Eagles News: How the Kyzir White Significantly Alters Their Draft Plans

The Philadelphia Eagles have had a quiet offseason thus far.

They’ve spent most of their time and energy on in-house moves, bringing back some key depth pieces across both sides of the ball. Their only notable external addition was signing outside linebacker Hasson Reddick to a three-year, $45 million deal.

However, the Eagles have finally brought in another new face. They signed former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Kyzir White to a one-year, $5 million deal. White is a safety-turned-linebacker who instantly projects to play a significant role in the Eagles defense.

Philadelphia has been extremely light at LB the past few seasons. The hope is that White can finally fill the position after several bad signings in a row.

The Eagles’ linebacker room is starting to fill out

Now that White is on the roster, the Eagles’ linebacker room looks surprisingly filled out. They had already signed T.J. Edwards to a one-year extension that keeps him on the team through 2022. 2020 third-round pick Davion Taylor is also expected to see a significant increase in playing time this season, as the coaching staff started giving him more and more responsibilities within the scheme last year.

It’s also crucial to note that Reddick projects to play a mix of outside linebacker and defensive end for the Eagles moving forward. He’s at his best when rushing the passer. However, second-year defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon runs a scheme that likes to utilize at least one stand-up pass rusher. That’s where Reddick fits into the equation.

With White, Edwards, and Taylor making up three linebacker spots and Reddick as a hybrid OLB, that’s four linebackers the Eagles likely feel comfortable with. Few teams run much deeper at the position than that.

Signing Kyzir White = no first-round LB in the draft?

It was always improbable that the Eagles would draft a linebacker in the first round of this year’s draft, despite possessing three first-round picks. It’s just not in general manager Howie Roseman’s wheelhouse to spend a premium asset at the position.

He’s historically acted conservatively at linebacker — cutting corners and being cheap when possible.

Still, with so many first-round picks in this year’s draft, many Eagles fans were hopeful 2022 would be the year their favorite team takes an exciting LB early in the draft. Now that White is on the team, it’s extremely unlikely this will happen.

A second- or third-round linebacker addition could still be in play, but a first-round selection is almost out of the picture entirely.

Is this new-look Eagles’ LB room good enough?

New Eagles LB Kyzir White
Kyzir White | Chris Unger/Getty Images

White is an athletic player who gives Gannon a lot of flexibility on defense now. However, it’s worth wondering if his presence will be a significant enough addition to save Philly’s linebacker room.

One can reasonably argue the Eagles should still aggressively pursue a first-round linebacker in the draft, despite the addition of White.

The Eagles also only signed White to a one-year deal. The lack of a starting-caliber MLB will be a significant issue in 2023, just like the past few seasons.

Only time will tell if Roseman is willing to commit further assets to the linebacker position this offseason. However, history suggests the Eagles are done adding, which could cause issues down the road for an organization that routinely struggles to find good LB play.

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