Punch Drunk Wonderland

Kiko Alonso for McCoy great deal for Eagles

The Eagles and Bills exploded into 2015 as they worked out a blockbuster trade swapping running back LeSean McCoy for linebacker Kiko Alonso. Chip Kelly seems to be selling the farm in a deal which is huge for the Eagles’ defense. McCoy has been a major piece in his fast paced offense since he’s been the head coach in Philly and so willingly shipping the star back away for a linebacker coming off ACL surgery has surprised many. I, however, love the trade for the Eagles.

Looking from Philadelphia’s perspective, the addition of Alonso is going to give them a monster inside linebacker corps. Combining Kiko with Mychal Kendricks puts two very athletic, quick, and sound defenders in one defense and they should definitely have designs on being the top ILB tandem of 2015. That’s assuming Alonso bounces back to rookie year form following his recent ACL surgery, but it’s not that far fetched. This move certainly suggests that DeMeco Ryans could be in store for an exit from Philly or at least a quickly declining role. Let’s take a look at Alonso’s numbers from his excellent rookie season.

G GS Comb Total Ast Sck SFTY PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TDs FF
16 16 159 87 72 2 4 4 38 9.5 32 0 1

 

For a further look at numbers, let’s take a look at how he graded out with PFF for his rookie season (see below). Alonso finished with an overall grade of 10.3 in 2013 which put him #9 among all inside linebackers in terms of PFF grading for that season.

Snaps Overall Run Def. Pass Rush Pass Cov. QB Sk QB Ht QB Hu Tks Ass Stops
1,176 10.3 -1.9 -2.5 13.1 2 1 13 84 33 56

 

There will be some questions as to how Alonso will be used in the Eagles’ defense. They have recently transitioned from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 and have been dealing with some of the personnel growing pains that goes along with that switch. Letting go of Trent Cole was one of those realizations as he just wasn’t going to work going forward as a 3-4 outside linebacker. Alonso will be coming in after playing in Mike Pettine’s “multiple” defense in which the defense showed both 4-3 and 3-4 alignment at times during his rookie season. He should have the versatility to play either ILB position in a 3-4 defense as well as MLB (“Mike”) or WLB (“Will”) in a 4-3. The good thing for the Eagles is that having talented young athletes like Alonso and Kendricks gives them some freedom of scheme. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Trade Perspective: I may have an IDP bias and a love for Kiko, but I feel like the Eagles made out big on this deal. They’ve gained an elite level linebacker in exchange for a running back with quite a bit of wear considering he’s only 26. Chip Kelly’s offense will need to find a versatile back to fit the bill, but I like the move in general.

Fantasy Focus: Time will tell but I expect Alonso and Kendricks to both be top 15 linebackers in 2015. How they are used in the defense will certainly make an impact on fantasy potential, but both players should be considered excellent IDP options until further notice.

As for McCoy, he’s going into a good situation with the Bills. New head coach Rex Ryan will want to “ground and pound” and that means plenty of touches for Shady. C.J. Spiller is also likely out the door, so the competition for touches may not be all that great. McCoy still has elite level RB potential for 2015.

K. Smelser About K. Smelser
Kelly Smelser is Owner/Senior Writer for Punch Drunk Wonderland and PDFantasy Sports. Architect of the PDW fantasy football world and general spinster of NFL and Fantasy Football news and analysis. Long walks on the beach, sunsets, and other such niceties are also fine...

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