Eagles top 25

A key newcomer on list of most important Eagles in 2024

Devin White takes his spot on the list of most important Eagles of 2024.

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Over the next few weeks leading up to training camp, we’ll be counting down the top 25 most important Eagles for the 2024 season.

25. Brandon Graham
24. Nakobe Dean
23. Milton Williams
22. Jake Elliott
21. Nolan Smith
20. Cooper DeJean
19. Reed Blankenship
18. Tyler Steen
17. Devin White

A year after trying to get by with Nicholas Morrow and Zach Cunningham, the Eagles at least made a somewhat significant linebacker signing this offseason when they brought in Devin White on a one-year deal.

The former No. 5 overall pick is still just 26 years old, has 75 NFL starts under his belt and was a Pro Bowler back in 2021.

So why was he available for a one-year, $4 million deal? Seems too good to be true, right?

Well, last year didn’t go well. 

White’s final season in Tampa was a disaster that led to his getting benched down the stretch. During the spring, White admitted he was thinking too much about his contract situation and it helped lead to his poor play.

But now he’s excited to join the Eagles and prove that the guy on film from 2023 isn’t the real Devin White.

“It’s great,” White said after signing. “It’s an opportunity to go show why I was drafted top five, why I helped a team win a Super Bowl. And, obviously, just to prove what I do. I don’t lack any confidence as far as being on a one-year deal. I didn’t shy away from it. I think it was the best thing to happen.

“Hey, 'last year wasn’t who you were.' That’s never been Devin White, in and out on tape, just dealing with everything I dealt with. Now you can get an opportunity on an even bigger stage, it’s a bigger platform here. I think it’s a better all-around team built here. Right here, right now, to go do great things. I just want to be a part of that.”

The Eagles’ linebacker position in 2023 was a disaster. They were counting on former third-round pick Nakobe Dean to be their top linebacker but Dean got hurt early in the season and never really worked out. That left their top guys as Morrow and Cunningham. Morrow began the 2023 season on the practice squad and Cunningham wasn’t signed until Aug. 6.

The hope here is that even if White isn’t a Pro Bowler in 2024, he’ll at least offer a better baseline of play at the position for the Eagles. Of course, during his career, there have been plenty of ups and downs from White. His play style lends itself to that.

But veteran defensive coordinator Vic Fangio presumably had plenty of sway as the Eagles brought in free agents and White is here. So you’d have to expect that Fangio thinks he can help the 26-year-old live up to at least some of his potential in an Eagles uniform.

During his five-year career with the Buccaneers, White started 75 games and piled up 566 tackles, 64 quarterbacks hits, 23 sacks and 40 TFLs. He showed an ability to blitz as an off-ball linebacker and said this spring he’s looking forward to showing Fangio he can do that. He’d like to have those chances to get after quarterbacks in this defense.

While you should probably take the ProFootballFocus grades with a grain of salt, White last season ranked 80th out of 82 qualified off-ball linebackers with an overall grade of 47.4.

He’s looking at his one-year deal with the Eagles as an opportunity to show that last season isn’t representative of who he really is as a player. The Eagles hope he’s able to do that.

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