The problem is I don’t think he’s has that high of a ceiling. If that’s the case, the Eagles need to find someone to make Fokou a quality backup. Some people believe that person could very well be Stewart Bradley (this was his position at Nebraska).
The Eagles have had a need at this position ever since Carlos Emmons left for the Giants early 2004. It’s difficult to find a linebacker Emmons size (6’5”, 245lbs) who isn’t better suited for a 3-4 defense (i.e.- Chris Gocong and Ricky Sapp)
This offseason the Eagles still have a need at the SAM linebacker. The question is: Will they pursue someone and if so, who?
Potential free agents
- Derrick Johnson (Kansas City Chiefs): I wanted the Eagles to pursue Johnson this past offseason. Unfortunately, the CBA rules kept him restricted. Johnson lost his starting spot during the Chiefs 2009 transition to a 3-4 defense. It seems that he settled in a lot better this year, but I think he’d still be a better 4-3 linebacker than he is in the 3-4.
- Thomas Howard (Oakland Raiders): Although Howard is a WILL linebacker in Oakland, he could fit in at the SAM position in Philly. He currently is a backup on the Raiders’ depth chart. A change of scenery may be needed.
- Kelvin Sheppard (LSU): Sheppard is the best collegiate prospect for this position. He has the size and ability to effective cover tight ends and running backs.
- Kenneth Wright (Mississippi St.): Wright isn’t rated as high as Sheppard, but he’s better at block shedding and pass coverage. Currently a mid round prospect, it’s noted that he’s easy to coach and has high character. Sounds like an ideal Eagles’ candidate to me.
Colin McCarthy (Miami): McCarthy is known more for his work ethic than raw athleticism. He missed most of 2008 due to a shoulder injury and was awarded a medical hardship. He seems to have bounced back from that, winning his team’s Comeback Player of the Year award in 2009