One of the reasons I love training camp is because of camp stand outs. It’s hard to explain the feeling but it’s great to project what a particular player might do during the regular if season if or when he makes the team. Over the years there have been a number of players I thought and I’m sure most others thought were going to be great Eagles moving forward. All these players flashed and made plays against 3rd and 4th level competition leaving us to believe the same plays could be made when the lights were bright during the regular season. Here are a number of players who turned who heads during camp and pre-season but couldn’t play a lick when it really mattered:
Kevin Kolb – He was supposed to lead the Eagles in the post McNabb era. He was going to be the next great Eagles QB. He threw a pretty ball and could make all the throws. The 3 seasons leading up to his 2010 opening day start he led the NFL during the pre season in attempts and completions. He was a star at Lehigh. I often talk among friends “who was the player you thought would be great?” My answer is always Kevin Kolb. Kolb like most QB’s had a few flaws. One that sticks out was his inability to stand strong in the pocket. He developed the Bobby Hoying disease and never recovered.
Hank Baskett – He looked the part. Tall, fast and never dropped a ball. Undrafted he jumped off the screen. He played so well during camp he started the 2006 HOF game against the raiders catching a ball on the first play (that classed Andy 5-7 yard hitch throw). He was going to be the deep threat the Eagles needed. Baskett did produce a little over his career catching a few touchdowns. When he did catch balls they went for 90 plus. Hank Baskett was on that 2009 Colts team that lost to the Saints in the SB. If you remember he bobbled the second half onside kick which the saints recovered.
Joe Mays – Mays was going to be a 3 down thumper and ultimately be in the Pro Football HOF. Mays was a developmental player from North Dakota State. Wentz was in middle school when Mays was turning heads with the Eagles. I’m sure he selected NDSU because Mays went there. Mays was built like a rock. He looked as if he was wearing pads when he wasn’t. Mays like Hank Baskett played on a few teams. Had a small little career with the Broncos, Chiefs and Chargers. Not quite the HOF player he was projected as.
Michael Gaspherson – Undrafted from San Diego Michael Gaspherson never dropped a ball from 2005-2008 during camp. He was arguably the best 7 on 7 player I’ve ever seen. I remember seeing him play in one game during the 2006 season against the Saints in the Super Dome.
Trevard Lindley – Lindley was supposed to start opposite Asante Samuel for a decade. Selected 105th in the 4th round from Kentucky he made a number of nice plays in camp. Ultimately he couldn’t bring that to the big stage. He floundered around at the bottom of the roster for a few years. He’s played in Canada and in the developmental FXFL. Not the player the Eagles thought they were selecting.
Andy Studebaker – The Eagles draft plan essentially during Andy’s entire career here was to take undersized defensive ends from the mid-late rounds and try and develop them into stars (see Brian Smith). Not undersized players from the SEC but undersized players from off the grid. Studebaker was selected in the 6th round of the 08 draft from Wheaton College. He flashed during the preseason. Making plays off the edge and looked like an All Pro in shells. Too undersized he never could be a real contributor. He did carve out a few season playing with the Eagles, Chiefs, Jags, Colts (2) and Titans. He last played during the 2015 team season with Indy.
Lorenzo Booker – Dave Spadaro was foaming at the mouth at the “3 Headed Monster” the Eagles were going to form at the RB spot. Booker was cat quick. He was the 3rd back behind Brian Westbrook and Correll Buckhalter. He never actually did anything accept fumble and eventually was released.
Paul Turner – The jury is still out on PT Cruiser but what he did last year is exactly what a Training Camp standout is supposed to be. The fans loved him and called for him (me included) when this WR core struggled during the year. He made amazing one handed catches, returned punts and did everything and more. Time will tell if he’ll make the team this year but expect more of the same during the 2017 camp.
There are no doubt other guys, these are just a few that stood out.
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