Eagles Waive DT Walker to Make Room for Blount
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) – Before LeGarrette Blount officially signed his one-year deal with the Eagles on Thursday, the team needed to make room on the 90-man roster and did so by waiving/injured defensive tackle Charles Walker.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) May 18, 2017
Walker, an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma, signed right before the Eagles’ rookie minicamp last week. The waived/injured designation means that Walker must go through the waiver process before reverting back to Philadelphia’s injured reserve list, a mere formality as the big man tweeted out that he has already undergone knee surgery.
@AaronKazreports Already had the surgery 6-8 weeks in I'm back at it
— Charles Walker (@C_Walk97) May 18, 2017
Once thought as a potential premium draft pick, Walker fell off the radar after leaving OU early to ostensibly prepare for the draft although it was later revealed that he was battling depression.
The 6-foot-2, 297-pound Walker then performed poorly at the NFL Scouting Combine, particularly in agility drills where he posted a 7.89 three-cone drill and 4.96 20-yard shuttle. As a comparison Eagles’ sixth-round pick Elijah Qualls put up numbers of 7.65 and 4.66 in those the same activities. Qualls was also stronger with 33 reps at 225 compared to 25 for Walker and more explosive, flashing a 31.5-inch vertical to a 28 for the Oklahoma product.
The hope was that Walker had overcome his issues and returned to being the player Mel Kiper once described as a potential first-round pick.
The Eagles are searching for depth at defensive tackle behind starters Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan with run-stiffing nose tackle Beau Allen currently on the shelf with a torn pec. Second-year man Destiny Vaeao and Qualls are in the mix as well as Justin Hamilton, a futures signing earlier in the offseason.
Generally, a waived/injured designation at this point means that the player will be released once an injury settlement is reached.
UDFA quarterback Jerod Evans is also on the Eagles’ IR list after passing through waivers when the team waived/injured him with a foot injury and signed offensive tackle Victor Salako, one of the 20 tryout players in for the rookie camp.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen