The 2017 Eagles rookies took the field at the NovaCare Complex for the first time today. Check out some of their best moments on the field...
Head coach Doug Pederson addressed the rookies on Thursday night and shared with them that he was once an undrafted rookie. Pederson turned that draft snub into a 12-year NFL career which included a season as the starter for the Eagles in 1999.
Corey Clement hopes his NFL story will be written in a similar fashion.
The former Wisconsin running back was a first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches in 2016 after gaining 1,375 yards on the ground and scoring 15 touchdowns. He finished his career as a member of the winningest senior class in school history. Clement ranks eighth in the Badgers' record books with 5.4 yards per carry, and ninth with 36 rushing touchdowns.
However, the Glassboro, New Jersey native and lifelong Eagles fan was not one of the 253 names called with the draft right here in Philadelphia.
"I thought I was one of the best in the class. I was very shocked. I was just pissed off that I didn't get my chance to get my name called on draft day," Clement said.
"Some of the best in history are guys who are undrafted. I kept it in the back of my mind, writing my story the right way. This is only going to make my story much better."
An injury-riddled 2015 campaign and a time of 4.68 seconds in the 40-yard dash combined with a talented class hurt Clement. The Eagles did have a draftable grade on him. There is also an opportunity for Clement in Philadelphia. Ryan Mathews is sidelined following his season-ending neck injury. No other running back on the roster other than Mathews offers Clement's size at 5-10, 220 pounds.
"Growing up in Philadelphia and being able to represent my family and my friends in the right manner, there was no hesitation on where I wanted to go," Clement said. "Very big Eagles fan, especially when Donovan McNabb was here and that era. Growing up, I just always wanted to know what it feels like. I never got a chance to step on Lincoln Financial Field at all, so that's going to be my next step after making this team."
Clement said he's not thinking about draft weekend anymore. He knows he's not a track star. Clement felt the most love from the Eagles in the pre-draft process, and wants to reward them and make his hometown proud at the same time.
"It's all about who is going to last on that field for four quarters," Clement said. "If they want a guy who is more competitive all throughout the game, I'm the guy.
"I've got an opportunity to solidify my role and go out there and have fun and play football."