‘Not-Yet-Elite 11’: Ranking of Philadelphia’s Most Promising Young Talent

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 7.) ILB Kiko Alonso-Eagles

Jun 18, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso (50) performs a drill during the Bills Minicamp at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Just because Kiko Alonso has never taken a snap for the Eagles does not mean he isn’t one of the most talented, most important young athletes in the city. Acquired via trade with the Buffalo Bills, the 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year is coming off of a knee injury that sidelined him for the entire 2014 season. Should he return to form and remain healthy beyond this incident, Alonso could be the defensive fixture Philadelphia has been pining for since the days of Brian Dawkins.

Alonso burst onto the scene in 2013 after being taken by the Bills in the second round. He totaled four interceptions over his first four NFL games, including a pair against the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens. Alonso would go on to finish with 159 tackles (87 solo), a pair of sacks, four interceptions, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. Needless to say, he made the choice for DROY an easy one.  Alonso was unable to follow up on his stellar rookie season in 2014, as a knee injury suffered during a workout back at Oregon forced him out for the entire year. With a new coaching regime having moved in and the opportunity to acquire a player like LeSean McCoy too good to pass up, the Bills moved on from Alonso and sent him to Philadelphia.

Regardless of the fact that he went to Oregon, Alonso is exactly the type of player that Chip Kelly appears to prefer. He’s big (6’3″, 238 lbs), athletic, and has a nose for the ball. If he’s able to move beyond the injuries and off-the-field matters that have served as a footnote of an otherwise successful young career, the Eagles could go down as the winners of the trade that brought Alonso in. Here is a highlight reel of Alonso’s rookie season.

This guy just oozes with potential and could go down as an all-time favorite in Philadelphia.