Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Undrafted Rookies to Keep An Eye On

Knott has already impressed at ILB.
The 2013 Eagles draft class is getting a plethora of attention. While reporters monitor every bead of sweat Matt Barkley wipes, the nine undrafted rookies get little recognition. However, looking at past seasons, Philadelphia has had good success plucking productive players out of the crowded undrafted pool.

Here's a look at past undrafted players who became solid NFL players for Andy Reid:

G/C Nick Cole - New Mexico State
DT Cedric Thorton - Southern Arkansas
LB Akeem Jordan - James Madison
S Quintin Mikell - Boise State
C Jamaal Jackson - Delaware State
RB Chris Polk - Washington
WR Damaris Johnson - Tulsa
OT Austin Howard - Northern Iowa

Now let's take a look at Chip Kelly's first crack at the undrafted crop:

RB Miguel Maysonet, Stony Brook (5-9, 209): Maysonet was Todd McShay's favorite undrafted rookie. He was ultra-productive at Stony Brook, compiling 1,964 yards and 21 TDs as a senior. He's a very decisive runner who gets positive yardage, he's not one to dance through a hole. He has great ball security and always keeps moving forward, churning his feet. The Eagles backfield is extremely crowded however, especially with the recent signing of Felix Jones. But Maysonet has the talent and experience to challenge Jones and Polk, if he makes the practice squad, look for another team to sign him away from Philadelphia.

ATH Russell Shepard, LSU (6-1, 195): Unless you've played the NCAA Football video game, you're probably wondering what the ATH position is. Shepard is an athlete, he doesn't really have a position. He played some wide receiver and running back at LSU but some NFL scouts believe he's best suited for cornerback. He has good size and ran a 4.46 second 40 yard dash at the LSU Pro Day. Shepard finished his college career with over 700 rushing yards and over 500 receiving yards. Shepard seems like more of a project, but if he impresses, he could land a spot on the practice squad.

P Brad Wing, LSU (6-2, 205): Wing has a boot for a left foot. He can bomb the ball downfield, following the Sav Rocca footsteps from Australia. However, Wing has some serious character red flags. The troubled punter was told by the LSU coaching staff not to return to the team, even with two years remaining of eligibility. The former First-Team All-American reportedly had multiple failed drug tests among other issues. If his head is on straight, he will battle new punter Donnie Jones for the starting gig.

C Kyle Quin, Arizona (6-3, 290): Quin has been impressive thus far, and Jeff McLane reports the Eagles already like the youngster. He's built like Jason Kelce, and, examining his Oregon rosters, Chip Kelly seems more enamored with athleticism along the offensive line rather than size. Quin will compete against Dallas Reynolds for the backup center job.