The countdown to when the Philadelphia Eagles report for 2014 Training Camp stands at only 5 more days. While Bleeding Green Nation is already breaking down the Philadelphia Eagles roster in a position preview series, we're also going to be running a countdown series that's more geared towards unique thematic angles. Today we'll look at the Eagles newcomers. [The veterans]
There are a total of 32 new faces heading into training camp. 10 players were signed in free agency, 7 picks were selected during the 2014 NFL Draft, and the remaining 15 were signed as undrafted rookie free agents.
NFL Free Agency
The following players were signed by the Eagles as free agents except for the noted exception of former New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles. The Eagles traded a 2014 fifth round pick (No. 169) to the Saints in exchange for Sproles.
#27 - S Malcolm Jenkins - 3 years, $16.25 million ($8.5 million guaranteed)
#56 - OLB Bryan Braman - 2 years, $2.65 million ($1.0 million guaranteed)
#42 - S Chris Maragos - 3 years, $4 million ($1.0 million guaranteed)
#43 - RB Darren Sproles (trade) - Contract extended to 3 years, $10.5 million ($5.5 million guaranteed)
#23 - CB Nolan Carroll - 2 years, $5.25 million ($750,000 guaranteed)
#3 - QB Mark Sanchez - 2 years, $2.25 million ($750,000 guaranteed)
#66 - OT Andrew Gardner - 2 years, $1.485 million ($10,000 guaranteed)
#49 - OLB Josh Kaddu - Reserve/future contract ($25,000 guaranteed)
#63 - C David Molk - Reserve/future contract
#33 - CB Davon Morgan - No contract details available
Malcolm Jenkins is the only new projected starter from this group. Bryan Braman and Chris Maragos figure to contribute on special teams. Darren Sproles gives Chip Kelly a new weapon to play with but the 31 year old running back will likely be used as a limited contributor. Nolan Carroll has the chance to earn a starting cornerback job if he plays as well as he did in the spring. Mark Sanchez is in the lead for the backup QB job. Andrew Gardner, Josh Kaddu, David Molk, and Davon Morgan will need to impress this summer to earn a spot.
2014 NFL Draft
#90 - 1 (26) - Marcus Smith II, OLB, Louisville
#81 - 2 (42) - Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
#11 - 3 (86) - Josh Huff, WR, Oregon
#37 - 4 (101) - Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida
#97- 5 (141) - Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon
#30 - 5 (162) - Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford
#94 - 7 (224) - Beau Allen, NT, Wisconsin
The only immediate starter the Eagles likely added from this group is second round pick Jordan Matthews. Matthews could take over as the team's slot receiver in place of former Eagle Jason Avant. Marcus Smith II will come in off the bench to spell veteran Trent Cole and/or Connor Barwin. Josh Huff could have a limited role on offense and special teams. Jaylen Watkins is likely a depth player for now along with special teams. Taylor Hart is a rotational defensive lineman. Ed Reynolds could have a role similar to Watkins and Beau Allen could be the backup nose tackle if he earns a spot.
Undrafted free agency
#68 - OG Josh Andrews, Oregon State
#83- TE Blake Annen, Cincinnati
#73 - OG Karim Barton, Morgan State
#19 - WR Kadron Boone, LSU
#47 - TE Trey Burton, Florida - $20,000 guaranteed
#41 - RB David Fluellen, Toledo
#77 - OT Kevin Graf, USC
#78 - OG Donald Hawkins, Texas
#34 - RB Henry Josey, Missouri - $20,000 guaranteed
#74 - NT Wade Keliikipi, Oregon
#35 - S Daytawion Lowe, Oklahoma State
#61 - DE Frances Mays, Florida A&M
#10 - WR Quron Pratt, Rutgers
#1 - K Carey Spear, Vanderbilt
#78 - DE Alejandro Villanueva, Army
There are a number of interesting longshots from this group but the two most notable names are Henry Josey and Trey Burton because they received some minor sign bonuses from the Eagles. Josey faces an uphill battle in a crowded back field. Burton could steal a spot on the roster as a fourth tight end/wide receiver hybrid.
Malcolm Jenkins and Jordan Matthews appear to be the only new "starters." With that said, the Eagles added a lot of depth and situational/rotational role players.
I imagine Philadelphia is happy with the low turnover because it means they don't have to rely on new players learning the scheme so fast. It'll be interesting to see how the benefit of continuity pays off.