Both rookies were critical to an Eagles special teams unit that was arguably the best in the NFL last season. Funny enough, neither player was actually drafted by the Eagles. Both players were undrafted free agents. Burton signed with the Eagles after the 2014 NFL Draft and Parkey signed with the Colts before being traded to the Eagles in late August.
Parkey's success has already been recognized. The rookie kicker was named as a 2014 Pro Bowl first alternate and now will be headed to Arizona because either the Colts' Adam Vinatieri or the Patriots' Stephen Gostkowski will be in Super Bowl XLIX.
Parkey finished his rookie season 32/36 (88.9%) from field goal range, which ranked tied for eighth best. His longest kick was 54 yards and he was a perfect 4-4 from kicks attempted from 50 yards or longer. Parkey made all 54 of his extra point attempts. His 145 total points eclipsed David Akers' former Eagles record and also broke the NFL rookie scoring record set by Bears kicker Kevin Butler in 1985.
As for Burton, the Florida alum was a key member of the Eagles special teams coverage and return units. Burton recorded six special teams tackles along with one assisted. He blocked a punt which was recovered by Brad Smith in the end-zone for a touchdown in Philadelphia's Week 4 game against the San Francisco 49ers. Burton also scored first career touchdown on a New York Giants punt that James Casey blocked in Week 17. Pro Football Focus graded Burton as their top rookie special teams player.
Aside from rookie receiver Jordan Matthews, the Eagles didn't get great production of their 2014 NFL Draft class. First round pick Marcus Smith II only played 105 snaps, Josh Huff showed some potential but struggled with key mistakes, Jaylen Watkins saw limited playing time, Taylor Hart was never even active for a game, Ed Reynolds only made the practice squad, and Beau Allen was a situational nose tackle. But at the very least, the Eagles did well for themselves when it came to undrafted free agency. Burton, 23, and Parkey, 22, have the potential to be strong contributors for the considerable future.
PFWA released their All-NFL team on Monday. One Eagles veteran made that list.