Every season during training camp there are a couple of players that come out of no where that the fan base falls in love with. Last year the name that everyone thought had the chance to be the next Jerry Rice was Paul Turner. While Turner is gearing up for another training camp with the Birds, there are sure to be some new rookies or under the radar guys that grab the fan bases attention again this August. Here are three under the radar players to watch out for at Eagles training camp.
While offensive lineman don’t always jump right out at you when watching preseason games, one name to watch out for in camp this summer is Tyler Orlosky. Orlosky who is 6’3 298 pounds, was rated by CBS Sports at this years top undrafted free agent. He was signed out of West Virginia where he started on the Mountaineers offensive line for three straight seasons. In those three seasons at West Virginia, Orlosky only allowed one sack. It has become known this off-season that the Eagles may not be very high on current starting center Jason Kelce. This plays well for Orlosky, as if he comes in and has a solid camp he may be in line to replace Kelce either mid way through the season or for the 2018 season. Heading into camp Orlosky is also fully healthy after missing all of OTA’s and minicamp with a strained MCL. The center position isn’t the most flashy ,but look for Orlosky to really stand out for the Eagles in training camp next month.
This a name that may surprise some people, but second-year wide out Marcus Johnson has as good of a chance as anyone to make a statement during training camp and push for a roster spot. Last year Johnson went undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft and signed with the Eagles as a free agent later in the summer. Johnson was cut in August and not picked up by another team for the rest of the season. Johnson clearly impressed someone with the Eagles cause on January 10th, the Birds signed him to a reserve/future contract giving him another chance at cracking the roster. While last preseason he failed to make a name for himself a lot of people around the team believe that Johnson has a very good chance to make the roster. At OTA’s with Jordan Matthews sitting out with a knee injury, Johnson was given many opportunities to show the coaches what he was capable of and according to Adam Caplan of ESPN he impressed. Caplan tweeted out, “#Eagles got an extended look at Marcus Johnson during OTAs with Jordan Matthews (knee) sidelined. Johnson took advantage of extra reps.” While it has been reported that rookie wide receiver Shelton Gibson has been struggling with drops in practice, if Johnson can add to his OTA’s and mini-camp play, it looks like he has a good chance to be the teams sixth wide receiver.
While this last player on the list is not an undrafted free agent like the other two on this list, but there are still many uncertainties surrounding his game. Fifth-round pick Nate Gerry out of Nebraska played safety in college but was drafted by the Eagles as a linebacker. While he was drafted and is more than likely to make the roster, it is unknown how well Gerry transfers to the linebacker position. After playing safety during his college career, Gerry clearly has dominant ball skills and they were on full display during mini-camp. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that, “Gerry made athletic back-to-back plays during second-team 7-on-7 drills, on both, Gerry dropped into coverage and read the quarterback’s eyes. Seeing and knowing where the ball is going is one thing, but being able to get there is another, and Gerry did on both occasions.” In past season Mychal Kendricks has struggled with covering running backs and tight end’s, so if Gerry can step in and take the role the Eagles defense will be much improved in that aspect. If his production during the preseason is high, look for Gerry to push for some snaps at outside linebacker this fall.