The Philadelphia Eagles are days away from beginning rookie minicamp. The influx of drafted, and undrafted individuals are making their way to the NovaCare complex for the first time in their careers.
There’s a lot of excitement that comes with practices like this – especially after the Eagles came away with several impact players throughout the entire draft process. Here are the top five things to keep an eye on as we get closer to minicamp practices.
How engaged is Jalen Carter?
There is a reason why Jalen Carter fell to the ninth overall selection in this past draft and it had nothing to do with his on-the-field talent. In fact, that measurement could have made him a top-three overall selection.
The reason Carter fell was off-the-field concerns of a lack of focus and guidance that led to him being charged with reckless driving and racing that led to the death of two Georgia students. Carter will need to show the Eagles that he is 100% engaged in being a better person and focused solely on improving on the field. If he shows that he is engaged with the offseason programs, the Eagles draft class should be stellar.
How quickly does Tyler Steen learn the guard position?
It’s pretty obvious that the Eagles drafted Steen to see if he could potentially beat out Cam Jurgens at the starting guard position. While Jeff Stoutland will have him cross-training at tackle, the ability to have a starting-caliber right guard to replace Isaac Seumalo is an underrated need on what is a superb offense. How quickly Steen learns the offense will go a long way to determining if the best offensive line in football last season got better.
Is Tanner McKee another Clayton Thorson?
McKee was drafted out of Stanford and showed significantly more talent than Clayton Thorson did out of Northwestern. That doesn’t mean the sixth-round pick will be magically better. McKee has an offense to learn and it’s very difficult for young quarterbacks to pick things up right away. If he wants to make the final 53-man roster though, McKee will need to show he belongs very quickly.
Is Kelee Ringo more of a safety?
Kelee Ringo was one of many steals of the draft for the Eagles this past week. The top Georgia corner fell to due to poor test in off-the-field study, and some issues on tape but he’s gone up against some of the best receivers in college football. But his exploits could make him a perfect fit at safety. Philadelphia drafted Sydney Brown to be the team’s potential next top man in the back end, but a combination of Ringo and Brown would be highly intriguing for the entire group over the next few seasons.
Which undrafted player becomes the new Reed Blankenship?
Reed Blankenship has come a beacon of showing why bringing in good undrafted free agents is important. The UDFA out of Middle Tennessee played very well with the Eagles last season and is in line to start the year at safety.
Philadelphia brought in a ton of UDFA’s again after the draft, and each will have a chance to show why they belong on the final 53-man roster. Eli Ricks is arguably the favorite to make the team as a UDFA simply because his skill set is better than what Josh Jobe was last season, but anyone can step up. It’ll be a big couple of weeks for a lot of these young players with something to prove.
AP Photo/Matt Slocum