Draft Recap – Undrafted Free Agents

The Eagles signed 16 undrafted free agents.  These guys will compete with the team during training camp with a shot of making the 53 or practice squad.  Usually one or two of these guys will make the 53 and or practice squad based on numbers over the last couple years.  I mentioned in earlier blogs the Eagles target key positions with the draft.  DE, DB, OL were targeted during the draft and based on who they brought in they didn’t stray from those beliefs with their undrafted guys either.

Below are the strengths and weaknesses for some of the guys I feel could potentially stick:

LB QUENTIN GAUSE – Rutgers

CB C.J SMITH – North Dakota St

DT DESTINY VAEAO – Washington St

RB CEDRIC O’NEAL – Valdosta St

LB MYKE TAVARRES – Arkansas

LS JOHN DEPALMA – West Virginia

C BRUCE JOHNSON – Maine

WR MARCUS JOHNSON – Texas

TE DILLON GORDON – LSU

WR PAUL TURNER – La Tech

G DARRELL GREENE:  STRENGTHS Thick ball of power. Has broad shoulders and and a lower body made for mashing. Able to generate early movement with initial punch and completes job with leg drive. Tape shows several plays where defenders are torqued to the ground by Greene’s tremendous power. Plays with a mean streak. Completely erases defenders with wash blocks and down blocks. Effective combo blocker with decent timing up to the linebacker. Has enough athleticism to be used as pulling guard. Works to mirror and stay engaged to pass rushers.

WEAKNESSES Squatty with short arms. Upright lateral mover as zone blocker making cross-­face blocks challenging. General flexibility in lower half may never be ideal. Iffy radar when asked to strike moving targets in space. In pass protection, can be a little slow to see twists at times and impatience causes him to lunge. Teams will dig deep into background after six-game suspension levied by NCAA due to positive drug test .

WR CAYLEB JONES:  STRENGTHS Comes from football bloodlines. His father, Robert, was a 10-year linebacker in the NFL and his uncle is former starting quarterback, Jeff Blake. Tall and long. Uses his length to the best of his ability high-pointing balls that look destined to be overthrows. Dangerous fade target in the red ­zone who can pick it over the heads of smaller corners. Extremely productive sophomore season. Ball tracker who finds some late separation on vertical routes.

WEAKNESSES Upright target. Easy for press corners to get under his pads and jam his release. Feet lack initial quickness to make press corners pay. Looks slow on tape. Might have to live with defenders in his pocket if he makes it in the league. Stiff hips offer little sink into breaks and routes are sluggish and sloppy. Arrested and charged with felony aggravated assault at Texas before transferring to Arizona. The charge was reduced to misdemeanor.

DE AZIZ SHITTU:  STRENGTHS Has length to disrupt if he learns to use it effectively. Quality footwork after first contact to work himself around the blocker and onto the other side of the line. Has enough upper body strength to displace blockers on occasion and find the ball carrier in the backfield. Converts tackles attempts into finishes at a high rate. Flashes some disruptive quickness that might be channeled as a 1­-gapper. Was that a spin move I saw as a rusher? Why yes it was. Motor is a plus and became a much better player as the season rolled on.

WEAKNESSES Plays with inconsistent pad level which prevents him from reaching athletic potential. Doesn’t do nearly enough with his long arms and big hands. Allows blockers entry­way into frame rather jolting and controlling point of attack. Played inside at Stanford, but lacks anchor base of NFL defensive tackle. Lay and pray pass rusher lacking dynamic rush skills. Suffered season­-ending ACL injury in 2014. Has just 2015 a starter under his belt and played less than 62 percent of the defensive snaps this season.

DE CONNOR WUJCIAK: STRENGTHS Comes off the ball with low, square pad level and generally maintains it. Finds the football and mirrors down the line. Never allowed a broken tackle over four years. Better when he’s able to play in small spaces. Has big, strong hands. Football runs in his family with a father who won a national championship with the 1973 Notre Dame squad and an older brother who was an All-­ACC linebacker at Maryland.

WEAKNESSES Lack of girth limits effectiveness and production. Loses his run fit. Gets run past cutback lanes and washed down completely by powerful guards and centers. Struggles to drop a strong anchor when setting edge. Very little juice off the snap and is unable to activate a serviceable, NFL­-level bull rush. Has short arms and is easy to see and throw over for quarterbacks. Had no passes defensed over last two seasons.

RB BYRON MARSHALL:  STRENGTHS Gives teams a “manufactured touch” option. Played running back and receiver with Oregon getting him the ball from every spot on the field. Shows good initial burst off line of scrimmage to get a leg ­up against press coverage. Instant acceleration and early top end speed create vertical separation potential. Uses plus body control and mid­-air adjustments to win at the circus. Well-­built with ability to handle extended hand­off throws. Downhill kick returner who can challenge for a job.

WEAKNESSES Suffered serious ankle injury that ended his season in late September. Caught between third down back and slot receiver. Substantially behind in his route knowledge and experience. All separation created by athleticism over route savvy. Below-average sink into open spots of the zone. Settles in too close to zone defenders. Slow to find and track the deep throws. Hands inconsistent and unreliable.

WR HUNTER SHARP:  STRENGTHS Explodes off the line of scrimmage with forward lean and is able to open to full stride almost immediately. Combines swivel hips along with bravado and speed to make his mark after the catch. Weaves through traffic in his routes and after catch seamlessly. Can make defenders miss, but isn’t afraid to lean in and finish his run aggressively. Used from slot, outside and out of backfield. Uses stutter-and-go to get cornerbacks tilting early in his release. Runs patient, controlled routes and can maximize separation. Can return punts and kicks. Ran a variety of routes over last two seasons. Run blocking needs refining but he’s more than willing to do his share.

WEAKNESSES Smallish and has a bad habit of waiting on throws. Allows throws to get on top of him rather than getting arm extension and attacking the throw early. Suspended for two full games to start the season for a violation of team rules. Length of suspension could raise red flags for scouts. Could stand to eliminate some wasted motion in his routes. Built more like a running back than a receiver. Lacks the height and arm length teams like from outside receivers who are called on to win 50/50 throws downfield. Wasn’t physically challenged by quality press coverage very often in college.

Sources: NFL.com

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