Word of the Philadelphia Eagles agreeing to terms with seven undrafted rookie free agents emerged shortly after the 2021 NFL Draft. Those signings were officially confirmed by the team on Friday. Here’s the entire list:
Texas A&M WR Jhamon Ausbon
Buffalo OG Kayode Awosika
Iowa State DE JaQuan Bailey
Indiana C Harry Crider
Florida WR Trevon Grimes
Georgia QB Jamie Newman
Nebraska TE Jack Stoll
Let’s take a look at their scouting reports.
Has the size but lacks the functional speed teams are looking for out of a pro receiver. He’s a high-character player with focused ball skills and an ability to make the sudden catch in tight quarters, but he’s typically smothered from whistle to whistle when facing quality press-man coverage. Ausbon will need to play a much more rugged brand of football to create more separation through physicality, but even then, he will see a high percentage of contested catches.
Ausbon overlapped with Eagles wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead at College Station in 2017. Maybe that connection will help him stick on the practice squad but he feels like a longshot.
Three-year starter at tackle who will likely make the move inside to guard as a pro. Awosika was one of the pivotal offensive linemen for a rushing unit that pounded opponents throughout the season. He has a guard’s frame and decent leg drive that can be improved upon with a wider base and better hand placement through contact. He’s not much of a knee-bender, which will limit his range as a move blocker and create some consistency issues against athletic pass rushers who might be able to work their way around him quicker than his quarterback will be comfortable with. Improving body control and learning to widen out will be the keys for him making it as a backup guard in a power-based run scheme.
The Eagles liked themselves a developmental offensive lineman. Awosika is a practice squad candidate.
Four-year starter with NFL size and consistent production as pass rusher. Bailey’s rush approach is both skilled and instinctive. He displays natural counters and a variety of approaches to try to create openings into the pocket. He lacks true edge speed or an explosive bull rush, so it will be imperative that he continues to build upon his rush plan moving forward. He’s more adept against the run when he’s on the move than he is at taking on blocks and winning heads-up battles. His rush production might not be fully transferable into the pros, but he has enough tape to warrant a late-round look as a backup 4-3 end.
Despite what Zierlein says here, Bailey’s spider graph indicates he does not have adequate size or athleticism as a 4-3 defensive end:
Will the Eagles convert Bailey to linebacker, not unlike how they’re doing with Patrick Johnson? Is Jonathan Gannon trying to load up on tweeners? Or do the Eagles plan to bulk him up as a 4-3 edge rusher? It remains to be seen.
For what it’s worth, the Eagles did give Bailey a decent guarantee:
Philadelphia Eagles free agent deal for JaQuan Bailey includes $40,000 guaranteed: $15,000 signing bonus, $25,000 of his base salary is guaranteed— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) May 2, 2021
Two-year starter and team captain with average size and a lack of desired length that shows up in his tape. Crider is much more consistent and effective as a pass blocker than he is in the running game. He does a nice job of maintaining a balanced, wide base in his pass sets and shows good awareness of rushers threatening his gaps on either side. He’s a neutralizing base blocker at best, but more times than not, he will need plenty of help to move an NFL lane-clogger.
Crider will be competing for a practice squad spot.
A two-year starter and former five-star signee with Ohio State, Grimes has excellent size and physical traits, but plays with lower-body tightness that could limit his press release and route-running. His routes might not be able to generate much apprehension or indecision from NFL cornerbacks. Grimes needs to establish himself as a deep-ball threat, as his contested catch ability leaves much to be desired on all three levels. He had a productive season in a loaded offense, but he might not have the separation potential or dynamic athleticism to make it.
There’s some thought that Grimes was worthy of being drafted. He might be able to push for a roster spot if he can contribute on special teams. Former Florida offensive coordinator and current quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson might push for the team to keep him around.
Newman has raw traits and potential to work with but lacks the experience and consistency to command a team right now. He has the size and athletic ability that many teams are looking for in a quarterback. However, he doesn’t respond well when additional points of pressure are added to the box. While he has some dual-threat capabilities, his rushing stats were garnered more through volume than explosiveness. While there are clearly issues to work on, he does have the ability to operate in a variety of offensive looks. Newman could take a significant jump forward if he can get through his reads more quickly and learn to work in rhythm. He has the ceiling of an eventual NFL starter, but his floor is lower than teams might like.
Newman is the Eagles’ most intriguing UDFA signing. If the team likes him enough, they might try to keep him on the roster as a developmental quarterback behind Jalen Hurts and Joe Flacco. It might be safe to keep him around on the practice squad, though.
Stoll battled through injuries, rendering his 2020 season as almost irrelevant for the purposes of evaluation. However, there is enough tape from 2018 and 2019 to pair with a strong pro day to believe he has a shot to be drafted. He plays with good route speed, has soft hands and is a very physical run finisher. He lacks desired size and strength to be an in-line blocker, so he might need to work as an H-back. If he can prove himself as a blocker, he could find his way onto a roster.
Dallas Goedert is currently the only Eagles tight end that’s a lock to be on the 2021 roster. In that vein, Stroll has an opportunity to push for a roster spot as a TE3.