It didn’t take too long for the Eagles to fill up their roster with free agent rookies following the draft. They immediately signed 15 guys to their roster, which is a usual thing for teams to do after the draft concludes. While they didn’t sign any huge names, they got a few guys that could make a run at a roster spot once they finally cut it down to 53 (which won’t be for a while of course). Here’s who they got:
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) May 11, 2014
Offensively, they didn’t do much during the three days of the draft other than at the WR position, which was a clear need and probably their biggest on that side of the ball. So they decided to address the offensive part of their needs with these free agent rookies…10/15 were offensive players. One of the most surprising parts of their draft was that they didn’t select an offensive lineman. Well, they made up for it here by signing 4 of them here. The list includes Oregon State G Josh Andrews, Morgan State G Karim Barton, USC T Kevin Graf, and Texas G Donald Hawkins. With the Eagles offensive line aging, especially at the guard position, these guys should have a good opportunity to at least make a run at a backup spot until the Eagles figure out what they’re doing in the future.
Undrafted free-agent signings: Trey Burton, Florida WR, among 15 rookies to sign with Eagles http://t.co/ehQddy6aub
— NJ NYC News (@NJ_NYC) May 11, 2014
The biggest name of the free agent rookies they picked up was probably Missouri RB Henry Josey, who finished college with two 1,000-yard seasons. At only 5’8″ and already behind a bunch of guys that the Eagles already like, it still might be hard for him to move his way onto the main roster. He could end up in a situation similar to Matthew Tucker of last year though, who impressed the Eagles but remained on the practice squad all year. The Eagles also signed Cincinnati TE Blake Annen, LSU WR Kadron Boone, Florida TE Trey Burton, Toledo RB David Fluellen, and Rutgers WR Quron Pratt. Any of these guys has a shot at making an impact and will have to prove it in the preseason and in camp.
On the defensive side, the Eagles picked up four more guys. They signed Alabama CB John Fulton, Oregon DT Wade Keliikipi, Oklahoma State S Daytawion Lowe, and Florida A&M DE Frank Mays. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that there’s another Oregon player on this list. As I mentioned before, there is an advantage of signing guys that have already played for Chip Kelly because they know his system and his coaching style, but it still leaves a lot of people feeling skeptical (including me) as to whether they really deserve to be on the team. Fulton played a lot of special teams in college and was at one of the best schools in the nation, so hopefully that’ll translate and help him stay on the roster. None of these guys seems like a steal as a free agent signing though, but they all have the potential to stand out if they work hard enough.
Eagles start to sign undrafted free agents, including a kicker a Vandy blog nicknamed "Murderleg." http://t.co/pKsAv36c0K
— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) May 10, 2014
The Eagles also picked up a guy on special teams, Vanderbilt K Carey Spear. With a nickname like “Murderleg,” I’m not really sure what to expect, but it’s clear that the Eagles want competition for Alex Henery without going out and signing a free agent with NFL experience. Whether he’ll actually push Henery off the roster remains to be seen, but I do know that Spear can hit like a safety. Don’t believe me? Check out this video of him on a kickoff. Maybe he can switch to safety or linebacker if he doesn’t make it as a kicker. Just kidding, he’s 5’9″ and 194 pounds. Good luck with that. Either way, if he proves to be just as good or better as Henery, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as the starting kicker.
Overall, they made some good signings, but there’s no way of knowing how good they actually are until training camp. The main reason for signing these guys is just to get some extra bodies in camp and see if anyone really stands out, but they also might get chances to make the practice squad.