How you likin’ dem apples? A tryout kid survives rookie minicamp and gets a summer gig!
Jeff Kerr of 247 Sports reported the news:
“The Philadelphia Eagles are giving one of their rookie minicamp tryout players a chance to make the 53-man roster. Arkansas guard Johnny Gibson (6-4, 325) was the only tryout player to make the Eagles out of rookie minicamp weekend as the Eagles announced they signed Gibson to the 90-man roster.”
Cool, man. No matter what happens ultimately in Gibson’s career, he will always have this moment to celebrate.
To make room for Gibson, the Eagles waived wide receiver Dorren Miller.
In 388 pass-blocking snaps in 2018, Gibson allowed 19 pressures, which included two sacks, four hits and 13 hurries. He put together a season grade of 72.5 in pass blocking, with five games with grades of 80 or higher (per Pro Football Focus). Gibson started 12 games at right guard for the Razorbacks and also played right tackle his junior season.
The Eagles may have an opening on the right side of the offensive line, pending the progress of recovery from surgery by RG Brandon Brooks.
Brooks has hinted he’ll be ready by Week 1 after suffering a torn Achilles in January, but the Eagles re-signed Stefen Wisniewski to give Brooks more time for his recovery. Wisniewski can fill in at right guard while Brooks continues his amazing progress from the Achilles injury, solving a major problem on the Eagles offensive line that existed since they declined Wiz’ option in March.
The Eagles were thin at guard behind Brooks with Matt Pryor in line to play right guard if Brooks wasn’t ready for the season. Pryor has a ton of potential, but has never played a NFL regular season snap, which suggests how valuable Brooks’ health is toward the Eagles’ 2019 success.
Gibson can also play right tackle, a position Lane Johnson has started for in the last six seasons. Halapoulivaati Vaitai has played right tackle as the swing tackle behind Johnson and the Eagles plan to cross-train Jordan Mailata there this offseason.
Gibson’s chances of making the 53-man roster are long, but he will get the opportunity in OTA minicamp and training camp to show the Eagles he belongs in the NFL. Also we should mention Gibson is a very smart kid, majoring in computer science and engineering at Arkansas and being named to several all-academic teams.
“This is what I tell our tryout guys. They’re not only competing for this team, but there are 31 other teams. A lot of guys the past couple weekends have been a part of at least two rookie minicamps,” said Eagles head coach Doug Pederson Friday. “I think for us it’s a great way to — guys that were not drafted but yet on your board, to get them now in here this weekend and really watch them, get them in the meetings, get them with their position coaches, and then watch them run around for these next three days. You never know.
“We have found in my past that there is a guy or two that end up making your roster for training camp, the 90 man, and that’s what you’re hoping to get out of this [rookie minicamp] weekend.”
As for Dorren Miller, the guy who got waived in favor of Gibson? Miller signed with the Eagles practice squad last September, but wasn’t promoted to the active roster.
Miller signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent prior to joining the Eagles, finishing with two catches for 25 yards in the preseason. Miller had 37 catches for 868 yards (23.5 YPC) and six touchdowns at Division II Carson-Newman as a senior in 2017.