Wisconsin LB T.J. Edwards Headlines Eagles Undrafted Class
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles certainly liked the film coming out of Happy Valley this year.
After drafting a couple of Penn State players -- second-round running back Miles Sanders and fourth-round defensive end Shareef Miller, a Philadelphia native -- the Eagles plucked two more players from James Frankin's team as undrafted free agents, offensive guard Ryan Bates and receiver DeAndre Thompkins.
Bates, an Archbishop Wood grad, played right tackle for the Nittany Lions but may project better inside at the pro level. Helping Thompkins is the fact he can also return kicks and had two punt-return TDs at Penn State.
The jewel of the undrafted class so far, which likely will not be announced officially until the team's rookie minicamp gets underway, also comes from the Big Ten. Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Edwards was given a draftable grade by most as a potential two-down Mike linebacker and comes in at a need position for the Eagles after the team lost Jordan Hicks in free agency.
Stanford was another school Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas took a keen interest in, drafting receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in the second round and buttressing that with two more undrafted players from the Cardinal, linebacker Joey Alfieri and OG Nate Herbig. Of the two Herbig was a potential late-round pick as a 335-pound interior optio.
"I think we really try to utilize the undrafted process," Eagles executive VP of football operations Howie Roseman said of supplementing his light draft haul. "As [Eagles Chairman and CEO] Jeffrey [Lurie] likes to say, it's the eighth through 20th round and we're on the clock, so we try to do that because we do want to get young guys. But again, our job is to get as many good players as possible, try to get as many difference makers as possible and we think we got some of those this weekend."
Also signed so far are, according to various sources, are Rutgers defensive tackle Kevin Wilkins, Alabama-Birmingham DT Anthony Rush, Dickinson State CB Jamalcolm Liggins, Weber State OG Iosua Opeta, Wyoming running back Nico Evans, Cincinnati defensive back Tyrell Gilbert, Vanderbilt defensive end Louis Vecchio, and Fairmont State linebacker Jerry Iweh.
More names are trickling in as well, including Temple safety Delvon Randall.
UC Davis LB Mason Moe:
and Iowa OG Keegan Render:
Arkansas OG Johnny Gibson Jr. is in the mix:
Wagner RB Ryan Fulse, Stony Brook WR Marshall Ellick, and Arizona State OG Casey Tucker were reportedly offered rookie minicamp tryouts.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen