Yesterday we looked at the first half of the 2010 Eagles draft class facing their make it or break it year. Today, we look at the later round guys, which interestingly enough, have been a lot more productive than the top half of this class so far.
Mike Kafka, QB - The challenges Kafka faces is as clear as it gets, it's him vs veteran Trent Edwards for the backup job to Michael Vick. Unless rookie Nick Foles really wows in preseason, he's likely going to spend the year as the #3 man. For Kafka or Edwards, being the #3 guy would more or less be a waste. So I think one gets the backup job and the other gets the boot. The Eagles would obviously prefer Kafka to win the job, but given how important the backup is here, that job will be won by merit. If Trent Edwards, who has started 33 games in this league, outplays him in preseason I feel very confident is saying that Kafka will be out the door. You don't get a much better example or make it or break it than this.
Clay Harbor TE - For Clay, year 3 is just about doing more. He's got a pretty good TE in front of him on the depth chart in Brent Celek and the Eagles love to go 3 wide, so there aren't tons of 2 TE sets for him to work in. So he's really got to maximize the chances he gets. There's not really notable competition for his job at this point, so he's pretty secure. But really we'd just like to see more. He's a pretty good blocker, but he can become really good. He's a decent pass catcher, but he could do more.
Riley Cooper WR - While I think Clay Harbor is ahead of Riley Cooper development wise, I would say that what he needs to do is pretty much the same. Just do more. Cooper has made some really stand out plays in his time here, but one great play every 6 weeks isn't going to secure your place on the roster if you do almost nothing the rest of the time. With Jackson, Maclin & Avant likely having the top 3 spots locked down Cooper has to stand out. When the Eagles are looking at the 4th and 5th spots on the depth chart, they may be looking for upside than experience. That's where guys like Marvin McNutt (who is the same size as Cooper), Mardy Gilyard, Elvis Akpla etc could find roster spots. Using the 5th spot on the depth chart for a 3rd year player like Cooper who should have blown away these rookies would be a waste.
I originally had written the last two guys in here, but I have enough to say about them that I've decided to make them a post of their own.