Last season, the Eagles featured several first-year players in key roles. Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks, Bryce Brown and Dennis Kelly started several games, while Cedric Thornton (practice squad player in 2011) and Brandon Boykin played heavy minutes. Cox showed that he could play at a high-level and seemed on the cusp of a Pro Bowl, even in as a rookie. He has clearly gained an impressive amount of trust from both the fanbase and the media as he heads into his second season.
This season, the Eagles face a similar situation, where several members of the draft class could be headed for massive playing time. Lane Johnson is likely the opening day starting right tackle, while players like Zach Ertz, Matt Barkley, Bennie Logan, Jordan Poyer, and Brad Wing could all be competing for starting roles as well. Ertz and Logan are virtually assured to be key cogs in two talented rotations at tight end and defensive line, respectively. While it is less likely that Barkley is an opening day starter, there is a possibility that he can play his way onto the field at some point. Poyer is expected to challenge for the starting nickel cornerback position, in a battle that should be fun to watch.
While there are plenty of intriguing choices, one these rookies will likely be the stand-out of the class. Although the team features several undrafted players, Damaris Johnson had some impress moments in last year in the same situation. Guys like Ifeanyi Momah and Russell Shepard could be interesting to watch during training camp and may make their way onto the final roster.
Here is a look at all of the current rookies on the Eagles roster:
|Matt Barkley||Quarterback||USC||4th Round|
|Zach Ertz||Tight End||Stanford||2nd Round|
|Lane Johnson||Offensive Tackle||Oklahoma||1st Round|
|David King||Defensive End||Oklahoma||7th Round|
|Jake Knott||Inside Linebacker||Iowa State||Undrafted|
|Joe Kruger||Defensive End||Utah||7th Round|
|Bennie Logan||Defensive Tackle||LSU||3rd Round|
|Ifeanyi Momah||Wide Receiver||Boston College||Undrafted|
|Will Murphy||Wide Receiver||Oregon||Undrafted|
|Jordan Poyer||Cornerback||Oregon State||7th Round|
|Nic Purcell||Offensive Tackle||Golden West||Undrafted|
|Kyle Quinn||Offensive Guard/Center||Arizona||Undrafted|
|Isaac Remington||Defensive Tackle||Oregon||Undrafted|
|Will Shaw||Tight End||Youngstown State||Undrafted|
|Russell Shepard||Wide Receiver||LSU||Undrafted|
|Damion Square||Defensive Tackle||Alabama||Undrafted|
|Matt Tobin||Offensive Tackle||Iowa||Undrafted|
|Matthew Tucker||Running Back||TCU||Undrafted|
|Daryell Walker||Defensive End||Hampton||Undrafted|
|Earl Wolff||Safety||NC State||5th Round|
With all of the options, only one can be the Fletcher Cox of 2013, who will it be and why?