Eagles have a chance to revolutionize their defense with Micah Parsons
Linebackers have never been of much importance in Philadelphia. The Eagles haven’t had a true linebacker named to the Pro-Bowl since Jeremiah Trotter in 2005. 16 years later and the position has become obsolete for the Eagles defense. Jim Schwartz and Howie Roseman did not value the position at all in defensive schemes, relying more on the defensive line and secondary. With a new coach and defensive coordinator coming into town, things could change. It is likely when the Eagles select at six in this year’s NFL Draft, there will be a game changer available at linebacker.
Micah Parsons from Penn State is considered one of the best all-around linebacker prospects in a long time. Standing at six foot three, 245 pounds Parsons is a killer. From an athletic standpoint, everything is perfect. In high school, Parsons was a running back and defensive end at Harrisburg while being ranked the seventh best prospect in the country. His elusiveness and strength at the running back position helped him rush for over 1,200 yards and 27 touchdowns his senior year. On defense, he had nine and a half sacks in just 12 games.
Playing on both sides of the ball helped round Parsons’ talent out, and improved his speed and pass-rushing ability. At Penn State, Parsons did everything on defense. Often he was sent in blitz packages as a fifth man or they would send a defensive end out in a zone coverage to replace him. The running start this would create for Parsons, and his overwhelming size and speed, made it almost impossible to block him. During his sophomore season, Micah had five sacks ranking him sixth amongst all Big-10 linebackers.
During the 2019 Cotton Bowl, Parsons collected 14 tackles, two sacks, and two fumbles and was named defensive MVP. This incredible season netted him a consensus All-American nomination and the Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year award.
During the run game, his pursuit is incredible. In stretch and outside run plays, Parsons would read his keys perfectly and almost always met the back at the line of scrimmage. With his aggressive attack and elusiveness, he often got the ball out and caused four fumbles during his sophomore season with the Nittany Lions.
At the college level, there was nothing that can stop Micah Parsons. This will carry over into the NFL. Parsons’ game is well rounded and checks off almost every box to be a successful linebacker. Some have compared him to Luke Keuchly as a ceiling. Speed and strength as a linebacker is the perfect combination to be amongst the NFL’s best. Parson’s versatility allows him to be used all over the field. He can command the defense and have the green dot on his helmet. Micah can also line up as a wide 9 and be an extra edge rusher or line up as a Sam or Will and lock down the sides of the field. I can’t stress it enough, there’s literally nothing that he can’t do on the field.
The Eagles have the perfect opportunity with pick number six to make a statement on defense. Parsons would provide an immediate impact in the front seven and solve several of those issues that plagued the Eagles for years at the linebacker position. It is possible Miami, Atlanta, or Cincinnati could take Parsons ahead of the Eagles but if he does fall to six, the Eagles need to seriously consider selecting Micah Parsons.
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