The Eagles' Hunt for a Pass Rusher: Mike Neal

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles will likely attempt to bring in some more force at pass rusher this offseason but the free agent market isn't exactly brimming with talent. Mike Neal could be one of the best options available.

The Eagles are likely on the search for an upgrade at pass rusher this offseason. While there is plenty to choose from between the free agent market and the draft, adding a veteran may be the way the Eagles want to go. The 3-4 outside linebacker market isn't exactly brimming with talent considering the top options (Brian Orakpo, Jason Worilds) have been retained by their teams.

Mike Neal is a player the Eagles reportedly have interest in. He's not a pure 3-4 OLB in the sense that he was originally a DE until injuries forced the Packers to play him on the outside. Still, Neal is versatile and could be one of the better pass rushers on the market. Neal is Rotoworld's 5th highest rated outside linebacker.

NFL Career

Neal was drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft at pick No. 56. Neal appeared in a total of 20 games through the first three years of his career, but only recorded one start. That start was at defensive end in 2012.  In 2013, Neal played all 16 games and started 10 of them. He recorded 50 tackles (39 solo), 5 sacks, 1 interception, and 1 forced fumble.

Neal finished tied for 16th among 3-4 outside linebackers in pass rush productivity, according to PFF. In 430 pass rushing snaps, Neal managed 46 total pressures. Neal only dropped into coverage about 7% of his total snaps. Neal's tackling left much to be desired; he missed one tackle for every 5.1 attempts.

Appeal to the Eagles

Neal will turn 27 in June. He goes about 6-3, 285 lbs. The Eagles need a pass rusher and playing Neal on the outside could help in that regard. He wouldn't necessarily need to come in as the starter. The Eagles could use him off the bench.

Appeal to Neal

Neal has said he has interest in returning to Green Bay. It still remains to be seen how the Packers view Neal's role in their defense.

Bottom Line

Neal hardly seems like a no-brainer kind of signing, but the OLB market is really thin. Neal could be one of the better options available for the Eagles.

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