Eagles Rookie LB Reveals NFL Mindset, Says He ‘Loves Contact’

Shaun Bradley

Getty Temple LB Shaun Bradley grew up near Philly and the Eagles took him in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

You could argue the Eagles haven’t had an impactful linebacker since Jeremiah Trotter left town. Hopefully, they stole one in the sixth round.

Philadelphia must have been mildly surprised to see Temple standout Shaun Bradley still on the board at pick 196. Despite being slightly undersized (height: 6-foot-1, weight: 230 pounds) for an inside linebacker, he had a knack for stopping big-bodied running backs dead in their tracks.

Like when he slammed Maryland’s Anthony McFarland into the turf on a crucial 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line in 2019. Bradley recorded three tackles for loss on the day, with the last one putting the final nail in the coffin. Temple won 20-17.

“They [Maryland] were ranked one of the best teams or one of the best offenses in the country,” Bradley said. “They put up like 65 points in the first two games total, so I made a goal-line stop in that game at the end of that game. The energy in the stadium, it was just an eruption and I just felt it all through my body.”

For the record, McFarland was taken in the fourth round (124th overall) this year by the Pittsburgh Steelers, 72 picks ahead of Bradley.

The play was emblematic of what Bradley does best. He plays fast: 4.51 seconds in the 40. He plays physical: 255 career tackles. He plays to win the game: four straight bowl appearances at Temple. He knows he’ll have to rely on his full arsenal to make it in the NFL. Especially contact. He loves contact.

“I’m ready to learn overall in general and just become a better player overall,” Bradley said. “I relied a lot on my speed and I’m a physical player. I like to tackle. I love contact. I don’t shy away from any of that. I think that’s something that’s going to help me a lot, not being afraid of that, to make that play or run down or whatever.”

Shaun Bradley || Is What It Is || Junior HighlightsHonors: 2018 – APEX Predator Defensive Player of the Game (Boston College) … #theSTANDARD Player of the Game (Villanova, Buffalo, Tulsa, Navy, Houston, USF) … 2017 – ECAC First Team All-East … #theSTANDARD Player of the Game (ECU, Navy, Tulsa, FIU). 2018 (Junior): Was awarded a coveted single-digit jersey in the spring and changed from…2019-02-09T22:46:26.000Z

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Local Kid Loves Eagles Green, Dad Needs Convincing

Shaun Bradley is a local kid who grew up in nearby Mount Holly, NJ and starred at Rancocas Valley Regional High School before attending Temple. He can recall watching pivotal Eagles games throughout his childhood, none bigger than Super Bowl LII.

“When they won, I looked outside, and it was just an avalanche of people. I just have never seen anything like that it,” Bradley said. “They were doing crazy things, jumping on light posts, or whatever, flipping cars. But it was just ridiculous.”

Needless to say, Bradley has Eagles green pulsing through his veins. In fact, his agent is former Eagles linebacker Barry Gardner. The eight-year NFL veteran was teammates with Doug Pederson on the Eagles in 1999.

“Barry playing for the Eagles knowing that he has some type of connection there definitely helped for sure,” Bradley admitted.

There was one person in his family not totally amused with him landing in Philadelphia. His dad is a diehard New York Giants fan. However, Bradley said once the pick was announced his dad was “hyped” and immediately put on a midnight green jersey.

Scouting Report: Special Teamer, WILL LB in 3-4 Defense

The scouts had highly mixed reviews about Shaun Bradley’s potential in the NFL. There were concerns about his size and athleticism to make an impact at the next level, including a lack of “top-notch instincts.” But the kid plays with a ton of heart and could turn into a beast on special teams.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote the following about Bradley:

Undersized inside linebacker better-suited at the WILL spot in a 3-4, where he can be protected by size around him. He has enough speed and nose for the football to find work on this level, but it may not translate to success in the pros due to his lack of traits and plus speed. He’s not twitchy or athletic enough to get away without top-notch instincts and recognition. He’s just average in those areas. He loves football. The intangibles and special teams production could give him a shot.

While Zierlein projected him as a WILL linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, Bradley doesn’t have a preference on where he lines up. He feels he can handle all three spots. He just wants to line up.

“No, I’ll learn everything,” he said. “Whatever they want me to learn or wherever they want me to play. Don’t matter to me. Just ready to get to it.”

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