The Philadelphia Eagles are continuing to bolster their front-seven, signing former Chargers linebacker Kyzir White to a one-year deal worth up to $5 million.
The former fourth-round pick entered the league as a safety but quickly changed positions to linebacker. He’s appeared in 47 games and has made 37 starts throughout his four-year career. White’s breakout campaign came in 2021, where he started all 17 games for LA and played 84 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, both career highs. On the year, he tallied 144 combined tackles, seven for a loss, one sack, and two interceptions.
Standing at just 6-foot-2, 218 pounds, White is undersized for the position. Due to this, he does struggle against the run a bit, posting a 63.0 run defense grade last season per Pro Football Focus, which ranked 29th out of 87 qualifying backers. The Chargers run defense as a whole was suspect throughout the 2021 season, allowing the third-most rushing yards of any defense (2,361 yards) while also surrendering 4.5 yards per carry.
White possesses an all around skill set that’s starting caliber. Even against the run, if he’s kept clean on the second level, he’s a capable run defender. He just has trouble when lineman get their hands on him.
Against the pass, White has proven to be a solid underneath zone linebacker. In coverage, White allowed a completion percentage of 76.3 and a passer rating of 88.1 when targeted, which is about average for a linebacker.
PFF calls White a ‘mid-tier starting outside linebacker,’ and I think that’s a fair assessment. He’s not going to completely move the needle, but acquiring a linebacker with his skill set is certainly a step in the right direction. He’ll undoubtedly improve the linebacker position for the Eagles, although it’ll only be marginal. And at 26 years old, there’s still a ton of potential that hasn’t been tapped yet.
Not to mention, he played his high school ball at Emmaus, about an hour and a half north of Philly. That makes two hometown signings for the Birds this offseason, so that’s fun.