The Philadelphia Eagles begin their 2018 training camp schedule when players report on Wednesday, July 25. Bleeding Green Nation is already breaking down the Philadelphia Eagles roster’ position-by-position but we’re also going to be running a countdown series that’s more geared towards unique thematic angles. We start that series by taking a look at the new players on Philadelphia’s roster.
The Eagles have a total of 31 new faces heading into training camp this year. Eight players were signed as free agents, one player was acquired via trade, five picks were made during the 2018 NFL Draft, 15 undrafted rookie free agents were signed, and two new players joined the team on reserve/futures contracts.
NFL FREE AGENCY
#14 - WR Mike Wallace (1 year, $4 million)
#94 - DT Haloti Ngata (1 year, $2.6 million)
#52 - LB Corey Nelson (1 year, $1.6 million)
#82 - TE Richard Rodgers (1 year, $880,000)
#95 - LB LaRoy Reynolds (1 year, $880,000)
#80 - WR Markus Wheaton (1 year, $880,000)
#38 - RB Matt Jones (2 years, $1.5 million - no guaranteed money)
#3 - QB Joe Callahan (2 years, $1.35 million - no guaranteed money)
(LB Paul Worrilow - placed on injured reserve)
The Eagles signed two or three “starters” in free agency this offseason. I put that word in quotes because they’re not necessarily going to be full-time players. Wallace projects to have the most impact since he’ll likely step up into the Torrey Smith role. Smith played 65% of the Eagles’ offensive snaps last year and I could see Wallace, who played 65.7% with the Ravens in 2017, be around that number. The hope is he’ll be an upgraded version of Smith. It seemed like Ngata was originally signed to be Beau Allen’s replacement as the No. 3 defensive tackle but the veteran is now thrust into the starting lineup with Tim Jernigan expected to miss a number of this games this year. Nelson is competing for playing time at the WILL linebacker position with Mychal Kendricks gone. Rodgers is the third tight end. Everyone else is battling for a roster spot this summer.
#77 - DE Michael Bennett (acquired from the Seahawks)
(CB Daryl Worley )
Bennett, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, has the potential to be the Eagles’ most impactful offseason addition. The 32-year-old should benefit from having to play much fewer snaps in Philadelphia. Bennett logged 934 defensive snaps with Seattle in 2017. He’ll now likely slide into last year’s Vinny Curry role, which was 578 snaps. In theory, at least, Bennett should be able to stay fresh and make the most out of the reps he does play. Bennett missed most of the Eagles’ voluntary spring workouts so training camp will give us our first extended view of him in Jim Schwartz’s defense. The potential is exciting.
2018 NFL DRAFT PICKS
#88 - TE Dallas Goedert (2nd - No. 49 overall)
#29 - CB Avonte Maddox (4th - No. 125 overall)
#75 - DE Josh Sweat (4th - No. 130 overall)
#69 - OL Matt Pryor (6th - No. 206 overall)
#68 - OT Jordan Mailata (7th - No. 233 overall)
The Eagles aren’t likely to get a ton of impact out of their rookie class, which is fine considering they’re already very talented and deep. Goedert obviously has the best chance of making a strong first-year impression since he’ll be the No. 2 tight end behind Zach Ertz. Maddox is competing for the nickel corner job but I came away with the impression he doesn’t look mentally ready to take that over just yet. Sweat and Pryor will likely make the roster as deep reserve players. Mailata seems practice squad bound.
UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT SIGNINGS
#33 - RB Josh Adams
#57 - LB Asantay Brown
#63 - OG Aaron Evans
#63 - DE Danny Ezechukwu
#66 - DT Bruce Hector
#6 - WR Anthony Mahoungou
#34 - S Ryan Neal
#76 - DE Joe Ostman
#66 - C Ian Park
#41 - S Jeremy Reaves
#38 - S Stephen Roberts
#39 - CB Chandon Sullivan
#74 - OL Toby Weathersby
#84 - WR Tim Wilson
#49 - LB Kyle Wilson
Adams, Hector, Ostman, and Reaves arguably have the best chance of sticking around this year, whether that’s stashed away at the bottom of the roster or on the practice squad. I can’t imagine any Eagles undrafted rookie sees significant playing time in 2018.
#81 - WR Marquess Wilson
#83 - TE Josh Perkins
(CB Elie Bouka - placed on injured reserve)
I’m intrigued by Wilson’s potential. He has a chance to win a roster spot as a fifth or sixth receiver. Perkins didn’t make a strong impression during spring practices.
The Eagles had 32 new players in last year’s camp.
Unlike last year, I don’t think the Eagles added a bunch of significant contributors. This offseason was more about filling out depth and acquiring some complementary pieces to an already stacked roster. That’s a good spot to be in.