Eagles Sign OLB Diaheem Watkins

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

The Eagles signed rookie free agent outside linebacker Diaheem Watkins Wednesday to take the roster spot of Travis Long, who was placed on injured reserve after tearing his ACL earlier this week.

Watkins (6-3, 255) hails from Brent, Alabama and played his college ball at UAB. More on him from the NFLPA website:

Diaheem Watkins has proven himself as one of the Blazers most productive players, starting every game at defensive end as a freshman. He started each of the 42 games he played, showing resilience by bouncing back from injury in 2012 to post consecutive improved seasons in 2013 and 2014.

An impressive senior season culminated in All-Conference USA First Team honors after Watkins posted a league-leading 10 sacks. He also recorded a team-high five quarterback hurries. In his final campaign with the Blazers, he tallied 46 overall tackles (12 for loss) and had three multi-sack games, including two sacks apiece in the final two contests of the season. The last of these was a 45-24 victory over Southern Mississippi, in which Watkins also recorded a pass deflection.

Depth at the outside linebacker position is a question mark, particularly now that Long has been lost for the season. Marcus Smith looks to be the top candidate to be the top reserve behind Brandon Graham and Connor BarwinBrandon Hepburn and Brad Jones will take reps on the outside as well, according to Chip Kelly, joining a group that also includes special teams standout Bryan Braman.