The Eagles draft history says that they won’t be drafting a linebacker in the early rounds. That’s not the biggest problem in the world as they have more stressing needs. However, the Eagles will look to find some talented prospects at linebacker in the later rounds.
One prospect they’ve taken a closer look at is Brian Rolle, a player who is a late round projection.
Rolle spent four years at Ohio State, starting in both his junior and senior seasons. As a junior, he recorded 93 tackles and an interception. He followed it up as a senior with 76 tackles, two interceptions, and three sacks.
In watching Rolle play, the first thing that stands out is his speed. He changes direction very quickly and is able to get to where he wants to be in an instant. If he’s not the first man to hit the ball carrier, odds are he’ll be there shortly. He takes good angles and can make plays on the outside.
The thing the Eagles probably enjoy the most about Rolle is high motor. If you’re an Eagles fan, you probably hate the words “high motor.” However, Rolle is the kind of player who fits that label. He’s a quick, scrappy player who plays until the whistle blows. It’s really the right type of mindset to play with.
Although he has the right mindset, Rolle lacks size. At 5’10″ and 229 pounds, Rolle needs to bulk up if he wants to be competitive in the NFL. In college, he often got pushed around on plays in the middle where he couldn’t use his speed to his advantage. Even on the outside, if the runner had a lineman out in front of him, Rolle struggled to make plays.
Rolle fits the bill for the type of player the Eagles generally look for, but he’s not a guy I’m sold on. I believe the Eagles already have a number of undersized linebackers and adding another one isn’t going to help anything.
If the Eagles do select Rolle, I think it will be with one of the three picks they have in the seventh round.