Notes from Eagles rookie OTA’s

So I checked out Eagles rookie camp yesterday down at the NovaCare Complex.  It’s shells and shorts, so there isn’t much to be gained as far as talent evaluation goes.  Also, there were 40+ guys there: The Eagles’ 9 draft picks, their undrafted free agents, and about 20 dudes they pulled off the street.  With those disclaimers out of the way, here’s what I saw:

–  If you’ve read about Eagles’ OTAs from yesterday at all, surely you’ve read about Mychal Kendricks’ interception.  I happened to be specifically watching Kendricks on the play.  The TE (Brent Brackett) ran a wheel route (he ran to the sideline at the snap, turned the corner, and headed into a go route), and Kendricks stuck with him the whole way.  Easily.  Nick Foles underthrew the pass and it was sitting on a platter for Kendricks.  After practice, Kendricks classified the pick as an “easy” play.  I concur, sort of.  The interception itself was easy, and staying with a guy like Brackett is easy when you have the kind of athleticism that Kendricks has.  Obviously, Brackett is not Jason Witten or Fred Davis, but Kendricks’ athleticism is clear as day.

Seems like a good guy, too.  He hung out after practice and answered a ton of questions.  I was the guy that asked him about his height, in case you’ve already read anything about that.  I’m sure he’s been getting height questions routinely since the day he declared early for the draft, and is tired of it.  Has to be asked though.  Loved his answer.  He basically said very frankly, “It doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter.”  Wanted no part of that question.  Then another writer asked him why “it doesn’t matter,” to which he responded:

It doesn’t matter because at the end of the day I’m going to have go out there and (cover bigger guys).  If I do it, I do it, and if I don’t, I’ll probably get cut.  That’s why I say it doesn’t matter, because I’m going to try my hardest, I’m going to do what I can do, and hopefully everything will take care of itself, so I don’t really stress about it, and I don’t think you guys should either.

Regular every day people like you, me and our friend “Mike” here below can do something about our height:

Football players, however, cannot.  Kendricks knows this, and he seems motivated to prove that a 7 inch differential in height doesn’t matter if you can play.  To be determined if it matters or not, but he has the right attitude.

–  Vinny Curry was very active.  He had a sack.  There were also a few times where he got a little off balance and went to the ground.  Didn’t notice much of Fletcher Cox, but it’s very difficult to see what is going on the interior of the line from the sidelines.  I only attended the morning practices, and apparently missed Juan Castillo ripping into Cox in the afternoon session.

–  UDFA CB Cliff Harris is a twig.  He’s listed at 5’11, 190, and if that’s accurate, he’s a very small 190.  I watched him and Brandon Boykin shagging punts for a little while.  They both look very natural doing it, but I thought Boykin was catching punts a little more cleanly.  Harris is going to get a long look in camp, but if he’s going to stick in the bigs for more than just a few years, he could probably use a little time in the weight room.

More after the jump…

–  5th round pick Dennis Kelly is a large man.  During his senior season at Purdue, Kelly was listed at 6’8, 304.  That’s super skinny for a guy that tall.  Compare that with King Dunlap, who has a very slender frame.  Dunlap is 6’9, 330.  Kelly needed to add weight, and he did.  By the time his Pro Day rolled around, he was up to 321.  Seeing him yesterday in person, I’m going to guess that he has continued to bulk up from 321 since since his Pro Day.

–  I spent a lot of time watching the RB’s yesterday.  Here’s what I wrote about Chris Polk at the Senior Bowl back in February:

Doug Martin looked good today.  He was routinely winning vs linebackers in receiving drills.  Isaiah Pead, too.  They’ve both been beating the North Team’s linebackers with relative ease.  Pead also had a nice-looking punt return.  I haven’t been particularly impressed with Boom Herron or Chris Polk.  In fairness to Polk, his game is breaking tackles and getting tough yards, so he’s tough to fairly evaluate without any tackling.

I would say that sums up my thoughts on Polk yesterday.  The guy that really caught my eye was Bryce Brown.  He just looks like a running back, if that makes any sense.  Early on in practice, in drills with no defense on the field, Brown didn’t finish a run and Duce Staley got on him.  Duce wanted to see his burst into the second level.  Next time up, Brown hit the hole, and boom… took off once he was through the hole.  Impressive.  By far the most athletic kid in that group yesterday, in my opinion.  Can’t wait to get a longer look at him at big boy camp.


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  3. serivce says:

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  4. CulDaddy says:

    Smile Jimmy! You’re on Eagles-cam!

      1. D3Keith says:

        Holy crap, Tamari looks like a high-school kid standing next to you.

        1. If I had to pick an Eagles beat writer to fight to the death, I’d probably pick Tamari. I actually think I like my chances against almost all of them, and I’m not tough… at all.

  5. ian says:

    told you height doesn’t matter when covering a tight end. coverage will be a strength of kendricks. i worry more about his ability to shed blockers and how strong will he be at the point of attack in stopping the run.

    1. Logan says:

      He’s going against a TE who probably won’t make the final roster. It’s way too early to tell how good he is.

      1. Anders says:

        Its OTA, means that athletic ability shows more and the TE you talk about is faster and more athletic then a Jason Witten.

    2. To be determined if the height disadvantage means something or not. I really don’t know either way. My concern isn’t on under thrown balls 40 yards down the field on the sideline. The concern is the 8 yard stop on 3rd and 6.

      But we should probably hold off on “I told you so” for now.

      1. brisulph says:

        He’s a future HOFer, no doubt about it. Calling it now!

  6. ICDogg says:

    Gotta get me a pair of those shoe things. Then I’d be 6’3″… that would probably be enough extra height to take my BMI from “obese” down to only “overweight”… lol

  7. NYG_slater says:

    In other news, ya Bryce Brown is an absolute steal to get in the 7th from a pure talent standpoint. I think he was like the #1 or #2 RB in the country coming out of High school. Im not sure what his problems were, but he’s talented. I know he had some NCAA investigation his freshman year, and left the Vols after his first season for KSU. I never followed him after that, but i guess he didn’t do much. Maybe he’ll finally get his act together. For the giants sake, I hope not.

    1. Anders says:

      He transfer from Tennesse to Kansas following his freshman year and had to sit out to 2010 due to NCAA rules. Then he got 3 snaps over 2 weeks at Kansas and was injured and left the team.

      He was actually the no. recruit, not just RB, coming out of HS in 2009

  8. NYG_slater says:

    happy mothers day shady!

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