Everyone out there making a big deal over the Eagles rookie minicamp coming up this Thursday…. WHY??
You get a bunch of drafted and undrafted guys, plus the Practice Squad guys from last year, and a few lucky free agent guys invited to participate in the drills…
Praise your Eagles’ gods of football you are not a Tampa Bay Bucs fan—-the Bucs invited a total of 56 guys this past week to do their rookie minicamp. I know it’s an honor to be invited to try out for a professional team, but—56 is TOO MUCH !!
The odds are sick against any free agent trying to make a pro football team— why even bother turning it into a circus?
That’s the math talking— I got 53 full roster spots and 10 PS-10 spots up for grabs… you want to make this team as an undrafted free agent or a 2nd year practice squad veteran?—you’ve got to roll the odds on a 2-in-100 chance.
They say the biggest challenge for the “try-out crowd” is just learning the verbiage of the playbook going into these rookie minicamp exercises. But I say PPFFFTTTTT! The only playbook you’re giving these guys at this level is just about 10 scripted play drills. How hard can that be?
Plus, I’m not giving you any real kind of playbook complexity until I know for sure you’re on this team…
That said, it looks like the Eagles are throwing a long-shot candidate into the real tryout mix.
The Philadelphia Eagles have signed former Oklahoma defensive tackle Charles Walker, according to a report from ESPN’s Field Yates. Walker became a free agent after going undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Walker didn’t play a full three years at Oklahoma because he left the team during the 2016 season in order to prepare for the NFL Draft. Also factoring into the decision was that Walker suffered three concussions while playing for the Sooners. These factors likely scared off NFL teams from drafting him.
Walker measures in at 6-2, 310 pounds. In 21 games played, he logged 53 tackles (13 for loss), 6.5 sacks, five pass deflections, and one forced fumble.
The Eagles are set at starting defensive tackle with Fletcher Cox and Timmy Jernigan but more depth at the position is needed. Jernigan and Beau Allen, who might not be ready by Week 1, are both free agents after the 2017 season. Philadelphia also drafted Elijah Qualls in the sixth round of this year’s draft. Destiny Vaeao will also have a shot to make the team’s roster after signing with Philadelphia as an undrafted free agent last year.
Walker ranked 13th out of this year’s top 15 defensive tackles as listed by BGN’s Ben Natan. Many projected him to be a sixth or seventh round pick. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said Walker could have been a first round pick if he didn’t leave Oklahoma early. Walker made BGN’s list of most underrated players in this year’s draft.
Charles Walker had a slightly tumultuous career with the Sooners, walking away from the team early due to injuries and hoping to preserve himself for the NFL draft. While some may question his dedication to the game, others will call that career sense. At 310 pounds, Walker not only has good size but is also explosive as well. He was up and down as a player, but his flashes were brilliant and tantalizing. It will be up to a team to take a chance on him despite consistency and injury history, but the payoff could be large.
Here’s more info from an NFL.com scouting report. Sounds like a pretty good fit for Jim Schwartz’s aggressive scheme. Walker seems like a nice low-risk gamble for the Eagles.
Sources Tell Us: “I’m not really a fan but I’m sure our coaches will be. He has talent but he’s just so inconsistent. He has quickness and strength but then will just disappear during the game. He has enough flashes on tape that I’m sure our coach will want to work with that.” – NFC regional scoutNFL Comparison Clinton McDonald
Bottom Line: Disruptive defensive tackle with the initial quickness and power to become a factor for a one-gapping, upfield front if he can ever put it all together. Despite his flashes, Walker’s career starts can be counted on one hand and 2016 was a complete loss of a season. NFL personnel men are likely to get harsh reviews from the Sooners coaching staff and teams will need to do their work on Walker’s concussion situation, but his athleticism and potential give him a chance to become an NFL starter.
This is the real reason for rookie minicamp— you get a chance to try out a wild card guy like Charles Walker to see how he measures up against his peers. You’re not even thinking about his making an NFL roster at this point—you just wanna see if the notion is even feasible.