Might Shaun Bradley be one of many Philadelphia Eagles starters?
In simply 76 defensive snaps, Shaun Bradley turned heads. The Philadelphia Eagles rookie may need been primarily a particular teamer final yr however he made probably the most of his alternatives on protection. In these snaps, he made seven tackles. The opposite eight got here on particular groups. Heading into yr two, there may be lots of pleasure across the Temple product.
Two key performs stand out from Bradley’s 2020 season. Early within the season, he stuffed each James Conner and Benny Snell on the aim line. Then, within the win in opposition to the New Orleans Saints, one among Bradley’s greatest moments went unnoticed. Josh Sweat made the largest play of the sport with a strip-sack on 4th and two. What followers didn’t see was Bradley closing off the put up route in the course of the sector to Emmanuel Sanders.
That’s one among Bradley’s best strengths: looking for depth in zone protection. Together with his 4.51 velocity and spectacular instincts, taking part in in house isn’t a problem for him. That ought to earn him a job on this Eagles linebacking core. How vital that position will wind up being stays to be seen.
What can we anticipate from the Philadelphia Eagles linebacker throughout coaching camp?
The Temple product can be tasked with surpassing the likes of Alex Singleton, T.J. Edwards, and Davion Taylor on the depth chart. Bradley together with all three of these names brings particular groups functionality. Patrick Johnson and Genard Avery can be within the combine however ought to in all probability be grouped within the hybrid, stand-up rusher class. This can be a younger bunch except Eric Wilson who continues to be simply 26-years-old. Bradley is definitely within the combine to start out alongside Wilson.
Taylor has elite athleticism however the soccer IQ and instincts should not there but. Not like Bradley, he struggled in his defensive reps. Edwards and Singleton are heralded for his or her potential within the operating sport. Each have work to do in cross protection whereas Bradley performed nicely in protection at Temple.
In his few snaps in protection within the NFL so far, he impressed. Regardless of being undersized, Bradley doesn’t play like a 235-pound linebacker. He can punish ball carriers within the open discipline. He’s gap-sound. He can get off of blocks or not less than maintain his floor.
Even Eric Wilson has his flaws. Whereas most will level to his deal with numbers as proof of his robust efficiency within the run sport, that doesn’t inform the entire story. Groups weren’t afraid to run the ball in his route which resulted in additional tackles nicely behind the road of scrimmage after he was bullied a bit. Wilson isn’t a poor run defender however he definitely makes his cash within the passing sport.
In coaching camp, control whether or not or not Bradley can construct upon his rookie yr. There’s loads to love. The flashes of potential are there. Nonetheless, it’s too small of a pattern measurement to evaluate off of. With extra reps, everybody can have a greater thought of the kind of participant Bradley may be.
Right here’s what Philadelphia Eagles followers ought to anticipate from Bradley in 2021.
As talked about, anticipate Bradley to have some type of position on the Eagles’ protection. At worst, he needs to be the fourth or fifth choice at linebacker. If all goes nicely, he might finally begin subsequent to Eric Wilson. Don’t be shocked if one among Singleton or Edwards begins Week 1 off of expertise. Bradley ought to nonetheless discover his approach onto the sector as a situational, sub-package participant.
Together with the remainder of the linebackers, Bradley was a key particular groups participant particularly on the punt and kick protection groups making key tackles for discipline place. Hardly ever if ever did he get bullied by blockers on particular groups and on protection.
Most necessary of all, Bradley has the center to be an NFL participant. He has the drive to be nice. It’s why he earned a Temple Tuff single digit throughout his time as Temple Owl. He embodies the work ethic that this metropolis needs in its athletes. That alone will hold him round within the NFL.