Eagles Trade for ILB Depth

Per Adam Schefter:

“Chip Kelly keeps remaking roster: Eagles traded RB Dion Lewis to Browns for LB Emmanuel Acho.”

Acho is a player that was drafted by Cleveland just last year.  He was picked in the 6th Round (#204 overall).  I never got fully comfortable with Acho.  He is 6-2, 238.  That’s okay size.  He had solid production at Texas.  Did some good things at the Senior Bowl.  Showed flashes of athleticism in his game tape.  The problem is that he wasn’t great at anything.

He didn’t look athletic enough for OLB in the 4-3.  He wasn’t physical enough for MLB.  It could be that his best hope in the NFL is playing ILB in the 3-4.  Eagles DC Bill Davis was the LBs coach for the Browns last year and knows Acho up close and personal.  Obviously he saw enough in Acho to approve this trade.  That doesn’t mean he loves Acho, but it is somewhat of a positive angle.

This move doesn’t say much, but it does show you that the Eagles aren’t comfortable with Casey Matthews, Jamar Chaney, or Ryan Rau as backup ILBs.  Acho will come in to battle them for a backup spot.  He’s not guaranteed making the team or anything like that, but he’s better than just adding a camp body.  It is interesting that this move came shortly after Rolando McClain signed in Baltimore.  did the Eagles make a run at him?

As for Dion Lewis, he never adjusted well to pro football.  Lewis can be a role player, but must straighten up some off-field stuff. Pro football is a business. Players are a commodity and they are replaceable.  Stars can get away with being knuckleheads, but backups are expendable.  Lewis is lucky that Andy Reid was patient with him.

The Eagles are more likely to draft a RB now.  They still could draft an ILB if the right player is on the board at the right spot.  DeMeco Ryans isn’t getting any younger.

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14 Responses to Eagles Trade for ILB Depth

  1. bridgecoach says:

    Does this mean that they see something n Chris Polk?

  2. JBinPTown says:

    I am confused at why the Eagles couldn’t beat the $700,000, one year offer from the Ravens for McClain. So many people don’t develop and mature in Oakland. I just see so much upside and would have been comfortable with anything south of $2,000,000 on a one year deal. Also, just adds more competition, someone for Demico to groom. I know he is a big name and I don’t want another “dream team” player but he is still so young and I think his best football in ahead of him.

    • brza says:

      If the Eagles were interested in McClain the deciding factor probably wasn’t money but a shot at starting for him. Baltimore lost both its ILBs this offseason so he’s got a serious chance to start. McClain wouldn’t have had much of an opportunity here with Ryans and Kendricks ahead of him.

      • Adam says:

        Exactly. Its funny when people sign somewhere and fans say, “Well why didn’t the Eagles sign him?” But it takes two to tango. Maybe the Eagles did offer more than $750,000. But you have to ask yourself. If you’re an ILB, would you prefer to go to the Eagles, where you have no chance of starting over DeMeco Ryans, or would you rather to go the Super Bowl Freaking Champions, and play on a defense with a couple former college teammates (Upshaw and Cody) and also have a legit chance at starting. If the choices for McClain came down to $700,000 to go to Baltimore, and $1,000,000 to go to Philly, the right move for his career is Baltimore. The money this year means nothing. He made a TON on his rookie deal. Baltimore provides more exposure (the “replacing Ray Lewis” angle), more playing time, and a better chance to earn himself another contract.

        And there’s no way he’s worth $2million. Thats just silly. This guy is a total bust. A top-10 bust like Vernon Gholston, or Ernie Sims

        • Septhinox says:

          McClain and Sims are no where near the bust like Gholston was. McClain and Sims have both had NFL production and can at least be role players. Gholston shouldn’t have even been in the league.

  3. MFlick says:

    I heard all the glowing reports of him in training camp, not sure what happened and why D.Lewis didn’t pan out.

  4. knighn says:

    1. Was this a case of a backup with not much STs upside (Dion Lewis) being replaced by another backup with some STs upside (Emmanuel Acho)?

    2. Now that they Eagles picked up Acho, does this mean they stop their pursuit of Akeem Jordan?

    3. Did anyone else think “Nacho” when they first saw the name?

  5. Adam says:

    Don’t forget Jason Phillips as one of the backup ILBs. They actually have 8 ILBs at the moment: DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, Jason Phillips, Casey Matthews, Jamar Chaney, Emmanuel Acho, Ryan Rau, Marcus Dowtin

    And only 6 OLBs (assuming Cole is an OLB and Curry is a DE): Trent Cole, Brandon Graham, Connor Barwin, Phillip Hunt, Chris McCoy, Everette Brown

    I think they’ll keep 4 ILBs, and I think Phillips is a near lock (along with Ryans and Kendricks) for his special teams play. So the guys you mentioned in the post – Acho, Chaney, Matthews, Rau, plus Dowtin are fighting for one spot.

    • phillychuck says:

      Only 7 ILBs now as they cut Rao.

      • wahaxwah says:

        It’s Rau. And the release on which they released Rau also said they released Dowtin. So, it’s only 6 ILB now, as they have cut Rau and Dowtin.

  6. Duck07 says:

    I saw some posts the other day about Tampa trying to trade LeGarrette Blount which also means that if they don’t find a trade partner he’ll just be cut. Could be someone to keep an eye as he is a totally different back from LeSean or Bryce (another guy Chip tried to recruit to Oregon) since I think Kenjon is far too similar to who is already here.

    • LukeKelly65 says:

      Blount and Bryce Brown are both big backs i think Chip is looking for someone who can offer KR ability as well for his third or fourth RB so someone like Kenjon may be more of a fit… but i could be totally off there

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  8. Eagles Trade for ILB Depth | Eagles Blog

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