The height of the Eagles’ LB’s compared to the rest of the 4-3 teams around the league

This is a follow-up to a post I wrote this morning about how tight ends are tall, and the Eagles’ LB’s are not.  A number of you asked how the Eagles compared to the rest of the LB’s around the league height-wise.  Well… here is how they compare with the rest of the 4-3 teams around the league:

Team 1 2 3 Total inches
Giants Keith Rivers (6’2) Michael Boley (6’3) Mathias Kiwanuka (6’5) 226
Bengals Thomas Howard (6’3) Rey Maualuga (6’2) Manny Lawson (6’5) 226
Browns Scott Fujita (6’5) D’Qwell Jackson (6’0) Chris Gocong (6’2) 223
Raiders Aaron Curry (6’2) Rolando McClain (6’3) Philip Wheeler (6’2) 223
Bears Lance Briggs (6’1) Brian Urlacher (6’4) Nick Roach (6’1) 222
Vikings Erin Henderson (6’3) Jasper Brinkley (6’1) Chad Greenway (6’2) 222
Panthers Jon Beason (6’0) Luke Kuechly (6’3) James Anderson (6’3) 222
Seahawks Leroy Hill (6’1) Barrett Ruud (6’2) KJ Wright (6’3) 222
Bills Kirk Morrison (6’1) Kelvin Sheppard (6’2) Nick Barnett (6’2) 221
Rams Justin Cole (6’3) James Laurinaitis (6’2) Jo-Lonn Dunbar (6’0) 221
Jaguars Daryl Smith (6’2) Paul Posluszny (6’2) Clint Session (6’0) 220
Titans Will Witherspoon (6’1) Colin McCarthy (6’1) Akeem Ayers (6’2) 220
Buccaneers Lavonte David (6’1) Mason Foster (6’1) Quincy Black (6’2) 220
Broncos DJ Williams (6’1) Joe Mays (5’11) Von Miller (6’3) 219
Falcons Sean Weatherspoon (6’1) Akeem Dent (6’1) Stephen Nicholas (6’1) 219
Saints David Hawthorne (6’0) Curtis Lofton (6’0) Scott Shanle (6’2) 218
Lions DeAndre Levy (6’1) Stephen Tulloch (5’11) Justin Durant (6’1) 217
Eagles Brian Rolle (5’10) DeMeco Ryans (6’1) Mychal Kendricks (5’11) 214

Two side notes:

  • The Giants, true to their name, are the tallest.
  • A football site that often goes overlooked is Ourlads.  They have updated depth charts, while sites like and ESPN do not.


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  2. […] Chris Canty (6’7), and Linval Joseph (a puny 6’4).  For good measure, they also have the tallest set of linebackers in the NFL.  The Giants are going to get their share of batted passes simply on their height alone, but 10 […]

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  7. MightyJoeBanner says:

    Give us two more inches because I think Chaney will start over Rolle.

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  11. Devo says:

    I really think this is getting overblown. “Total Inches” what are we asking the linebackers to stand on each others shoulders to make a tower? I have heard a lot of people make comments about TE coverage. Do you really think it matters if you are 6’1 or 5’11 when you have Jimmy Graham and those other freak TE’s coming at you??? You can either play or you can’t, this is like arguing if a 6’10 basketball player is better than a 7ft basketball player… A.) Is it a really big difference? B.) Who is the better Athlete? C.) Who is a better player?

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  18. Sam9 says:

    According to FO there was no correlation between LB height and and def.against TE in 2011:

    (Team; Total LB Inches; Def. Rank vs TE)
    Giants 226 12
    Bengals 226 18
    Browns 223 25
    Raiders 223 5
    Bears 222 8
    Vikings 222 24
    Panthers 222 32
    Seahawks 222 10
    Bills 221 23
    Rams 221 2
    Jaguars 220 20
    Titans 220 30
    Buccaneers 220 14
    Broncos 219 16
    Falcons 219 1
    Saints 218 17
    Lions 217 9
    Eagles 214 3

    1. I’d be interested in seeing the historical DVOA of a 5’10 LB covering a 6’6 TE.

    2. rage114 says:

      Good Find, Sam. Looks like the two are not directly related.

      1. MightyJoeBanner says:

        It makes sense. Taller doesn’t correlate to better. I would argue that speed, height, strength, quickness, footwork…etc are just tools for the thing(s) that matter(s) most intelligence and instincts.

        I like what Kendricks said about his height and ability to cover TE’s. Basically saying, I am what I am and I either will or will not be able to do it. ….Not if my size allows me, or if my speed allows me….more of if I can figure it out within my skill set.

  19. Jimmer says:

    Are the Eagles the new Colts? May run into some problems in the run game as well (pardon the pun). Big lineman vs. midget LBs.

    1. says:

      I’m sure our LBs will be better against the run this season than last.

  20. Trueblue63 says:

    Looks like the cover 2 teams like a bit taller LB for their zone drops.

    1. ProtoTyler says:

      It definitely looks that way.

  21. Juz Sayin says:

    Lets compare CB”s, Claiborne & Carr hands down da Best!!!!!!!

    1. TheRealMcCoy says:

      Yes, a rookie who hasn’t played a snap in the NFL and a brand new FA signing just learning a new defense are definitely the best.

      Thanks for staying on topic, though.

      Also, I like sarcasm.

    2. phillyorbust says:

      you forgot “on the cowboys”

  22. says:

    Height’s great, but it doesn’t do much to be 6′ 4″ if you’re 5 yards behind the TE chasing him down the field.

  23. rage114 says:

    I am assuming they are also the lightest? Not trying to give you more work, Jimmy but that would be interesting as well…

  24. NYG_slater says:

    hmmm 14 teams all within 3-4 inches, or an inch a LB. eagles a good 1/2 a foot below the average and a foot to the tallest grp. I’d imagine the eagles are the lightest group , but also the quickest. Do the eagles have a Lber (possibly a backup) or a safety they like to line up against TE’s? (like Jacquain williams/Deon Grant).

    One thing I think was under-appreciated in the Giants run last year was the versatility of our LB’ing group. We didn’t have many three down backers, but each guy had a couple of things they could do well, and we could mix and match to put them in the best situations vs different teams. Kiwi was excellent against the run, and could rush the passer if we needed to get more pressure, helped alot vs 49ers. Boley and Williams were our most athletic, were better in coverage, and could play in space, great vs Green Bay. Lastly, Chase could sub for boley (MLB) in short yardage to stop the run.

    Kinda similar to how RB are used today. You have a lot of teams going “RB by committee” seeing how it can be successful. It seems that “LB’ing by committee” can get the job done too.

    1. ProtoTyler says:

      Well, generally they used Nnamdi quite successfully on better TEs last year. But that could change.

    2. phillyorbust says:

      that could be a good niche for clayton. At 6’1″ he doesn’t bring anymore height to the table but he’s a converted safety so he should have the speed and cover skills.

  25. Ryan says:

    side note 3: the two shortest teams both run the wide 9

    1. deg0ey says:

      Certainly worth considering whether or not that’s a coincidence. If the W-9 puts an emphasis on LBs that can tackle well and work well in the run game, then maybe they don’t prioritise height and coverage ability quite so much as other teams.

      1. AustonianAggie says:

        I’d think if you run a wide-9 you would need a good deal of speed and size, especially ont he edges… and every MLB needs to be able to match up in a cover-3 shell, so he’d better be tall too… oh well I guess it’s not a part of the template

        1. deg0ey says:

          At least Ryans is roughly average height for a MLB (about 1/3 of an inch below average, but close enough). And Rolle and Kendricks seem to be athletic and crazy enough to make up for being on the small side.

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