Former All-Pro DeMeco Ryans Must Reassert Himself as an Elite NFL Linebacker

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With the first pick in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans selected DeMeco Ryans, the highly-prized linebacker out of the NCAA juggernaut that is the University of Alabama.

Ryans took no time at all living up to his massive expectations, as he was named the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2006 after racking up 155 tackles, which was second most in the league. He was also named to the All-Pro team and selected for his first Pro Bowl after his sophomore season.

While Ryans did receive these honors for his 2007 sophomore season, his monstrous tackle total dropped off by nearly 30, sliding to 128 take-downs.

Ever since then Ryans’ value, as well as his production, has done nothing but regress.

Over the past five years, the relevance and value of Ryans has been rapidly diminishing, as he has totaled less than 125 tackles each year and has only intercepted one pass over the entire half-decade. Ryans only participated in six games during the 2010 regular season, before sustaining a season-ending Achilles tear.

After another disappointing 2011 season, the Texans decided to give up on Ryans, as they traded him to the Philadelphia Eagles for the measly price of a fourth-round pick and a third-round swap in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Ryans did not make much of an impact at all on the Eagles’ already struggling defense, as this porous unit was a huge reason for the Birds’ embarrassing 4-12 campaign in 2012.

In order for the Eagles to take advantage of their widespread defensive talent next season, Ryans is going to have to cement himself as the anchor of his defense.

If Ryans is able to re-channel his youth in 2013, this Eagles’ defense has a chance at leading a playoff charge.

 

Please follow Joe on Twitter @Joe_RantNFL for all Eagles/NFL insight.


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