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A new Axe Man — Eagles trade up to land Jeremiah Trotter Jr.

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There’s a new Axe Man in town.

The Eagles on Saturday traded up in the fifth round to draft Jeremiah Trotter Jr., the son of former Eagles Pro Bowl linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, with the 155th overall pick.

Trotter Sr. was a third-round pick back in 1998 and played eight seasons with the Eagles, making four Pro Bowls and landing in the Eagles Hall of Fame. 

And now his son is following in his footsteps.

“The Eagles are a great team, great club,” Trotter Jr. said at the Combine. “It would be a blessing to play for them as well. I'm just really waiting for the opportunity to go wherever I go and get happy wherever I land.”

Trotter Jr. grew up in South Jersey and played his high school ball at St. Joseph’s Prep, leading them to back-to-back titles. So not only is this a cool legacy story but it’s also a homecoming.

Just last week, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman was asked about the possibility of drafting Trotter Jr. and admitted he’s biased toward hometown players.

“It’s hard not to want to keep guys who have Philly ties, who understand what it’s like to play here or to bring those guys in,” Roseman said in his pre-draft media availability. “And I do think it’s a plus. It’s a plus to bring someone in this atmosphere who understands what it’s like. This is the best atmosphere in the National Football League and I think they know that when you win, it’s like nothing else you experience. It’s different vs. people who haven’t experienced that before.”

While some players would shy away from comparisons or hate being in the shadow of their Pro Bowl father, Trotter Jr. has embraced it. In fact, he even began to use his father’s legendary Axe Man celebration while at Clemson.

In an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark this spring, Trotter Sr. said he was very emotional and shed tears when he first saw his son break out his old celebration.

“I’ve never been the type to shy away from being the son of Jeremiah Trotter,” Trotter Jr. said at the Combine. “I appreciate him. He's always taught me a lot at the position and really helped me to get to this point today.”

Trotter Jr. (6-0, 228 pounds) was a two-year starter at Clemson and had 177 tackles, 4 interceptions, 16 pass breakups and 12 sacks over the last two years. Trotter skipped his senior season to enter the draft early.

While he’s not as big as his father, Trotter fits the mold of an undersized modern-day NFL linebacker. But he makes up for his lack of size with football IQ and instincts.

Here’s what The Athletic’s Dane Brugler wrote about Trotter, whom he gave a fourth-round grade:

“Overall, Trotter is an instinctive hammer with the pedigree and toughness that will endear him to NFL coaches, although his limitations in space versus NFL athletes could restrict his next level role. His optimistic projection is that he can be like Chicago Bears’ linebacker T.J. Edwards.”

The Eagles traded picks 164 and 201 to the Colts to move up to 155 to make the pick.

Trotter Jr. will join a linebacker room that includes Devin White, Nakobe Dean, Ben VanSumeren and Oren Burks. While White and Dean might be penciled in as starters, Trotter should have an opportunity to push for playing time early. At the very least, he should become an early special teams contributor.

Previous selections:

No. 22 overall - CB Quinyon Mitchell
No. 40 overall - CB Cooper DeJean
No. 94 overall - Edge Jalyx Hunt
No. 127 overall - RB Will Shipley
No. 152 overall - WR Ainias Smith

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