Which Eagles UDFA has the best chance of making the 53-man roster?

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 14: Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman is pictured prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles on October 14, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

OTA’s and Training Camp are always exciting periods for football fans. With around 90 players on each roster battling for positions, surprises are usually aplenty and there are few teams who prioritize the development of undrafted free agents as much as the Philadelphia Eagles.

From Boston Scott and Cre’Von LeBlanc to Eli Ricks, Josh Jobe, and even David Akers, the Eagles have a remarkable tendency to turn water into wine when it comes to UDFA’s. Howie Roseman signed 7 more to the roster following the 2024 NFL Draft and there is every chance that a couple sneak onto the 53-man roster. Which names should you be keeping a close eye on when practices begin?

The first thing to look for are positions where depth is a little light and a spark from a UDFA could really ignite a cause to keep him around. For instance, while the Birds did add some more DB’s to their secondary, they also have 3 entrenched starters, a second-year player who was drafted in the fourth round last year, a rookie first-round pick, and a rookie second-round pick who could all make a splash. That makes for a huge Mountain for a UDFA to climb.

3 Eagles UDFA’s to watch this offseason

McCallan Castles, TE, Tennessee

The Eagles did add C.J Uzomah to their TE room this offseason, and the former Jet will likely provide depth behind Dallas Goedert and compete with Albert Okwuegbunam for that TE2 spot. However, a long-term developmental option is favorable and only Grant Calcaterra fills that quota as of writing this.

McCallan Castles comes in at 6’5, 252 lbs having proven himself at the SEC level. He recorded 1,226 yards and 14 scores during his collegiate career and although he does lack the frame and power to be a sufficient run-threat, his athleticism stands out. He ran a 4.68 40-yard dash and recorded a 37.5 inch vertical leap.

Dallas goedert eagles vs buccaneers
Dallas Goedert has been a staple of the Eagles offense since he was drafted back in 2018 Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire

For someone his size to have that kind of speed and initial burst is something the Eagles can absolutely work with, especially if they are able to help him add some mass to his frame and refine his catching technique.

Gabe Hall, DT, Baylor

The Eagles have their starting DT’s for years to come in Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter, but building a 4-man rotation at the position, even in a 3-4 scheme, gives the team plenty of optionality to work with.

Gabe Hall stands at 6’6, 291 lbs, which is a little light, but he did amass 12.5 sacks and 16.5 TFL during his time with Baylor. The way he carried himself at the Senior Bowl obviously stood out to Eagles GM Howie Roseman and being a little lighter isn’t the end of the world when you consider how the team will likely deploy Milton Williams this season.

Philadelphia Eagles Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith
Newly drafted Philadelphia Eagles’ Nolan Smith, right, and Jalen Carter speak during a news conference at the NFL football team’s training facility, Friday, April 28, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hall is bound to be raw in terms of technique, but if he can earn a role on special teams and refine his technique, he could well become a player worth keeping around thanks to his explosive first step which could be key deep into drives when the likes of Carter & Davis need a breather.

Gottlieb Ayedze, OT, Maryland

The Eagles love developing offensive tackle prospects and Ayedze is a prime candidate to thrive under Jeff Stoutland’s tutelage. At 6’4, 308 lbs, he could be better suited to guard, but given that the Eagles ideally need some help inside too, this only bolsters his case.

He’s played at both tackle spots during his time at Maryland and is another player who posted some impressive agility scores this past offseason.

With versatility being his main calling card already, the Eagles might well look to build on that and see if they can develop him into a backup guard at the NFL level.

Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire