PHILADELPHIA ( - The Eagles shifted back to the defensive side of the football with the final selection in the fifth round, snaring king-sized Nebraska safety Nathan Gerry.

The Eagles, however, plan on moving the 6-foot-2, 220-pound prospect, who may be a bit of a tweener, to linebacker.

“Yeah, I just talked to Coach Schwartz [Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz] and from the pre-draft process, he mentioned that I’m pretty versatile enough to do that," Gerry said of moving to LB. "Freshman year I played linebacker a little, so I know the transition’s going to be pretty easy for me. I’m excited for it.”

Gerry lacks the athleticism to be a full-time defender on the back end at the professional level but he has tremendous instincts and could project as a Chris Maragos/Bryan Braman-like difference maker on STs.

“I played special teams at Nebraska. I played all of them," Gerry said. "I think one special trait that I have that a lot of other people don’t, is that I’m a very good long snapper, too. I was always our emergency long snapper at Nebraska. I think that can kind of help out with special teams in case anybody goes down, I’m able to fill the role.”

That's a nice luxury to have especially in after a year in which the Eagles lost LS Jon Dorenbos and his backup, Brent Celek, to injury in the same game.

-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for You can reach him at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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