Strengths: Technically sound, experienced lineman who will be NFL-ready after playing under Kirk Ferentz, a former NFL offensive line coach, at Iowa. Vandervelde plays with a nasty streak and does not give up until the whistle blows. He understands pass block schemes and concepts and can anchor himself well in pass protection.
What He'll Need To Prove: At 300 pounds, Vandervelde will consistently line up against players who are bigger. To make up for the size differential, Vandervelde will have to rely upon the technique that he honed at Iowa. There's nothing flashy about Vandervelde's game. He's a coachable kid who will be a workmanlike player if he can transfer his college experience and add what Howard Mudd will provide from a teaching perspective.
How He Fits In: The Eagles need depth along the offensive line and Vandervelde's experience at both guard spots will help tremendously. Veteran guards
Personal: An accomplished singer, Vandervelde performed the National Anthem for President Obama during a visit to Iowa City. Vandervelde played for the Davenport, Ia. Little League team that reached the World Series back in 2000. One day wants to move to Japan and help rebuild the Christian community in Nagasaki that was destroyed by an atomic bomb in World War II.
What He Said: "Coach Ferentz gets a lot of credit for being one of the best offensive line coaches in the country and I agree with that. And one of the people that they're constantly making references to is Howard Mudd. So just to have the chance to play for him; there's really nobody that I could possibly be more excited to work with."
What The Eagles Said: "Smart, durable guy. Started four years for Iowa. He was a two-time captain. The history of Iowa offensive linemen is pretty good. It's a great testament to that program. Obviously, we got a little insight to that Iowa program thanks to our defensive coordinator (Juan Castillo's son, Greg, is an Iowa cornerback). We've been following this guy for a long time and really think he fits what we do." – General manager Howie Roseman