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Seumalo Eager To Get Down To Business

Posted May 16, 2016

As should be expected, the second overall selection of quarterback Carson Wentz has been the headlining story of the Eagles’ 2016 draft class. Wentz represents the potential future of the Eagles’ quarterback position for years to come, and while signal-callers almost always garner the most attention, it’s the Eagles' third-round pick, guard Isaac Seumalo, who could have the most immediate impact of any of the eight players drafted.

Through free agency and the draft, the Eagles have seemingly filled any glaring roster holes left over from last season, with players such as right guard Brandon Brooks and safety Rodney McLeod representing impact starters in Doug Pederson’s first season as head coach. But left guard is one spot that seems the most up for grabs.

The incumbent Allen Barbre, Andrew Gardner, Matt Tobin, Stefen Wisniewski and a few others all seem to be viable candidates, but the addition of Seumalo has injected some youth into the fold, adding another talented player into what’s sure to be one of the most notable Training Camp battles.

“I just want to come in and compete and learn from guys who have done it before,” said Seumalo during the Eagles’ rookie camp. "I want to be a sponge and empty my cup and learn as much as I can and just keep my head down and stay humble about it.”

The most interesting irony is that for all of Seumalo’s versatility he displayed at Oregon State, starting at four different spots along the offensive line, the place he never set foot as a Beaver was at left guard, making it even more important for him to take in everything he can during his first few days at the NovaCare Complex.

“Hopefully I can learn from the veteran guys that have been (in the NFL) forever and listen to (offensive line coach Jeff) Stoutland,” Seumalo said about tackling left guard. “That’s just me keeping my nose down and doing what’s asked of me, but I think I’ll be all right.”

Stoutland’s reputation has not been lost on the 22-year old rookie. As he makes the leap from the college game to the NFL, possibly at a new position, Seumalo plans to learn as much as he can from the man who has over 32 years of experience at getting the most out of the men up front.

“From the little bit (of time) I’ve had with him I can tell he’s very passionate about the game, which I’m really happy about,” Seumalo said of Stoutland. “He’s going to find the five best players. If it’s me, it’s me, if not, I’ll play my role, but I’m going to come in and compete for sure.”

Along with the coaching staff, Seumalo will learn from the players around him in the offensive line room, including a face familiar to the Corvallis, Oregon native - fellow Oregon State product Josh Andrews, who has been with the Eagles since signing as an undrafted free agent in 2014. Andrews is one of the main reasons why Seumalo never started at left guard in college, as he held down that spot during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

“He’s a great teammate,” Andrews said. “He’s a really humble guy. He works hard and he does what he needs to do to get things done, so he’s going to be a good player. … He’s a really smart guy, a really strong guy. … He can play it all, wherever they plug him in, I’m sure he’ll be great.”

As Seumalo’s journey as an NFL player begins, he has one last hurdle to cross. Since Oregon State operates on a quarter system, Seumalo will have to miss the OTAs which begin on Tuesday, as NFL rules state that a player must complete the academic year before joining his team full time. The third-round pick said he’s going to turn the negative into a positive by obsessing over the playbook as much as he can while he's away, and when he comes back to Philadelphia he’ll be completely ready to begin his life in the NFL, something he’s been waiting to do for a long time.

“It’s awesome. It’s something as I kid you always dream about,” Seumalo said of seeing his name above an NFL locker. “It’s hard to really think about that because you get stuck in the moment. ... When I go home I’ll think about it, but right now it’s been strictly business.”

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