Eagles Mid-Season Rookie Review

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

A look at how the picks from the Eagles 2013 draft class are doing through their first eight games.

With the Eagles' season now halfway over, it's a good point to check up on the progress of the players on the team acquired during the 2013 NFL Draft. Here's a look at how the rookies are doing:

1) OT Lane Johnson (580 snaps) - The book on Johnson was that he was never going to come in an be a polished player from day one. He was clearly an upside pick. Lane has flashed serious potential at times and he's just such a natural fit for Chip Kelly's offense. Thanks to his impressive athleticism, Lane is the perfect guy to get out in space and make next level blocks. Lane will benefit from the experience he's getting this year. Some rookies really make a big jump from their rookie year to their second year performance. Lane could be one of those players.

2) TE Zach Ertz (210 snaps) - Jason recently wrote about how Ertz stacked up against other rookie tight ends. His conclusion is that Ertz has been relatively satisfactory, and it's hard to disagree. Ertz has 201 yards on 14 catches, which is 14.4 yards per catch. That's among the best in league for tight ends. His 6.4 yards after catch per reception is also near the very top in the league. The problems with Ertz is that he's not a very efficient target. He's only caught 58.3% of the passes thrown this way and the eye test doesn't tell us he's made many spectacular catches. This problem is due to the fact he has short arms. His hands and blocking need to improve.

3) DL Bennie Logan (175 snaps) - Bennie Logan's role hasn't been clearly defined yet but he will likely be taking over at starting nose tackle now that Isaac Sopoaga is gone. Logan has 2 sacks in limited playing time.

4) QB Matt Barkley (69 snaps) - Barkley looks like the player I watched every day in training camp and that we all saw in preseason. He has some ability, but the overwhelming takeaway from watching him play is that he's not ready to start for a competitive NFL team yet.

5) S Earl Wolff (458 snaps) - Wolff has been forced into a starting role due the lingering issues of Patrick Chung. He's played well for a rookie of his status. He's tackled well (31 tackles to only 4 missed) but his struggles come in pass coverage. Opposing passers have a 120.1 QB rating when targeting the player Wolff is covering.

7) OLB/DE Joe Kruger - The Eagles were fortunate to be able to place him on Injured Reserve. Many said that Kruger entered the NFL too early and needed more time to develop. Ideal situation.

7) CB Jordan Poyer (17 snaps) - Poyer played on defense in the season opener but was relegated to special teams the rest of his time in Philadelphia. The Eagles cut Poyer on October 19th but had interest bringing him back to the practice squad. The Cleveland Browns claimed Poyer before the Eagles could reclaim him, though. The Eagles liked Poyer, but it's possible he only made the roster because the cornerbacks in front of him in training camp (Brandon Hughes, Eddie Whitley) were injured.

7) DL David King - Didn't make the final roster. The Cincinnati Bengals only recently added him to their practice squad.


UDFA LB Jake Knott - Looked like a good backup inside linebacker in the preseason. Knott is a big contributor on special teams.

UDFA RB Matthew Tucker - Called up to the active roster off the practice squad due to a Chris Polk injury. Polk has returned, so Tucker has been inactive. Also showed some ability in the preseason.

UDFA DL Damion Square - Seemingly came out of nowhere to make the final roster. He played well enough to earn a job and more. Square played at nose tackle in the Eagles' first two games before being sent to the bench in favor of Vinny Curry's activation. Square could be active on game days now with Sopoaga gone.

UDFA Matt Tobin - Showed potential as a good backup OL in the preseason, but hasn't been active for a game this year.


To recap: the Eagles drafted eight players. Five of them are currently on the active roster. One is on injured reserve. The other two are on different teams. Four undrafted rookie free agents are on the active roster. That makes a grand total of 9 players added through the draft/undrafted free agency.

Overall, not bad. There hasn't been a ton of immediate impact but a number of these players have upside.

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