Eagles Combine Prep: Linebackers

Reggie Ragland. (USA Today Sports Images)

Reggie Ragland. (USA Today Sports Images)

In Josh’s triumphant return from vacation, he looked at the Eagles’ linebacking corps heading into this offseason, a unit that had little in the way of tangible success in 2015, aside from Jordan Hicks‘ injury-shortened season.

With Hicks, Kiko Alonso and Mychal Kendricks all back, along with the possibility of veteran DeMeco Ryans returning, and depth from Najee Goode and Bryan Braman, the midway of the Birds’ defense seems to be nearly fully stocked.

Yet, that’s exactly what Eagles fans, and writers, thought at this time last season. Then they selected Hicks in the third round, and the rest is history.

So, to prepare you for the combine as best we can, here’s a look at some of the best and brightest linebackers to watch as you tune in and out of NFL Network’s mindless, sprawling coverage.

Projected rounds are from CBS Sports. Tape is from Draft Breakdown.

Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
Height/Weight: 6-1, 259
Projected Round: 1

Analysis (NFL.com): Thumping inside linebacker with throwback size and tone­setting mentality. Ragland is a confident and capable early starter in league who has the temperament to become one of the premier run­-stopping inside linebackers in the pro game. Ragland has some coverage and speed limitations, but his instincts and overall awareness should be able to mask those issues.


Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
Height/Weight: 6-1, 235
Projected Round: 1

Analysis (NFL.com): Lee’s level of NFL success might very well be tied to scheme fit and his ability to add more muscle to his frame. His athletic traits and ability to make plays should make him a starter, but he won’t unlock his full potential unless he gets strong enough to handle the rigors of an NFL linebacker.


Kentrell Brothers, ILB, Missouri
Height/Weight: 6-1, 249
Projected Round: 2

Analysis (NFL.com): Really fun to watch on tape with many of the same play traits that made TCU’s Paul Dawson so productive last season. Brothers is a decisive, rhythm linebacker whose understanding of space and ability to improve his tackle positioning at the point of attack should make him a consistently productive inside linebacker in the pros. While Brothers will lack the speed and overall athleticism that some teams covet, it would be a huge mistake to value athleticism over instincts and production when evaluating Brothers.


Joshua Perry, OLB, Ohio State
Height/Weight: 6-4, 253
Projected Round: 2

Analysis (NFL.com): Physical linebacker who has produced high­-end tackle numbers over the last two years at Ohio State. Perry played the role of thumper on a loaded Ohio State team, but may be lacking the athleticism and overall speed to replicate his college production in the pros. His best fit may be as a physical, inside linebacker who has to leave the field on passing downs.


Tyler Matakevich, ILB, Temple
Height/Weight: 6-0, 233
Projected Round: 3-4

Analysis (NFL.com): Film junkie who understands that maximum preparation is essential to his production and success. Matakevich has outstanding instincts paired with a desire to fill up a stat sheet with as many positive plays as possible. His lack of size and strength may limit him to a 4-­3 WILL linebacker spot only. His work ethic, production and ability to step right in and help on special teams gives him a shot at having a long career as a mid­-level starter in the league.