It’s no secret that the Eagles’ success over the latter half of last season and the beginning of this season has come from players who originated on the Eagles’ or other teams’ practice squads.
With the Eagles’ injury list getting longer by the minute, it’s plausible to speculate that they will start poking around to league to find available players.
No, this isn’t a trade article like you’re so accustomed to seeing from me. What? You don’t read my stuff? Shame on you.
Anyway as I said up top, the Eagles have been most successful lately with practice squad players, so why not see which team’s practice squad could be poached?
Chris Orr – LB – Undrafted FA 2020
Orr came to the Panthers as an undrafted free agent from Wisconsin. He set the school record for sacks by an inside/middle linebacker in 2019 with 11.5. The Eagles just placed their own Wisconsin UDFA LB T.J. Edwards on IR, so why not replace him with his former teammate? I know, I know, Dante Olsen was just signed. But hey, they need linebackers.
(Wisconsin DC Jim Leonhard is on my shortlist of potential replacements for Schwartz).
Marken Michel – WR – UDFA 2016
You might know him as Mr. Preseason 2019.
Let’s go back in time:
🚨PRESEASON COMPETITION 🚨— Philly Sports Network (@PhiladelphiaSN) August 7, 2019
If you can predict who scores the Eagles’ first preseason touchdown and in what quarter, we’ll give you a FREE PSN shirt!
To enter: make sure you’re following us and quote this with your predictions
Marken Michel 2nd Q 👀— Chris Infante (@Infante54) August 7, 2019
I still didn’t get my shirt, Liam. Oh I work here. Nevermind.
Anyway, Marken Michel knows the system. He’s a wide receiver. The Eagles wide receivers keep getting hurt. He’s better than JJAW. Why not?
Deante Burton – DB – UDFA 2017
Trying to stay with the theme of familiarity, Burton was an undrafted free agent for the Falcons in 2017. He spent the 2017 season on the Falcons’ practice squad and played one game in 2018 (against the Eagles) before getting waived. Who was with the Falcons in 2017 and 2018? Eagles’ DB coach Marquand Manuel.
Kansas State’s SB Nation page Bring on the Cats had high praise for Burton as a wide receiver, but when he went undrafted he converted to cornerback.
At 6’2″ 205 lbs, Burton has the “Rasul Douglas” size, but may be better suited for the Eagles CB depth due to his familiarity with Manuel.
Theo Riddick – RB – 6th round pick 2013 Draft
Yep! That Theo Riddick!
After spending 2019 on IR as a member of the Denver Broncos, he signed with Las Vegas. He was placed on the practice squad after being released at roster cuts. He played in last Sunday’s game versus the Bills, but was placed back on the practice squad.
Before being released by the Lions in 2019, Riddick was one of the most productive receiving running backs in the league. From 2015-2018, Riddick led all running backs in receptions and was third in receiving yards. I know a coach who likes his running backs who can catch.
His highest rushing attempts per game was 9.2 in 2016, so he can handle a decent amount of attempts if needed. But his veteran presence would be a welcomed addition in that running back room.
If nothing else, his familiarity with Jim Schwartz (2013) could help #47 learn how to play in his defense.
Antoine Brooks Jr. – DB – 6th round pick 2020 draft
Antoine Brooks Jr. was a very productive safety for the Maryland Terrapins and was drafted by the Steelers in the 6th round of the 2020 draft. However, the lack of a true offseason and in-person workouts didn’t allow Brooks enough time to earn a spot on the 53 man roster.
As a player who struggles in coverage, both zone and man, I’m sure it’s questionable to you as to why I would list him here.
Well, have you seen the way our defenders tackle? That’s Brooks’ calling card. He is a hell of a tackler. Projected as a nickel/dime sub defender, Brooks has the speed and tenacity needed to be an “in the box” DB on some packages. He is the prototypical Jim Schwartz DB/LB hybrid (but not like #47 who can’t tackle).
Antoine Brooks Jr. pic.twitter.com/RrCtcssOpn— Chris Mallee (@mallee_chris_24) February 5, 2020
He would provide some nice depth in a DB room that’s sorely lacking it after the injuries to Avonte Maddox, Trevor Williams, and Rudy Ford.
Michel Divinity – LB/EDGE – UDFA 2020
Not the most exciting name here, as he isn’t the brightest bulb as far as processing, but the Eagles need some LBs who can stop the run.
He only played in five games in his final year at LSU due to multiple failed drug tests, so the character is in question, but in those 5 games he had 23 tackles, four for loss, and three sacks. He signed with the Seahawks just a few days ago after being waived by the Bucs at the roster cut deadline.
If the Eagles are so enamored with “projects” on the defensive side (Davion Taylor), then Divinity could be a low-risk high reward one.
Trey Adams – OT – UDFA 2020
Once upon a time, Trey Adams looked like a top tackle talent at the University of Washington. However, a torn ACL in 2017 and back injuries in 2018 sent that draft stock down, even though he did play every game in 2019 as a fifth-year senior. After being undrafted in the 2020 draft, he signed with the Bills and was sent to their practice squad after roster cuts.
At 6’8″, he is a mammoth of a lineman, and has all the blocking tools necessary to be a productive depth piece for an offensive line that needs it. Paging Jeff Stoutland.
Other players to keep an eye on
David Quessenberry – T – Titans
Zach Shackelford – C – Bucs
Tim Williams – LB/EDGE – Seahawks
Lamar Jackson (no not that one) – DB – Jets
Giovanni Ricci – TE – Panthers
Nick Bowers – TE – Raiders
Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire