The Eagles have a rookie camp taking place Friday through Sunday. Then on Monday, there are some full team OTAs. This is a bit different from past seasons. Normally the Eagles first team activity was a post-draft mini-camp for the whole team. This year the Eagles had a pre-draft camp since there was a coaching change so this camp is just for rookies.
The rookie camp isn’t a time for evaluation. This is more a time of letting the young guys get their feet wet. We can’t get excited about anyone looking great or get down about anyone looking lost.
Since veterans won’t be here, the Eagles need some extra bodies so that there are enough players for running drills. The team is having some players in for a tryout. Most are rookie free agents, but one is LB Chris Gocong. I’m sure you remember that Gocong was drafted by the Eagles in 2006. He started at SAM from 2007-2009. He was traded after 2009 to Cleveland. Gocong played well for them, but tore his achilles last year and missed the 2012 season. He would be a good fit as backup SAM. He can rush and cover. The Eagles will want to see how he moves around and if he looks like he’ll be ready by this summer.
Here is the full list of players. Here are the most interesting tryout names to me:
RB Montel Harris – Temple
OL Nic Purcell – Golden West CC
ILB Matt Evans – New Hampshire
CB Anthony Boyles – Idaho State
SS Kenny Tate – Maryland
FS Dontra Peters – New Hampshire
Harris was productive at Boston College for 3 years before being kicked off the team and transferring to Temple. Matt Waldman wrote a very interesting report on Harris and is very high on him.
Evans (6-0, 227) was a tackling machine for UNH. He finished his career with 460 tackles. Evans won the Buck Buchanan Award in 2011 as the nation’s top I-AA defensive player. He had 3 INTs, 3 FFs, 92 solo tackles, and 7.5 TFLs. He also ran 2 of the INTs back for TDs. Some wonder about his size for ILB. Legit concern. He was tough/strong/physical enough in college, but the NFL is a whole other level.
Boyles started out at Washington and graduated from there in 3 years. He transferred to ISU. Boyles has played CB and WR. He is 6-3, 203 and has potential as a physical, press corner.
Tate was a major star a few years back. Injuries ruined his career at Maryland. He is huge at 6-4, 225. If he can ever stay healthy, he’s got NFL potential.
Peters played CB for UNH as a Senior, after spending his first 3 years on offense. He has good size at 6-0, 201. Peters had 4 INTs this year and has plenty of KOR experience. The Eagles are looking at Peters as a Safety. He lacks ideal speed.
While I said this isn’t a time for evaluation, that is true for draft picks. The tryout players are absolutely under pressure to show they have NFL ability and potential. These guys don’t need to look polished. They need to show that they are worthy of signing and having as part of the roster battles.
There are some interesting guys that are under contract who will be working out. Guys like TE/H-back Derek Carrier, OL Matt Reynolds, WR Ifeanyi Momah, and BJ Cunningham all have a legit chance to make the roster this year. These players must look good in order to get the coaches attention and build some momentum heading into the OTAs. All except Momah were here last year for at least part of the season. They won’t have any advantages in terms of knowing the schemes/systems, but have had some exposure to NFL practices. The Eagles gave Momah an $85K bonus so they expect him to look good and challenge for a spot.
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Matt Barkley and GJ Kinne will be the only 2 QBs at the camp. Kinne would love to play well enough that the Eagles go from looking at him as a camp body to someone with actual NFL potential.
Barkley is going to be very interesting. He is a polished, veteran QB (for a college player). He has played in a pro style type of system. There is every chance in the world that Barkley could actually be impressive. That said, he is still a rookie. You cannot count on him going out there and playing well. He won’t know the system. He won’t have any chemistry with the receivers.
PE.com will have some coverage on Friday. It is going to be fun to see some clips of Barkley and then trying to make way too much out of it.