The Eagles kicked off rookie minicamp Friday, and the team’s five drafted rookies were the headliners.
But the Eagles also announced they signed 12 undrafted rookie free agents as they shored up the number of camp bodies and hit the practice field. Here’s a breakdown of the team’s undrafted free agents, listed in positional order.
Carson Strong, Nevada
There are concerns about his mobility, but Strong showed off mature pocket presence in college. He was a two-time Mountain West offensive player of the year, and threw for 9,368 yards and 74 passing touchdowns. Pro Football Focus ranked Strong as the No. 1 undrafted free agent. Gardner Minshew is still the backup, but if another team entices the Eagles with a trade package for Minshew later in the year, Strong is a candidate to step into the backup role.
Running back (1)
Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma
Brooks was a reliable weapon for the Sooners; he ran for 1,000-plus yards during all three of his collegiate seasons. This past year, Brooks led the team with 1,253 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns with an average of 6.3 yards per carry. The Eagles haven’t signed free agent running back Jordan Howard; the current depth chart features Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Kenneth Gainwell and Jason Huntley.
Wide receiver (1)
Britain Covey, Utah
Perhaps the most intriguing prospect of the group, Covey is a flat-out speed demon. It didn’t take long to notice his agility and quickness during the open portion of Friday’s practice. Despite reporters only watching individual drills and routes, it was obvious Covey was the fastest player among the group. Covey is undersized (5-foot-8, 169 pounds), but his athleticism is real. He set program records for career punt return yards (1,092) and ranks top three in Utah’s history in punt returns (92), receptions (184) and all-purpose yards (4,241). Jalen Reagor hasn’t been consistent enough in the return game — his two fumbles from the NFC wild-card game are only recent miscues, and there should be an open competition for the returner role if Covey is able to prove he belongs.
Offensive line (3)
William Dunkle, San Diego State
Dunkle didn’t allow a single sack over 30 career games while working primarily from the guard position. At the conclusion of his junior season, he was named second-team All-American and also earned first-team All-Conference honors.
Josh Sills, Oklahoma State
Sills was a full-time starter at West Virginia and Oklahoma State. He’s a powerful run blocker, and showed versatility in playing games at left guard, left tackle and right tackle. Last season, he was a team captain and earned first-team All-Big 12 honors.
Jarrid Williams, Miami
Williams was ranked the fourth-best tackle in the ACC, per PFF. He’s 6-foot-6 and 323 pounds with a 31-inch vertical, which would’ve ranked second among tackles at this year’s scouting combine. Williams and Covey, both 25, are the oldest prospects among the group.
Defensive line (1)
Noah Elliss, Idaho
Elliss earned All-Big Sky recognition after he recorded 46 tackles, 6 ½ tackles for loss and three pass breakups over 10 games (eight starts). Elliss, 6-foot-4, 346 pounds, poses problems for interior offensive linemen due to his size and explosiveness. He projects as a nose tackle; the Eagles have solid depth at interior d-line with Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Jordan Davis and Milton Williams headlining the group.
Ali Fayad, Western Michigan
Fayad was the 2021 MAC defensive player of the year after he recorded a whopping 17 tackles for loss, including 13 sacks. The Eagles selected two linebackers, but they didn’t add a true edge rusher in the draft. Fayad was the only edge rusher to sign as a UDFA. Fayad was listed as a defensive end at Western Michigan, although the Eagles introduced him as a linebacker.
Josh Blackwell, Duke
Blackwell isn’t flashy — he recorded zero interceptions over 28 starts — but he’s incredibly fast (4.34-second 40-yard dash) and possesses fluid hips that help him maintain positioning in man coverage. He could be tested best at the slot in the NFL.
Mario Goodrich, Clemson
Goodrich signed for $217,000, which was reportedly the most guaranteed money given to an Eagles’ UDFA. He recorded a career-high 40 tackles, 10 pass breakups and two interceptions during his final season at Clemson, earning first-team All-ACC honors. He is quick to pursue ball carriers out of the back field in defending the run, and shows signs as a solid tackler. The Eagles are hoping at least one defensive back from this group emerges as a contributor.
Josh Jobe, Alabama
Jobe was labeled as the enforcer of Alabama’s secondary. He started in 11 of 12 games, while playing through a turf toe injury that required offseason surgery. He recorded 38 tackles with four passes defensed and two interceptions. It’s worth noting Jobe did not participate nor was he seen with a helmet during the open portion of Friday’s practice. Whenever Jobe does hit the field, he’ll have an opportunity to earn a role as a depth piece as the Eagles plan to shore up the secondary.
Reed Blankenship, Middle Tennessee State
Blankenship stuffed the stat sheet. He recorded a team-best 110 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and nine pass breakups with one interception. He was a five-year starter and three-year team captain. Between Covey and the three other defensive backs, Blankenship might arguably have the best path to earning a roster spot. The Eagles have lingering needs at cornerback and safety. Blankenship served as a versatile piece for Middle Tennessee State’s defense and displayed plus-awareness in defending routes over the top.