Eagles Wake-Up Call: Rookie Progress Report

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

From time to time, we like to check in on how the Eagles’ draft picks are doing. With the first preseason game a day away, here’s an update.

Marcus Smith, OLB – He’s been running with the second team at the Jack spot behind Connor Barwin. And in all likelihood, that’s where Smith is going to see most of his action this season. He has looked the part from the first day of camp – long, athletic and can move in space. A couple days ago, he showed some feistiness, mixing it up with James Casey after the whistle. Smith, who has never before been to an NFL game, will likely make some normal rookie mental mistakes tomorrow night, but overall, he appears to be on schedule to contribute. Read more »

Eagles Sign Jaylen Watkins, Taylor Hart

Jaylen Watkins

The Eagles have signed fourth-round pick Jaylen Watkins and fifth-round pick Taylor Hart, the team announced today.

Watkins (5-11, 194), a Florida product, will begin his NFL career at cornerback for the Birds, but could move to safety at some point.

Hart (6-6, 281) played for Chip Kelly and Jerry Azzinaro at Oregon. He’s expected to become an immediate part of the defensive line rotation, backing up either Fletcher Cox or Cedric Thornton at the end spot. Read more »

Three Roseman Leftovers

Taylor Hart
The Eagles had a third-round grade on Oregon defensive lineman Taylor Hart and were eager to land him as Day 3 of the draft commenced. They held the first pick of the fourth round and had to decide whether to pull the trigger immediately or go in a different direction and take the chance that Hart would still be on the board the next time they were on the clock
.

“I think Howie [Roseman] did a great job of how we ordered it,” said Chip Kelly. “The other guy [Florida DB Jaylen Watkins] would be gone first, so let’s take him. He guaranteed me Hart would be there in the fifth, and he was right.”

How could Roseman be confident enough to offer a guarantee? Teams don’t make it a habit of disclosing their draft boards to the rest of the league. How could he know that Hart would fall to them in the fifth? Read more »

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