him in here and he’ll learn from DeMeco [Ryans], Mychal [Kendricks] and Kiko [Alonso]. ”

It’s hard not to wonder about Kendricks’ future. There have already been reports that he’s on the block, and that was before the Eagles used a third-round pick on an inside ‘backer.

Does Kelly believe Kendricks will be a part of the roster moving forward?

“Yeah, I really do,” he said. “We’re excited to get him back. I know he spent the draft with his brother, which we understand, and he should be back here next week. You’re always going to draft players, and the one thing you always want is competition.”

There will be plenty of that.

Hicks (6-1, 236) was a second team All Big 12 selection last season, racking up 147 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss and two interceptions as the Longhorns’ weakside linebacker.

He has an injury history. He suffered a torn Achilles in 2013 and also had a hip flexor injury and a fractured foot on the college level. Kelly said he had a “great medical grade” coming out of the combine and that the Eagles’ doctors and trainers had no issues with him.

He was suspended for the Alamo Bowl in 2012 amid accusations of sexual assault. Charges were never filed. Hicks said the suspension “ultimately was because I missed curfew.”

“Me and a teammate, we made a mistake and obviously took full responsibility and ended up speaking to the team afterwards and having to apologize,” he said. “I’ve learned from it, I’m moving forward, I’m enjoying this moment. I’m so blessed to be here. That’s far in my past and I’m moving forward.”

Is Kelly comfortable character-wise?

“We’re very comfortable,” he said.

Hicks has the measurables the team seeks in its linebackers. As the spider chart shows, he tested very well at the combine.

“That’s what we’re looking for at linebacker. We want guys that are three-down linebackers and especially when you look at those guys, can really contribute on teams,” said Kelly. “We think we got a huge upgrade at the inside linebacker position from a teams standpoint because of how fast and how athletic he is.”