We have 14 rookies on the roster for this Thursday's game. Some will play special teams only(I'm guessing) and others should see some significant clock. Thursday marks the first time any of these rookies will be playing with their pro peers on the professional level. Who will stand out? Who will edge themselves closer to a permanent roster spot? Who will not do anything noticeable?
On offense we have Nick Foles 3rd string QB who many have asked the question, "was Foles picked to be groomed as our future QB?". Foles stands a statuesque 6'6" 243 and has a cannon for an arm. Statuesque also serves to illustrate his mobility. As in, he has none. I'm not certain the Eagles drafted Foles because they believed he is our future. But the fact that Vick isn't a spring chicken and finding a top tier QB is easier said than done, they are at least casting the net to see what they find. I expect Foles to be handing the ball off more than throwing in this one. But maybe were down and he gets to sling the rock some.
Next up is a rookie RB battle that this organization hasn't seen since I can remember. Gone are the days of Heath Sherman, Anthony Toney and Keith Byars. Advanced from the days of signing successful vets like Herschel Walker and Ricky "for who and for what" Waters. Arrived are the days of drafting and developing elite RB's from Westbrook to Shady (maybe Lewis) and now maybe Brown or Polk.
Brown is from reports and depth chart leading the charge. He is a cast away from a few NCAA teams who with his talents, has bought himself one more chance. Brown is a 223-pound thumper who runs a 4.48 40. Polk who is basically the same size as Brown but a little less athletic is trying to edge out Brown for the final roster spot. Polk is a very accomplished Pac10 back. With nothing to go on, but camp reports, i'm going with Brown to be the stand out of this duo.
The WR position has a lot of bodies and only a few worth noting. McNutt and Johnson seem to be battling it out with Chad Hall. Worth noting is that Hall keeps beating out all comers, over the past few years. Guys like Danny Amendola who in 2010 caught 85 passes for 3 TD's. That's a better season than Avant has ever put together. And Brandon Gibson, who in 3 seasons has accumulated 123 receptions, over 1000 yards and 4 TD's. Can the 6'2" athletic McNutt or the 5'8" freakishly quick Johnson unseat the champ? This will be the first game they get a shot to do so. I think this is the year Chad Hall get's released and picked up the Rams and just dominates the PPR FFB circuit. So who wins out? Johnson McNutts all over the field on ST and as a gadget guy. This game goes to Johnson.
Curried Cox forced down the Ben Rothlisrapers throat all game? Maybe...With Babin and Cole cheering their mates on, I see Brandon Graham controlling the killing fields. From there, I think Cox stands out the most, of all rookie DL rookies. From what I read Curry hasn't been tilting the tables in camp. He still is soaking up all the knowledge being thrown his way. For this reason I think he goes unnoticed.
I am very excited to see Kendricks knock a couple chin straps loose on Thursday. He can be the rain that busts the flood gates wide open for this defense, to wreak havoc, all year long. If he can make plays and tackle with consistency the sky is the limit with this defense. We have play makers at DL and at DB. What we have been missing since Trott in his early days is a play maker at LB. Kendricks flies to the ball and delivers hits crunching with thunder. He is known as a good blitzer and to make big plays. Can he do that at the pro level? I hope so and remain optimistic that he can.
Boykin, Harris and Thomas. Boykin stands out as the only one of these guys who is definitely making the team. He will stand out on Thursday the most too. Rumble young man RUMBLE. I like seeing the small guy get praised for his physicality of his play. Oh yeah, he's quick and deceptive while returning kicks too. He will return a kick for a TD in the preseason. Maybe this Thursday. This is this kids coming out party. He will be announcing the entire NFL, "you done f//ed up" by not drafting me.
There you have it the stars will Boykin, Kendricks and Brown. Hall will out shine the two rookie WR's but Johnson will show that he can make plays on ST and be an offensive weapon. Cox will be noticeable and Curry will not do much. Who's gonna stand out in your minds?
Jimmy K has mentioned WR Jamel Hamler as a guy who made some nice plays at camp. I look forward to seeing if this guy has game.