Background: Elvis Apla was a UDFA pickup along with Chris Polk, Cliff Harris, and others this past weekend. Despite being undrafted I see him as quality receiver that has a very high ceiling. He originally was a Duck, and is from Oregon. He then transferred to Montana ST. This is not a very big school for football and the conference is not too competitive. He was a track star long jumper in high school (http://www.msubobcats.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=1030). In 2010 he was named Honorable Mention All-Big Sky receiver. I don't know why I feel so good about him, but after seeing what a UDFA like Victor Cruz did, I think the eagles are trying to find one for themselves. There has to be a reason they picked him up.
These are his stats from 2009-2011
Pre-Draft Scouting Report
Akpla, at 6-foot-1 and 197 pounds, won't blow away NFL scouts with his size. But he possesses elite athleticism. He was the Oregon state long jump champion as a senior at Lincoln High School in Portland, Ore. Akpla's winning jump of 24 feet, 11 inches ranked in the Top 10 nationally.
40 Yrd Dash: 4.53
20 Yrd Dash: 2.67
10 Yrd Dash: 1.58 225 Lb. Bench Reps: 20
Vertical Jump: 36
Broad Jump: 09'11"
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.36
3-Cone Drill: 7.24
(If interested) Victor Cruz Pro Day
40 Yrd Dash: 4.47
20 Yrd Dash: 2.60
10 Yrd Dash: 1.56 225 Lb. Bench Reps: 16
Vertical Jump: 41 1/2
Broad Jump: 10'05"
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.17
3-Cone Drill: 6.96
As you can see there has been steady progression in Apkla's career through college. In Senior years he became the starter. He bears similiar size to former UDFA Victor Cruz in size as both of them are 6-1 190-200 pounds. Akpla was a first-team All-Big Sky Conference selection and an honorable mention All-America pick by the Associated Press after catching 63 passes for a school-record 1,165 yards and 11 touchdowns.Not that this is a sure sign of success but it shows that Apkla has worked towards getting better. Here are some highlights:
When I look at this guy I see good hands and vision. I also admire his reaching for the ball and his toughness. He can block well in both passing and running plays. His weaknesses are his lack of elite burst and hip fluidity. He also lacked elite competition in his conference but with his athleticism and the right coaching, I feel he can blossom into a decent wide receiver. He also appears to be willing to go to the next level. In his interviews (youtube) he shows leadership characteristics and a passion to improve which will make the coaches job easier. Despite posting so-so 40 time numbers, I think he shows his true speed on the field. In the end I may be exaggerating over this UDFA, but after seeing his tape and his athletecism, I think he be quite a steal for us and can beat out someone for a spot on our team.
This is my 3rd Article. If you have any suggestions or advice please don't be a douchebag about it. Thanks guys hope you enjoy this! Go Eagles!!