Scouting the Eagles new free-agent acquisitions

Howie Roseman opened the new year with a bang yesterday, completing a pair of trades and signing five new players to multi-year contracts. 

Here is a quick look at each of the new Eagles and what they can offer the team in 2016.

LB Nigel Bradham: Bradham (6'2", 240 pounds) was the top outside linebacker coming out of high school when he enrolled at Florida State. A fourth-round pick by the Bills in 2012, he's racked up 271 tackles in his career. His best season came in 2014 under current Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz when he had 104 tackles and 3.5 sacks as the strong side linebacker. 

Bradham has already professed his love for playing for Schwartz and he should show up in Philadelphia motivated to play in a scheme he feels comfortable in. With the departure of Kiko Alonso and Connor Barwin hinting at playing defensive end, it seems like there's a clear path for Bradham to take a starting job next to Jordan Hicks and Mychal Kendricks. Bradham has struggled with pass coverage and can be a step too slow when diagnosing plays, but his comfortability in Schwartz's defense could help that. 

At two years, this signing is relatively low risk. Bradham is an impressive athlete, running a 4.64 40-yard dash at the 2012 combine. If he can return to form under Schwartz again, he will be a great value signing.

G Brandon Brooks: Coming to Philadelphia from the Texans, Brooks (6'5", 346 pounds) is an absolute monster of a human being. The four-year vet from Miami University (OH) was originally a third-round pick  in 2012 and started 44 games over the past three seasons.

Brooks has played a lot in zone-blocking schemes during his NFL career under Bill O'Brien and Gary Kubiak. Andy Reid and Doug Pederson ran similar concepts in Kansas City, so Brooks shouldn't have much of an issue fitting into the Eagles offense. With his size, he is also proficient when he has to deal with power blocking, giving him a lot of versatility. 

Watching film of Brooks, it was noticeable how he was able to hold his point of attack against opposing defensive tackles. However, he doesn't seem that light on his feet and struggles to change direction quickly. He may have an issue in pass protection against stunts and blitzing linebackers, but he is a massive upgrade at right guard. The combination of him and Lane Johnson could be really fun to watch. 

CB Ron Brooks: No relation to Brandon, Brooks comes to the Eagles from the Bills on a three-year deal worth just under $6 million. Standing at just 5'10", the former fourth-round pick has just 55 tackles during his four years in the NFL.

With the departure of special teams ace Seyi Ajirotutu, Brooks will probably be asked to play a lot on Dave Fipp's unit, something he should be comfortable doing. According to Jimmy Kempski, Brooks had 18 special teams tackles in the past two years. Another guy who has played under Schwartz, Brooks will be a good guy to have as a depth corner.

QB Chase Daniel: Daniel is pretty much the second coming of Pederson and it was obvious the coach would make an effort to sign the career backup. Daniel was a star at Missouri, but has toiled as the backup for Drew Brees and Alex Smith during his six-year career. 

Daniel is 1-1 in two career starts and has a career QB rating of 80.2. His knowledge of the game has been lauded by Pederson and others, and after spending his entire NFL career with Reid or Sean Payton, it isn't hard to see why he has value as a backup. Daniel doesn't have much arm strength and his lack of height — he's only 6'0" — has really hurt his stock during his career.

It has been reported that Daniel's deal is worth $21 million over three years, with $12 million guaranteed. That is a lot of money for a backup and it is now rumored that Daniel will be given the opportunity to beat out Sam Bradford in training camp. I still feel like there is another domino waiting to fall that will make this deal a bit more palatable.

I doubt the team moves Bradford and Mark Sanchez was supposed to compete with the Heisman-winner last season, so for right now, we'll view Daniel as an expensive insurance policy due to Bradford's injury history.

CB Leodis McKelvin: Since he was released from the Buffalo Bills, the Eagles were able to lock up McKelvin on Tuesday. McKelvin wasted little time, making headlines in his introductory press conference when he noted that Chip Kelly and company kept running the same play last year against the Bills and that predictability led to his interception.

At 30-years-old, McKelvin is the oldest free agent signed by the Eagles so far, but he has developed a reputation for being a bit of a playmaker during his time in the NFL. McKelvin has 13 interceptions and nine fumble recoveries in his career. He has bounced in and out of the starting lineup the past few seasons and could be considered a prime candidate for the Eagles slot corner job, depending on what the team does between now and the beginning of the season.

McKelvin also has some value as a punt returner. He led the NFL in punt return touchdowns and yards per return in 2012. It's hard to imagine him supplanting Darren Sproles, but he can step in if an injury occurs.  

S Rodney McLeod: McLeod may have been the biggest surprise signing of yesterday. After Walter Thurmond performed admirably in his first year as a safety, it seemed apparent that the Eagles had finally found a pair of quality starting safeties with him and Malcolm Jenkins. But, the Eagles went out and gave McLeod a 5-year, $37 million deal, so it looks like Thurmond will be employed elsewhere in 2016. 

McLeod is a former undrafted free agent who has turned himself into one of the better safeties in the league. Pro Football Focus rated him as the 10th-best safety of the 2015 season and his range over the top should be a great aid to Eric Rowe and the rest of the Eagles cornerbacks. 

McLeod is a lot more physical than Thurmond and that could have very well been the difference in the Eagles choosing him over the Oregon product. With Schwartz transitioning this defense to a 4-3, having a safety that is a sure tackler and can help out in the run game is a huge plus. Jenkins likes to play on the line and line up in the slot, so McLeod could be used a lot over the top where he can really show off his speed and instincts.

 Tucker Bagley is a columnist for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @tbagley515.