The Eagles made a trade today, just 3 days before the NFL Draft, acquiring linebacker Ernie Sims from the Lions in a 3-team deal. The Eagles will part ways with a 5th round draft pick as part of the deal – the same 5th round pick they acquired from the Browns for linebacker Chris Gocong, and Sheldon Brown a couple weeks ago. The Lions receive tight end Tony Scheffler from the Broncos and a Broncos 7th round pick, and the Broncos receive the Eagles 5th round pick this year.
This seems to be a good trade on the surface. The Eagles really didn’t part with much, just a 5th rounder, and get a guy who has a chance to be a star linebacker in the league. Ernie Sims was the 9th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Lions out of Florida State. Sims has been a stud everywhere he has been, being one of the best high school players in the country, and being a beast at Florida State. He has yet to live up to his potential in the NFL though, and suffered through an injury plagued season last year. His upside is high though, and the Eagles did need a linebacker badly. Sims is still young and is just 25 years old.
Looking ahead to next season, Stewart Bradley will obviously be back as the man in the middle. Sims played at the weak side linebacker position in his career with the Lions, so I would assume he is going to stay at that position, which was mostly Akeem Jordan’s position last season. At strong side linebacker, you are looking at either Moise Fokou or Alex Hall, who was acquired in the Brown-Gocong trade. Fokou saw time last season, and struggled for the most part, but he was a rookie 7th round draft pick. It seems like the starters right now would be Bradley, Sims, and Fokou, but obviously this could all change before the season.
If Sims doesn’t reach his potential in the NFL, it isn’t a very big deal since we only parted ways with a 5th round pick for him. But Sims could end up being a beast, which would be a great move and a great sign for the Eagles. I still think the Eagles could use one of their picks in the draft on a linebacker, but this makes it less likely that the Eagles will use one of their top ones on this position.