• December 7, 2022

Thirteen Undrafted Rookies Who Could Fit The Eagles Schemes

There’s one group of football players that may be affected by the NFL lockout more than anyone else. It’s the rookies who weren’t drafted.

While the labor disputes continue to threaten the 2011 season, the rookie free agents are severely stranded.

In addition to not knowing where they’ll be signed, the chance of the NFL not having time for training camp diminishes their chances to prove their worth. It’s bad enough that they’re chances of making the team they sign with are already slim.

Having said that, there is always a chance to acquire a ‘sleeper’ who fits a team very well.

The Philadelphia Eagles have signed a few guys who have given them some quality years. Quintin Mikell, Jamaal Jackson, and Antonio Dixon all were available when their respective drafts were complete.

When the free agency period finally begins, these are thirteen undrafted rookies the Eagles should pursue.

1. Mark Herzlich-LB (Boston College): The former ACC Defensive Player of The Year defeated a bout with cancer, but he hasn’t fully regained his strength. With his size (6’4”, 247lbs), if Herzlich gets completely health he’d possibly become a very good SAM linebacker.

2. Adrian Moten-LB (Maryland): With possibly 3-4 linebackers possibly departing via free agrency, the Eagles need as much competition as possible. Moten could challenge for a spot on special teams and weakside linebacker.

3. Pat Devlin-QB (Delaware): Devlin started this offseason as one of the better QB prospects. His stock seemed to dwindle with each workout. With the right coaching staff he still has the chance to be a serviceable backup in the NFL.

4. Mario Fannin-RB (Auburn): Not only is Fannin 5’10”, 230 lbs and ran a 4.37 40 at the Combine, but his strength is the passing game. He would be a good fit for the Eagles and deserves a chance to compete for a roster spot.

5. Ricardo Lockette-WR (Fort Valley St): Lockette was recruited as a track runner and a receiver. His potential as a kickoff is Jasdefinitely work the look.

6. Zach Hurd-OG (Connecticut): Like linebackers, the Eagles can’t have enough competition on the offensive line. The former Huskies has to size (6’7”, 324 lbs) to move out to tackle if needed as well.

7. Weslye Saunders-TE (South Carolina): Saunders had character and injury concerns, so it would’ve been a surprise if he was drafted. He is still a talented prospect with decent enough size (6’5”, 270 lbs) to give a shot.

8. Carl Johnson-OG (Florida): At 6”5”, 361 lbs Johnson may be too big for O-line coach Howard Mudd’s taste. His strength is pass protection which is why the Eagles may want to give him a chance.

9. Pierre Allen-DE (Nebraska): At one point Allen was projected to be a 4th round pick, but due to a wrist and calf injury he couldn’t workout at the NFL Combine. If fully healthy, he could be a productive left DE and the Eagles definitely could use the help.

10. DeAndre McDaniel-S (Clemson): Yes, the Eagles drafted Jaquawn Jarrett in the 2nd round last month. But, they still need to ensure they enter the 2011 season with depth at the safety position. McDaniel was initially projected to be a 2nd round pick, but a slow 40 time at the combine concerned teams about his ability in pass coverage. He can play both safety positions and appeared in every game during his time at Clemson.

11. Jasper Simmons-S/KR (Missouri): Simmons may become a good backup safety in the NFL, but his kick return ability will likely be what earns him a roster spot.

12. Craig Marshall-DE (USF): Marshall didn’t put up huge numbers at South Florida, but his size (6’4”, 276 lbs) and motor could make him a good fit in the Eagles rotation.

13. Ian Williams-DT (Notre Dame): The Eagles haven’t had the best of luck with defensive linemen from Notre Dame lately, but Williams is worth the shot. He’s a better run stuffer than pass rusher, but Philly usually bring in four ends on passing downs anyway. Unlike drafting Victor Abiamiri and Trevor Laws in the 2nd round, signing Williams wouldn’t be as big an investment.

Haran Knight

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May 20, 2011 9:39 am

Please…….. ANY quarterback besides Devlin. I’ve watched this kid play live and he does not have it. Never did, never will. He’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

May 20, 2011 10:05 am

What are you a crybaby Delaware fan who was crushed they lost the title. They were calling the same pass plays over and over. Devlin has skills.Your talent eval of Devlin is suspect. he can play…maybe not a 10 year stud…but he can play.

May 20, 2011 11:19 am

Unbelievable how DeAndre Mcdaniel did not get drafted. Should have gone in the 3rd or 4th round. He would be a great pick up.

May 20, 2011 1:54 pm

Devlin is a terrible QB, average arm, average accuracy and poor work ethic… he was a drunk in college and was late for his own Delaware pro day because of a late night out… there is a reason he wasnt drafted!

The player I really think can help is S DeAndre McDaniels….despite the poor 40, he has the ability to start in the NFL within 2-3 years. He reminds me of Quintin Mikell.

May 20, 2011 1:59 pm

@miumuimnan –
agree with McDaniels…I dont get it…maybe there is something we dont know about (failed drug test, injury etc..) which caused him to go undrafted…he is an excellent player

May 20, 2011 2:21 pm

Herzlich’s a great story, but he’s even more of a longshot than Lloyd to ever get back to 100% (hence why he wasn’t drafted).

McDaniel may be the top UDFA S, but as Tommy Lawlor said in his discussion of possible targets, he’ll probably choose to go to a team that hasn’t drafted 3 safeties in the last two drafts (Allen, Coleman, and now Jarrett aren’t going anywhere).

Saunders was a favorite of Kiper’s, and his “big TE” type is intriguing because its so different from the H-back/pass-catching TE type that usually comes out of the NCAA these days. Don’t know if he’d be a good fit here with what we ask our TEs to do, plus the concerns you mention.

The UDFAs are in a tight spot this year, since they’ll be competing for team’s interest with regular FAs when the league year finally opens. However, there hasn’t been a mass exodus to the CFL or UFL yet; like everybody else, they’re in a holding pattern to see what happens, and there’s no rush to sign on with the NFL-alternatives.

May 20, 2011 5:27 pm

I would like to see more dpeth/competition at the TE/DT/WR spots as well
If a D-Jax or Maclin were to get injured, the Eagle WR Crop becomesvery average all of a sudden, IF Celek goes down, who catches the ball

May 21, 2011 2:19 am

@ Erock

Live in DFW, caught the championship game at the stadium in Frisco. I’d heard he wasn’t a half bad Q and paid close attention to him. There were players wide open all game long and he was unable to make a good decision or a good throw. He was horrifying, looked like a tall high school kid playing.

May 22, 2011 1:26 pm

Gary, I think all of these would be idea Training Camp bodies. I really liked Mark Herzlich coming out of Boston College. If we moved Stew Bradley to SAM, Herzlich could be his backup. Jasper Simmons has great range. Ideally, he could backup FS and DeAndre McDaniel could backup at SS. Carl Johnson was a good lineman at Florida. I thought at times he played just as well as the twins on the line. He could come in a challenge for the backup LG spot. Fannin is a terrific COP back, and Hurd is physical could be a good backup RG/RT. Marshall, Williams and Allen could all provide good depth on the Dline. Saunders was a good TE at South Carolina. Aside from his character issues, he has talent. These are all solid players. I’m shocked that none of them were selected last month. But, it would not cost the team anything to bring them in for a look see if and when the Lockout is lifted.