Eagles Rookie Report
Fletcher Cox, DT: He made a play during Sunday’s practice that resembled the ones he put on tape at Mississippi State. Cox was the first man in the backfield, forcing Dion Lewis to change directions as DeMeco Ryans and Cullen Jenkins swarmed to tackle him for a loss. Cox consistently gets an earful from Jim Washburn, but he doesn’t seem to mind. We’ll have to see what he does in the preseason, but if Mike Patterson isn’t ready to go in Week 1, you could see Cox team up with Jenkins as the first-team defensive tackles. At the very least, he’ll be a significant part of the rotation.
Mychal Kendricks, LB: He’s been getting all the reps at the starting SAM spot, but Kendricks is not staying on the field in nickel situations like he did in the spring. Instead, he’s (at least temporarily) given up his spot to Brian Rolle. Kendricks has looked good, specifically in coverage, but again, would like to see him in preseason action.
Vinny Curry, DE: Andy Reid was very complimentary of him this morning.
“He sure has done a nice job with his pass rush,” Reid said. “Very strong, you can see that. He has great leverage. So much of it is how low you can get coming around the edge and the target you present the offensive linemen. He does all of those things naturally, so that’s a good thing to work with.”
With Jason Babin and Trent Cole sidelined, Curry will get a chance to impress the coaches in the next few days. He’s obviously a lock to make the roster, but Curry’s role will depend on what he can accomplish in the coming weeks and how healthy the players are ahead of him.
Nick Foles, QB: Not much to say here. He’s going to be your third quarterback, and this will be a stand-and-watch type of year. Foles has a strong arm, but has not really stood out during practices.
Brandon Boykin, CB: He looks comfortable, but the Eagles are not ready to hand over the slot cornerback position to Boykin just yet. Joselio Hanson is manning that position for now as Boykin runs with the second team. Hanson vs. Boykin will be one of the biggest battles to keep an eye on in the next few weeks. I’m sure the Eagles would like Boykin to win the job, but they need to be sure they can trust him with what is essentially a starting role. He’s also in the lead to be the Eagles’ kickoff returner.
Dennis Kelly, OT: Don’t expect him to contribute as a rookie. Kelly is a logical choice to make the team but be inactive on gamedays. Right now, he’s running with the second team at right tackle, but King Dunlap will be the first man off the bench should Demetress Bell or Todd Herremans suffer an injury.
Marvin McNutt, WR: With injuries to Riley Cooper and Ron Johnson, McNutt will likely see a lot of reps with the second team going forward. He’s shown the ability to use his size (6-3) to get the football and has received compliments from Reid and Michael Vick. McNutt will need an especially strong preseason to get on the field as a rookie, but he should make the roster.
Brandon Washington, OG: I could lie to you and make up a phony opinion about how he’s looked, but the truth is, I’ve paid very little attention to the sixth-round pick who is currently running with the third team. Like Kelly, don’t expect Washington to contribute as a rookie. But he has a chance to earn one of the final roster spots on the offensive line.
Bryce Brown, RB: He is definitely ahead of Chris Polk right now. Offensively, Brown has had his moments as a runner, although he hasn’t shown great hands as a receiver. What caught my eye, though, was Brown recently earning praise from Bobby April during the special-teams portion of practice. The seventh-round pick has a really good chance to make the roster behind LeSean McCoy and Dion Lewis.
Chris Polk, RB: Like I said, Brown appears to definitely be ahead of him. It’s still relatively early, but if I were turning in my 53-man roster projection right now, Polk would be off of it.
Cliff Harris, CB: He was the darling of training camp during the first couple of days, before veterans arrived. But Harris is showing he has the skills to play with the big boys. On Monday, he stuck with DeSean Jackson deep and made a great play on the ball once it was up in the air. Reid and company will have to decide just how comfortable they are with a relatively young group at corner. Boykin, a rookie, and Curtis Marsh, a second-year player, are locks. But Harris has a legitimate chance to make the 53-man roster, especially if he can contribute on special teams.
Damaris Johnson, WR: Reid listed him as the No. 1 punt returner, and Johnson has flashed play-making ability offensively. If the Eagles keep six wide receivers, he’s got a great shot to make the team ahead of Chad Hall.