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Quick Look At Eagles Rookies During Past Week’s OTA’s

I don’t know how much a contribution this rookie class is going to make to this football team in the first year, but I can tell you that this is an outstanding group of young men.

I’ve been impressed with all of these guys and the kind of people they appear to be.¬† Each and every member of this group is sharp, well mannered and well spoken.¬† They come across as a very intelligent and aware group of youngsters.

Here’s my take on what I’ve seen of their play on the field, so far.¬† Understand that they were working out in shorts, which limits how much you can learn from these workouts.

I love the enthusiasm and passion which Brandon Graham brings to the game.  This young man is quick as a cat and he has tremendous body control and explosiveness.  His burst off the ball is noticeable, which fulfills one of the requirements of a big time pass rusher.

He’ll have to overcome his huge arm length disadvantage against the offensive tackles with his speed off the corner and solid technique.

Nate Allen seems to understand the strategy side of football, which is a must at the safety position.¬† He has good speed for a safety and seems to make the correct adjustments to the ball when it’s in the air.

I could see that Allen is thinking through every move and that’s why he didn’t get his hands on too many balls during camp.

Daniel Te’o Nesheim wasn’t as impressive as Graham with his speed and quickness but he does some speed off the oorner and moves well in pass coverage for a guy his size.¬† He’s a good athlete, who is quickly picking up the system.

In fairness to him, you can’t tell much about an inside pass rusher when the players are in shorts.

Trevard Lindley has shown good coverage skills while covering this group of rookie receivers, who are also in the learning process.  I like his height and long arms because they allow him to get his hands on the football.

He’s made quite a few plays during this couple of weeks of camp, but we’ll be able to truly find out about him when the veterans come in on Tuesday.

Keenan Clayton has great speed for a linebacker but he’s also very small to be playing the linebacker postion.¬† He has good instincts in pass coverage and won’t have any trouble running with running backs and tight ends.

Mike Kafka has been the most pleasant surprise of the camp in the way he has run the offense.¬† He was ahead of schedule in getting the ball out of his hands, throwing the ball accurately, reading the defensive coverages and taking charge when he’s running the offense.

His staying out and throwing after practice shows you that he knows how serious he is about preparing to play.

Clay Harbor has good speed but was inconsistent as a pass catcher during the camp.  He was overwhelmed by all of the plays which were put in and I think it slowed him down and the camp went on.

Ricky Sapp isn’t now and will never be an NFL linebacker.¬† He’s too stiff in his drops and I couldn’t picture him covering tight ends and running backs for a living.¬† I do think he might be able be a quality pass rusher.¬† I also could see him playing in the Joker position in nickel situations.

Riley Cooper is going to make this football team as a backup wide receiver and special teams contributor.¬† He’s a smart with deceptive speed and good hands.¬† Cooper will make this group of wide receivers more physical.¬† I think he has already developed some chemistry with Kevin Kolb.

I think Kolb trusts him and I like the way the quarterback hits Cooper on those crossing routes.

Charles Scott has good size and straight ahead speed but his quickness and agility are just okay.¬† He doesn’t run pass routes well and his hands are inconsistent.¬† I don’t know if he’s an Eagles type of back.

Jabar Chaney seemed to be picking up the sytem quickly at the middle linebacker spot and he’s very quick and fast for a middle backer.¬† Like Clayton he’s small.¬† I was impressed with the way he took charge as the caller of the defenses in and out of the huddle.

I couldn’t learn much about defensive tackle Jeff Owens during the camp

Kurt Coleman had better be a killer on special teams or he won’t be able to make this team.

I’m not sure Macho Harris is fast enough to play cornerback in this defense.¬† He’s made his share of plays during this camp but he’s also been beaten.¬† Harris would be an ideal cover two corner because he knows how to play to his help and he’s very good at supporting the run on the corner.

I’m very interested in seeing how Chad Hall does. Can he take the pounding as a running back?¬† How good of a punt and kick returner is he?¬† He’s a wild card because you don’t know how the coaching staff will list him.¬† Is he a wide receiver or running back?

The Eagles have a problem at the center position.¬† I don’t think Nick Cole is going to be the starter, so that means it will be Mike McGlynn, A.Q. Shipley or somebody else they sign.

This is a major problem with the real starter Jamaal Jackson recovering from a knee injury.

People who are well schooled in football don’t have any idea how important it is that the center be able to make the proper calls for blitz pickups and run blocking.

Cole’s inability to make the proper calls was the biggest handicap the Eagles had in the two Cowboys games which ended their season a year ago.¬† I don’t think it will help Kolb to have a question mark at the center position starting the season.

Grabbing a proven veteran center might be the only solution.¬† There’s not more troubling for a rhythm passer like Kolb than pressure in his face. on Facebook

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Posted by on May 28 2010. Filed under Eagles, General News, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

10 Comments for “Quick Look At Eagles Rookies During Past Week’s OTA’s”

  1. drummerwinslow

    Great coverage, G!

    Center was the most obvious deficiency at the end of last season. Hopefully, it will be, or has already been, properly addressed.

  2. Great recap G,
    Keep these type of articles with your keen insight coming. This summer camp for 2010 may end up
    being the most exciting,important one the Eagles have had in some time with so many quality players and good kids fighting to make the squad and with 3-4 positions still up for grabs when the veterans return…This year’s Pre-Season Games will be much more interesting and important to watch to see how all these young players perform as well as some of the young veterans…

  3. G man,
    How is Darryl Tapp looking so far in your opinion… Is he quick and have that explosion that a good pass rusher needs to have, he appears bigger,heavier in his lower body that he should be able have great leverage against taller,slower OT’s if he uses deifferent looks .. Do you think he has some real potential or is it another DE’s that hustles and is a good guy, but lacks the big-playmaking ability

  4. Ditto on the compliments G.

  5. Attention coolaid drinkers:
    Schein: Kind Words For Eagles
    Adam Schein ranks the NFL franchises one through 32 on and he has the Eagles ranked sixth in the league. Here is what Schein has to say about the Eagles’ organization …

    “Arguably, the number is too low, with my conservative yet fair grade for Kevin Kolb. But make no mistake, Philly’s organization is among the best in all of sports. Andy Reid wins every single year. Owner Jeff Lurie has a great model in place. Team president Joe Banner is sharp doing contracts, and new GM Howie Roseman has been ready for this promotion for years.”

    Schein ranks the Patriots first, followed by Indianapolis, New Orleans, Baltimore, Green Bay and then the Eagles.

    — Posted by Dave Spadaro, 9:53 a.m., May 29

  6. Paulman’s List of the Top 10 NFL Franchises since 2000 (that did not make Spadaro’s Eagles site
    or the NFL.Com Site/Channel)
    #1) Patriots
    #2) Colts
    #3) Steelers
    #4) NY GIants
    #5) San Diego Chargers
    #6) Eagles
    #7) Ravens
    #8) Vikings
    #9) Cowboys
    #10) Packers

  7. G..Your the man. Happy Memorial Day everybody..Go place a flag on a veterans grave and say Thank You..preferably a Marine’s but Im biased.

  8. Thanks for the coverage, G. Keep it coming on Graham too. I can’t wait to see that kid in game action.

  9. I hope Graham does not hire Drew Rosenhaus as his agent… Good Grief…
    Rosenhaus will stick it to the Eagles every chance he can from the TO debacle days…
    If Graham goes with Rosenhaus, I would expect a super big $$$$ contract requested from Agent Drew.. His logic is that if Eagles were willing to move up 11 spots and to trade for him, and that Graham was the first DE selected in the Draft, that he should be extremely highly paid like other top DE in the NFL even though he hasn’t played a down yet…(I hope this doesn’t occur)

  10. Paul, if you’re going to mention logic, why in hell would Drew Rosenhaus (for anyone’s contract) try to ‘stick it to the Eagles’ ? He is a business man and knows that he has to treat a business partner well. He has to maintain working relationships with as many teams as he can. And if you just mean that he’ll try to get as much money as possible, uh, duh, that’s his job.

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