LB: Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Edmond Robinson, Ben Gedeon, Elijah Lee, Eric Wilson
IR: Kentrell Brothers
Anthony Barr looked great in his first preseason action. He had three tackles, one for a loss, and also hit the quarterback on a blitz up the middle creating an incompletion. Hopefully, this is just an early sign that Barr has regained his form from his first couple of seasons in the league.
Of course, Barr and Eric Kendricks will be on the team this season, but the rest of the unit is far from a sure thing. One would think that Edmond Robinson, Emmanuel Lamur and Ben Gedeon would all make the team, but in this prediction, Lamur as a cut casualty.
Ever since Lamur signed with the team last offseason, he hasn’t shown much to believe that he’s worth a spot on the roster, especially at a $2.75 million cap hit. He had one great play in coverage against Buffalo, but other than that, he wasn’t spectacular.
Lamur is battling for the weakside linebacker position with Edmond Robinson and rookie Ben Gedeon, but I truly believe he gets cut if he doesn’t win the battle. In my opinion, Robinson is winning the battle right now after starting the first preseason game, contributing four tackles and a pass defended.
I want Gedeon to come away with the job, mainly due to the fact that he always seems to be around the ball. The fourth round pick entered the battle with strong play in training camp and came away with six tackles against the Bills, second on the team.
In the end, I believe Robinson wins the jobs given he’s a better pass defender. Although, I don’t think that should play a huge factor in this battle considering that base defensive sets are normally used in run situations. Yet, it doesn’t hurt to be good in pass coverage too.
Regardless of who wins the job, Gedeon and Robinson are both valuable on special teams, making them worthy additions.
I also have rookies Elijah Lee and Eric Wilson making the roster with Kentrell Brothers put on the IR. Lee was a player some thought went later than he should have in the draft and had a good camp. In Buffalo, he had three tackles and a fumble recovery that essentially ended the game.
As for Wilson, he played his way into the roster discussion, leading the team with seven tackles. He had a couple miscues in pass coverage and getting off blocks, but he still found his way around the ball. He also accounted for two passes defended, one that should have been intercepted. What may prevent Wilson from a roster spot is whether he can play well on special teams.