Philadelphia Eagles: 5 potential replacements for Mychal Kendricks

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
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Philadelphia Eagles
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Kamu Grugier-Hill

While Corey Nelson may be the odds-on favorite to win the Eagles’ third linebacker spot going into 2018, a dark horse in the clubhouse who could shock the world and run away on the weakside is Kamu Grugier-Hill.

Grugier-Hill, a native of Honolulu, Hawaii, decided to travel 4,000 miles away from home to join  Jimmy Garoppolo as a member of the Eastern Illinois Panthers as an in-the-box safety and turned his eye-popping athleticism into a sixth-round selection in 2016 NFL Draft by the then-world champion New England Patriots.

Though he was ultimately waived as they Pats trimmed their roster down to 53, the Eagles quickly snatched Grugier-Hill up and brought him in as a converted linebacker, and special teamer.

And boy did he turn some heads.

While he’s only logged 86 defensive snaps over the last two years, Grugier-Hill led the Eagles in special teams snaps in 2017 with 343, including some emergency work as a kicker and finished out his sophomore season as a finalist for a spot in the 2018 Pro Bowl.

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But could 2018 be the season he finally becomes a force on defense and special teams?

There’s always a chance.

With the Eagles seemingly always on the lookout for a rangy linebacker/safety hybrid who can cover tight ends and running backs one-on-one, Grugier-Hill could finally step in as a hybrid defender who can man the weakside on base downs, and drop back into coverage as a moveable chess piece in the nickel for the 2018 season.

If early reports from OTA’s are of any indication, it looks like Gruiger-Hill may be in line for a breakout season as a do-it-all defender for the Eagles in 2018, but will he be able to do enough to earn a starting spot at weakside linebacker? Only time will tell, but he will certainly be a player to watch this summer.