Eagles analysis

Taking a closer look at Eagles' LB competition in 2024 training camp

Breaking down the Eagles' training camp competition at the LB spot for the 2024 season.

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We’re getting close to Eagles training camp 2024 so we’re taking a look at some notable camp competitions.

Even though the Eagles didn’t exactly break the bank to sign Devin White this offseason, his somewhat significant deal still lets us know that he’s one starter.

But there’s another spot open next to him.

Last year, the Eagles got by for most of the season with Zach Cunningham and Nicholas Morrow but it looks like they’ll have two new starters in 2024. One will be White. As for the others …

Here are the candidates: 

Zack Baun
Age: 27
Experience: Year 5
Size: 6-3, 225

After spending the first four years of his career with the Saints, Baun signed with the Eagles as a free agent in March. One of the biggest surprises of OTAs was seeing Baun get a bunch of reps at off-ball linebacker with the first-team defense. Because when the Eagles signed Baun, it appeared like he was joining the team as a situational pass rusher, something that he clearly enjoyed doing a big last year with the Saints. But Vic Fangio mentioned Baun’s name with the off-ball linebackers and the Eagles think he can play there too. If nothing else, it made sense to see Baun in that role in a glorified passing camp to find out how he’d handle coverage responsibilities. He didn’t look out of place.

Nakobe Dean
Age: 23
Experience: Year 3
Size: 5-11, 231

The Eagles went into the 2023 season with the expectation of making Dean their starting middle linebacker. After a redshirt season as a third-round pick in 2022, both starters left in free agency and the Eagles were ready to hand over the keys to Dean. But he got hurt early in the year and ended up playing just five games before landing on IR for good. He had surgery and was just returning to the field as a full participant during the spring. Most of his reps in OTAs and minicamp came with the second team but he should get a fair shot at winning a starting gig. The front office has to be pulling for him.

Oren Burks
Age: 29
Experience: Year 7
Size: 6-3, 233

Burks came to the Eagles as a free agent after spending two years behind Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw in San Francisco. Because of Greenlaw’s injury in the Super Bowl, Burks ended up playing a lot in that loss. Before his time with the 49ers, Burks played four seasons with the Packers, who drafted him in the third round back in 2018. In his career, Burks has played in 91 games with 15 starts, including a career-high 5 in 2023.

Ben VanSumeren
Age: 24
Experience: Year 2
Size: 6-2, 231

After starting his rookie season on the practice squad, VanSumeren gave special teams a boost and was promoted to the active roster. He played in nine games last season and even made one start, but he played a total of just 50 defensive snaps. His biggest contributions were as a core special teamer. 

Jeremiah Trotter Jr.
Age: 21
Experience: Rookie
Size: 6-0, 225

There’s no doubt that the Eagles’ drafting the young Axe Man was a really cool moment. But Trotter Jr. has a bit of an uphill battle in this competition given his lack of experience. But Trotter was known for his instincts at Clemson and it will be fun to see those on display when the pads come on this summer.


The top two players who seem to be fighting for this job are Baun and Dean. You’d expect that Dean will have every opportunity to win this job just a few years after he was a celebrated third-round pick. But this is one that really well need to be won in training camp.

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