Philadelphia Eagles News

Where Could Rookie FAs Make An Impact?

And for those rookie free agents, the Eagles are generally a good place to land. Consider that in Reid's 12 seasons as head coach, 28 undrafted rookies have gone on to play a game for the Eagles. And Reid hasn't shown too much of a penchant for any specific area as the list includes every position except for quarterback, fullback and kicker. The most attrition has come along the offensive line, where six players have gone on to make an impact (including Jamaal Jackson), followed by linebacker, where five men have stayed on, and cornerback, with four.

This year, there's no question it will be more difficult for an undrafted player to open the coaches' eyes simply because they haven't had a full offseason to impress. Still, if a player flashes enough potential, the Eagles won't hesitate to keep him on board. So setting aside the past, where does a rookie free agent stand the best chance of making the Eagles roster this season? Let's take a look.

Linebacker - Yes, the Eagles have drafted five linebackers in the last two seasons. Add on Rashad Jeanty and perhaps another veteran or two, Stewart Bradley's impending free agency is a story to follow closely this week, and you have the makings for some serious competition at linebacker under Juan Castillo's new defensive scheme. But there will be no guarantees here and it wouldn't be too much of a surprise to see someone emerge under the radar at a workmanlike position like linebacker.

Tight end - We know that Brent Celek is locked into the starting job and that Clay Harbor is all be ensured of being on the roster as the No. 2. In recent seasons, the Eagles haven't felt a need for a third tight end on the roster, but they've also never been shy to add potential weapons in the passing game. Former draft pick Cornelius Ingram will be on hand as he continues to work to stay healthy and he'll be joined by offseason signing John Nalbone. But if another player comes into camp and shows the ability to get open and be a threat in the passing game, the coaches will notice.

Cornerback - Another position that will surely be a crowded competition. Asante Samuel, Trevard Lindley and Curtis Marsh look like sure bets to make the roster, and the rumor mill has been swirling all offseason about a potential addition at right cornerback, whether via trade or free agency. There's also the solid Joselio Hanson, holdover Brandon Hughes, offseason addition Isaiah Trufant and a slew of in-house free-agents-to-be. But there are fewer things rarer to find in this league than reliable cornerbacks and if someone flies under the radar to impress, be sure that the Eagles won't hesitate to keep them around.

Running back - Another interesting area to follow this week. Beyond LeSean McCoy, will the Eagles retain the services of Jerome Harrison, or will they look elsewhere to fill that void? Meanwhile, fifth-round draft pick Dion Lewis is chomping at the bit to play alongside his predecessor at the University of Pittsburgh, and don't forget about Eldra Buckley, who has been counted out before only to last two full seasons with the Eagles thus far. But there was a lot of depth in this year's running back class that allowed players like Kentucky's Derrick Locke and Auburn's Mario Fannin to go undrafted. Once again, the Eagles will always find room for a playmaker.

For more on the Eagles and undrafted free agents, check out Tommy Lawlor's UDFA wish list.

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