Thursday, April 29, 2010

Post-draft minicamp: What to watch for

Tomorrow kicks off the Eagles first mini-camp of the off-season. These camps are rarely exciting, and even less revealing, but nevertheless there are some interesting stories to keep an eye on:

  • Ricky Sapp - A first-round talent snatched up in the fifth round, Sapp has a chance to make an immediate impact on the team. The question is: will the Eagles give him that chance? I'd put him on the field as the strong-side LB, then let him rush from the DE position on third downs. He played the Joker in college, so he has experience dropping back in coverage, and shouldn't be nearly as lost as their latest conversion project, Chris Gocong. At 252 lbs, he's not going to be an every-down DE, so his best chance to get consistent playing time is at SAM.
  • Stacy Andrews - We're going to quickly find out if Andrews needed additional time to come back from his knee injury, or if he was one of the worst free agent signings in Eagles history. With no OL draft picks, the Eagles are clearly betting on the former. Of course, they were betting on him and his brother last year, and you see how that worked out.
  • Mike McGlynn - Depending on the Andrews situation and how quickly Jamaal Jackson returns from his injury, McGlynn could see major playing time at center early in the season. The Eagles like him and think he's ready, but he's shown very little so far in his career. It's make-or-break time for McGlynn.
  • Trevor Laws, Quintin Demps, Macho Harris - These three players were expected to make major contributions last year and all were disappointments (actually, Macho did ok for a fifth-round pick thrust into the starting lineup, but he certainly wasn't a strength of the defense.) They all needed to get stronger, and this will be our first chance to see how hard they hit the off-season weight program. If they do not carve out major roles with their performance in the preseason, they are all likely to be cut.
  • Clay Harbor and Riley Cooper - I expect to read at least one story saying how good these two looked in the minicamp, quicker than expected, etc. I don't see a big impact from either as a rookie (Cooper is destined to be a special-teams gunner and 5th WR) but both could be quality long-term additions.


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