The Philadelphia Eagles brought in a total of seven new players by way of the 2014 NFL Draft. They also added a total of 15 (or so) rookies through undrafted free agency. Let's now take a look at what the 2014 projected depth chart looks like with respect to these draft additions. Earlier this week we took a look at the Eagles [offense] and [defense]. We finish up today by taking a look at special teams.
1) Alex Henery
2) Carey Spear (MURDERLEG)
The Eagles said all along that they were going to bring in competition for the much maligned Alex Henery and that's just what they did by signing Carey Spear as an undrafted free agent. Spear, who played for Vanderbilt, was nicknamed Murderleg (which is awesome) because of his reckless pursuit to destroy returners on kickoff coverage. While that's all well and good, the most important job of a kicker is fairly obvious: kicking.
Allen Rodriguez of Bird Breakdown put up an interesting post regarding the Eagles' kicker competition. I strongly encourage you to read the entire article. Here's a comparison of their field goal numbers:
Henery is still clearly the favorite. If the kicking competition is even close, it's safe to say the incumbent won't be the one who loses. Spear has to clearly outperform Henery in order to win the job.
2) Josh Huff
3) Brad Smith
OK, so I'm not entirely sure about the order here. Sproles seems to make sense at top because he returned kicks for New Orleans. He wasn't particularly effective last year though. Do the Eagles opt to use someone else? Huff returned kicks for Oregon. Brad Smith used to return kicks but wasn't used by the Eagles too often last year. I wonder if that had to do with them bringing him in late in the season. Maybe they plan to use Smith more in that role. I left Brandon Boykin's name off because he's probably too valuable to use at KR with other viable options around. This is an interesting one to watch.
1) Darren Sproles
2) Damaris Johnson?
I had a hard time figuring out this one as well beyond Sproles. Let's just see how it shakes out in training camp and preseason.
Brad Smith and James Casey were some of the Eagles' best players on the special teams coverage units last season. Philadelphia added Bryan Braman and Chris Maragos in free agency due to their special teams prowess. They will also get Jason Phillips back from injury. Josh Huff, Jaylen Watkins, and Ed Reynolds are some draft picks who have an opportunity to make an impact on the coverage units.
1) Donnie Jones
Donnie Jones is awesome. No competition necessary.
1) Donnie Jones
Need I say more?
1) Jon Dorenbos
2) Brent Celek (emergency backup)
Jimmy Kempski said Dorenbos had a bounce back year in 2013 after a questionable 2012 performance.