Philadelphia Eagles: 5 outside linebackers to target in the 2024 NFL Draft

A look at outside linebackers the Philadelphia Eagles should consider in the 2024 NFL Draft.

 Hasson Reddick
Hasson Reddick / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Going into the 2023 season the Philadelphia Eagles linebacker core was rated as the 31st unit in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. They lived up to these low expectations this season as well seeing very little pass rush from this unit, and their linebackers also struggled to stop the run consistently.

This group will also have more of an emphasis in new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's 3-4 defense, which relies on their outside linebacker to provide pressure off the edge, Despite this need though the Eagles have permitted Hasson Reddick to seek a trade and four of their top outside linebackers are expected to be free agents.

This lack of production, and the fact they will likely lose several player should make one of the Eagles' main focuses in the 2024 NFL Draft be outside linebacker. Now the question is which outside linebackers should the Eagles prioritize this April.

Five outside linebackers the Philidelphia Eagles should target

1. Dallas Turner, Alabama

A player who will most likely be off the board by the time the Philidelphia Eagles pick with the 22nd overall selection is Alabama’s Dallas Turner. However, the team could try and trade up for him by giving up one or both of their second-round picks. Turner would be worth that price since he has the skill set to be an ideal fit in Fanigo’s 3-4 defense. These skills include an explosive first step off the ball that helped him tie for the SEC lead with 10 sacks last year. He also has fluid hips and overall good change of direction when asked to drop into coverage, although he doesn’t think this is the best way to use his talents.

""I don't always rush the quarterback. Why? I don't know. I just do what I'm told.""

Dallas Turner

2. Laiatu Latu, UCLA

One player the Eagles have already met with is UCLA’s Laiatu Latu. Latu who won the Lombardi Award and was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year this year is the most polished pass rusher in the 2024 NFL Draft. His high football IQ consistently allows him to use a variety of pass-rushing moves to get off blocks and is one of the main reasons he led the nation in tackles for loss per game and led the Pac-12 in sacks this season. In addition to being a feared pass rusher, he also holds up well against the run and is a more complete player than Dallas Turner is.

3. Payton Wilson, North Carolina State

The most productive linebacker on this list is Payton Wilson who won the Butkus Award this year after leading the ACC in tackles per game and tackles for loss. Wilson is also one of the more versatile players in this group. He is an excellent coverage linebacker who plays with good discipline which helped him pick off three passes this season. He also can get after the passer having recorded six sacks this year, and displaying the agility to turn the corner as a pass rusher. Unfortunately, like Latu, Wilson also has some medical red flags including a significant shoulder injury during the 2021 season.

4. Adisa Isaac, Penn State

An edge defender the Eagles could get with their second pick in the second round is Penn State’s, Adisa Isaac. Isaac will likely be best suited as a 3-4 outside linebacker due to his explosiveness off the ball, but limited experience in coverage and only average play against the run. Last season, Isaac had a 16.8 per cent pressure rate according to Pro Football Focus which was the seventh highest in the FBS. He also was named All-Big Ten after recording 16 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.

2024 NFL Draft: Adisa Isaac
Adisa Isaac / G Fiume/GettyImages

5. Jalen Green, James Madison

If the Eagles want to find a possible sleeper at this position in the 2024 NFL Draft James Madison’s Jalen Green would be a good pick. Green who currently carries an undrafted free agent grade according to NFL Mock Draft Database had an incredible season last year. Over the first nine games of the season, he led the nation in both tackles for loss and sacks. Unfortunately, though he suffered a season-ending leg injury which lessens the chance he gets drafted. However, if he can regain his health the 2023 Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year has a good pass rush arsenal and has the power to play at the next level.