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Don’t count Davion Taylor out of the LB battle | Locked On Eagles

Taylor was a raw, project of a pick coming into the league, but his physical upside may be more intriguing than any other linebacker on the roster.

PHILADELPHIA — Editor's note: The above video is from Aug. 2.

The Philadelphia Eagles appear to have a lot of talent at the linebacker position. 

Yes, you read that correctly. 

Talent. Linebacker. Philadelphia. 

Currently, there appears to be a four-way competition for two spots on the defense where an off-ball linebacker will be featured on the majority of snaps.

New additions in Kyzir White and Nakobe Dean have brought a new buzz to a position that Philadelphia has struggled to find talent at for a decade. The same can be said for returning starting linebacker T.J. Edwards, who is coming off a career year.

However, there is another player that despite being lost in the conversation, he should be a reason Eagles fans are excited about this group. This is a player that has a real chance to earn a real role on this defense: Davion Taylor.

When discussing who will be featured at linebacker the most in 2022, Taylor has rarely been mentioned before White, Dean, and Edwards.

Understandably so. 

Taylor was a raw, project of a pick coming into the league in 2020, when the Eagles took him in the third round. It was seen as a reach by many, as Taylor was very new to the position, and the sport of football in general. The Eagles knew he needed a lot of development too, as they rarely put him out on the field during his rookie season.

Taylor has also suffered a number of injuries in his first two seasons that held him back from showing the front office that they didn’t need to go out and add two new linebackers this past offseason.

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However, there is a reason the Eagles took Taylor maybe earlier than most would have: His physical upside might be more intriguing than any backer on this roster. 

Taylor's speed and explosive ability to get sideline to sideline is exactly what a modern day NFL linebacker needs to stay on the field for all three downs.

The football IQ part of Taylor's game was always the issue, but he made real strides in that area in 2021 when he took over as a starter halfway through the season. 

The game slowed down for him. Taylor was doing less thinking after the snap, which allowed him to simply read and react, using the talent that the Eagles wanted to bet on. 

Never was that more apparent than in Week 9 and Week 10 against Los Angeles and Denver. In two games, Taylor registered 12 tackles, a tackle for a loss, and two forced fumbles.

An injury a week later kept him out for the rest of the season, but it appears the Colorado product has picked up where he left off at training camp. 

Reports out of the NovaCare Complex indicate Taylor has been impressive during team drills, making a number of noticeable plays against the pass and run. He has been earning reps with the first team defense, even Dean, who many believed would step in as a rookie and start.

Having this much talent at linebacker is a win on its own regardless of who starts, and all four players will rotate in. 

You shouldn't be surprised if you notice Taylor rotating in more than expected.

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