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Eagles officially sign 9 undrafted rookie free agents

Including a punter!

Big 12 Championship - Kansas State v TCU Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

The Eagles’ undrafted rookie free agent signings began to leak shortly after the 2023 NFL Draft concluded last Saturday but now we finally have official confirmation. The team announced nine UDFA additions ahead of this weekend’s rookie minicamp. Here’s the entire list in order of CBS Sports pre-draft prospect rankings:

  • Alabama CB Eli Ricks (93rd)
  • Louisville OT Trevor Reid (223rd)
  • LSU CB Mekhi Garner (244th)
  • Clemson WR Joseph Ngata (339th)
  • Arkansas WR Jadon Haselwood (376th)
  • Kansas State P Ty Zentner (unranked)
  • Michigan State LB Ben VanSumeren (unranked)
  • Colorado TE Brady Russell (unranked)
  • Benedictine OT Chim Okorafor (unranked)

Let’s take a look at their scouting reports.


Last year, the Eagles’ top-ranked UDFA signing was Alabama cornerback Josh Jobe. He ended up making the team after showing promise in summer practices and preseason games. Going back to the Bama well here doesn’t seem like a bad approach. The Eagles have a number of bodies at cornerback, which might work against Ricks, but he’ll get a chance to earn a roster spot. At the very least, seems like a good bet for the practice squad.

Scouting report via’s Lance Zierlein:

A long-limbed cornerback with an impressive physical profile, Ricks is in need of more experience to sharpen his skills and recognition. He is a press-man cornerback with a relatively smooth pedal and an ability to push and punch receivers with accuracy from long distance. He’s often a step slow to find top gear when opening to run laterally or vertically, but he’s a human blanket against short and intermediate routes without much wiggle to them. Ricks needs to be more assertive against the run and could struggle on an island, but his traits and press talent should fit in the right scheme.

Draft Projection: Rounds 5-6


Reid isn’t the biggest or strongest tackle but he’s pretty athletic. He’s another project for Jeff Stoutland to work with. With a strong summer, Reid has the potential to be this year’s Josh Sills in terms of making the roster. Unless he mightily struggles, he’ll likely at least be on the practice squad.

Scouting report via’s Lance Zierlein:

If the long-armed, high-cut offensive tackle is to have a chance in the league, it will be because of his pass-protection potential. Reid does a nice job of utilizing his length to punch and stay connected to rushers, but his lack of upper-body and hand strength are major liabilities at the point of attack and against power rushers. Reid is a decent athlete but needs to become much stronger in his core to improve his balance and body control. He appears to lack the polish to make an NFL roster early on but has some developmental traits that might warrant a stint on a practice squad.

Draft Projection: Round 7/Priority free agent


The Eagles are listing Garner at cornerback but it’ll be interesting to see if they have him taking safety snaps at any point. It seems like he’d have a better chance at making the team playing the latter position. Otherwise he’s in the mix with multiple players for one of those depth CB jobs.

Scouting report via’s Lance Zierlein:

Garner is a big, long corner with a jarring press. However, he’s missing the footwork and body control to phase and match NFL routes that force him to change direction. He’s a handful when he’s in position to challenge the throw, but teams might need to plug him into a Cover 2 scheme or try him at safety, where he can help support the run and cover tight ends.

Draft Projection: Rounds 6-7


Ngata is probably competing for a job on the practice squad. Realistic best case scenario is that he finds a way to be this year’s Zach Pascal.

Scouting report via’s Lance Zierlein:

Former five-star prospect with quality size, speed and length but an inability to separate from press-man coverage. Ngata is a smooth pass-catcher and has decent ball skills, but it takes him too long to elude press. When he gets into the route, it will be tough for him to uncover against NFL quickness and coverage talent.

Draft Projection: Priority free agent


Haselwood has some experience playing with Jalen Hurts; they were together at Oklahoma in 2020. Like Ngata, Haselwood is likely competing for a practice squad spot.

Scouting report via’s Lance Zierlein:

Big possession target requiring work from the slot to create catch opportunities. Haselwood has good size and the strength to make contested catches underneath, but he lacks the speed or separation burst to uncover and stay open against NFL man coverage. His testing could make a difference for him, but a lack of special teams experience could hurt his cause to make it as a WR5/6.

Draft Projection: Priority free agent


A commonality in the Eagles’ last two playoff losses? Arryn Siposs badly botching punts. It’s pretty crazy to think they didn’t challenge him at all last year after he finished the 2021 season so poorly. The Eagles’ hubris came back to bite them in the Super Bowl. It’s nice to see they’re at least bringing in competition this year.

Zentner was the fifth-ranked punter prospect by the great people at Puntalytics. Funny enough, they actually pegged him as a good fit for Philly:

The Eagles could opt to bring in Rutgers punter and 2022 Ray Guy Award winner Adam Korsak to compete with Aryn Siposs, but they’ve had enough time with pin-deep specialists who struggle to uncork long-balls to know that they’d like something different (plus they never punt from beyond their 40, so why even go for a pin-deep guy). Instead, they go for wild-card, and official prospect of Puntalytics, Ty Zentner. Zentner combines a monster leg with some serious shank issues. Fans see both on display in the preseason, and though he doesn’t beat out Siposs in 2023, the Eagles finally give themself a respectable pipeline.

Zentner has field goal/PAT and kickoff kicking experience in addition to being a punter. He also brings passion to the table:

Maybe Zentner can beat out Siposs? It might be an uphill battle for the rookie.


The book on BVS is that he’s more of an athlete than a polished player at this point in time. The Eagles being thin at off-ball linebacker theoretically gives him a chance to make the team. Showing up on special teams would really help his case to stick around in some capacity.

Scouting report via’s Lance Zierlein:

VanSumeren’s production and game tape won’t draw draftable grades, but he possesses extremely rare athletic attributes for his position and that might create an opportunity with a team coveting elite traits. He’s not a thumper as a run defender and his football instincts leave much to be desired, but if he can prove himself as a special teams contributor in camp, he could force a team to give him a year on the practice squad for additional development.

Draft Projection: Priority free agent


Brady Russell is the nephew of Eagles senior personnel director/advisor to the general manager Matt Russell. The younger Russell seems like a long shot to stick around considering there are several players ahead of him on the tight end depth chart.


Can’t say I was previously aware of Benedictine College (NAIA). Okorafor was originally reported to be a minicamp tryout player but it turns out he’s signing a UDFA deal. The jump Okorafor is making is a considerable one; he has to be considered a long shot to stick around.

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