Evaluating Eagles’ Rookies Heading Into Training Camp


Training camp is only a few weeks off but when it comes, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly will be ready to see what his new crop of rookies have in store for him. Not only is it when he’ll see exactly what kind of talent he invested in but it will also give him a good idea of what these rookies will do for the team in 2015.

The 2015 NFL Draft saw the Eagles make some big moves to get players they wanted. Kelly addressed needs that plagued the team and picked up players that fit into his coaching scheme and the team’s culture. One issue that wasn’t addressed during the draft was the lack of depth along their offensive line. They also failed to address the safety position but they drafted players such as Eric Rowe and Randall Evans that could potentially fit the bill. With all the new draftees that the Eagles picked up, they possess talent that will need to be proved at camp and some will have a bigger impact than others.

More from Eagles News

The biggest and most talked about draft pick was first-rounder Nelson Agholor. A wide receiver from University of Southern California, he’s familiar with how Kelly runs his offense and fits his play-style. He more than met expectations during OTAs and minicamp due to his ideal fit in Kelly’s scheme. Agholor is a surprisingly physical player for his size and he’s explosive after the catch. He has strong hands and impressive vision on the field that allows him to read zone coverage, something that an elite wide receiver should have. Agholor will most likely begin practicing with the first team once training camp starts and coaches may be even more impressed with his talent. It would make sense that he’ll take snaps on the outside and in the slot due to his versatility. That’s what ultimately makes him a valuable player in Kelly’s eyes.

Eric Rowe is another draft pick that coaches need to keep their eyes on. The cornerback from University of Utah only played at the position during his senior year in 2014. His first three years saw him at safety and if he’s to have any impact at all during training camp, it’ll be at that position. He’s been taking reps as a cornerback and probably with hopes to start alongside the team’s free agent jewel, Bryon Maxwell. Rowe is a long, physical player, weighing in at 205 pounds and standing 6-1. His physical play-style and size will be his biggest tool and he’ll need to show it to its potential during training camp to have any impact. Nolan Carroll is the favorite to start but once the pads come on, Rowe has a good shot to steal the job away.

The chance for a rookie to start drops once you get to the Eagles third-round pick, inside linebacker Jordan Hicks. Rowe and Agholor are the two biggest rookies with potential going into training camp and Agholor might be the only rookie that starts during the season. Yet Hicks isn’t 100 percent off the radar. If Mychal Kendricks doesn’t start Week 1, it still isn’t likely that Hicks will be the one to step up and take his place. The Eagles have a lot of good inside linebackers such as Kiko Alonso and DeMeco Ryans so it’s unlikely that Hicks will see a lot of snaps. He’ll likely contribute on special teams and force his way into some playing time but it’s more likely that he’ll just sit and watch from the sidelines.

Live Feed

Record for every NFL team based on their current odds as favorites or underdogs
Record for every NFL team based on their current odds as favorites or underdogs /


  • 10 best individual player rivalries in NFL historyFanSided
  • 5 must-win games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2023FanSided
  • Predicting each division winner for the 2023 NFL seasonWith the First Pick
  • Former Lion Ndamukong Suh is in absolutely no hurry to sign with a new teamSideLion Report
  • NFL rumors: All-Pro DT plans to make free agency suitors wait for himFanSided
  • The same role can be said for JaCorey Shepherd and Randall Evans. Both join an already packed cornerback position and will most likely have little to no impact on the team in 2015. Shepherd is the better choice of the two. He makes plays on the ball easily and shows good speed and consistency. He’s behind Maxwell, Nolan Carroll, Brandon Boykin and even fellow rookie Eric Rowe for a roster spot. The chances that he’ll start are slim to none but he could make the roster if he proves he’s worth the spot. He might have his best chance to get playing time by contributing immediately on special teams.

    Evans has even less of a chance than Shepherd. He battled an injury during OTAs that held him out of practice at times. The Eagles have a lot of better candidates ahead of him and Randall will need to prove his worth to even make the practice squad. If, and only if, he can rock special teams will he have a shot at playing on the field.

    Rookie defensive linemen Brian Mihalik will definitely not be making the 53-man roster. All seven of the team’s defensive linemen from last season are likely returning and that leaves little room for a raw rookie. He won’t master the two-gap scheme overnight and though he boasts impressive size, he comes to a team that has one of the deepest defensive lines around. He has the size and ability that would make him a formidable opponent. However, he won’t have the chance to start and replacing someone in the lineup is wishful thinking. Mihalik should pray that he makes the practice squad. If he doesn’t, that might spell the end of his time as an Eagle.

    Next: Philadelphia Eagles Position Breakdown: Tight End

    More from Inside the Iggles