Summer school is now in session. Here's an interim report of the top five rookies drafted by the Eagles. Disclaimer: I am not a professor.
1) Right Tackle, Lane Johnson: A
Great listener, extremely tough and outstanding athlete: a few reasons why Lane Johnson was selected fourth overall in this year’s draft. Iron sharpens iron, and Johnson will sharpen a talented, healthy, experienced and athletic line in 2014. Under former Alabama and new offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, the right tackle will develop good habits to endure the hits and play out a long, productive career. Stoutland praised the first-year protégé for immediately applying the skills that he’s been taught.
Now, if you can, imagine what’ll happen after All-Pro Jason Peters, long-time Eagles Todd Herremans, Jason Kelce and Evan Mathis feeds their new young bird with their professional wisdom. Mind-blown in 3...2…
2) Tight End, Zach Ertz: C
Both second-rounder Ertz and seventh-round selection Jordan Poyer missed all of their time since the post-draft mini-camp due to NCAA graduation rules. They were excused to miss the OTAs and full-team camp. The weeks leading to training camp will be a crucial cram session for Ertz (and Poyer), but he has said that he’s studied the playbook as much as he could. The 22-year-old native from California is aware how much more ground he’s got to cover, and because no one has witnessed his capabilities yet, allow these highlight clips of the All-American from Stanford to ease your hearts.
Per DraftInsider.net's Tony Pauline's scouting report, Ertz is a complete tight end with an NFL-ready game.
3) Defensive Tackle, Bennie Logan: B
Working primarily with the second-team defense, Bennie Logan will experiment various positions on the defensive line. “I prefer inside, but whatever the Eagles are asking me to do, whatever new position they're asking me to play, I'm willing to learn the position and just play. I just want to contribute to the team whatever way I can."
His versatility at LSU played an integral part in helping the Tigers rank among the top defenses in the nation, fifth against the run (90.1 yards per game) in 2011. Hard to think that the 6-foot-2, 309 pound defensive tackle flies under the radar at OTAs but he’s used to staying out of the spotlight. The Eagles will deploy their fresh beast up and down the line while he heeds advice from mentor Isaac Sopoaga, who recorded four tackles and chased Joe Flacco in Super Bowl XLVII.
Staying out of the spotlight has more pros than cons, but for now, the Eagles may want their rookie to insert himself into conversations, and (crossing fingers) get-togethers during meals. No more eating in cars alone, please.
4) Quarterback, Matt Barkley: A
Poised, polished, with a positive outlook. The sky is the limit for fourth-round draft pick Matt Barkley out of USC. While NFL Fankind eagerly awaits for Head Coach Chip Kelly’s Big Announcement (will that be nationally televised?) the mystery with the Eagles quarterback cauldron boils at high heat. Barkley is one of four pieces of the puzzle fighting to squeeze himself into the currently vacant spot (Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Dennis Dixon). The gunslinger doesn’t know the meaning of bench-warming, as he has been the starting quarterback of his team dating back to when he was a ninth grader at Mater Dei High School and won the starting job at USC as a true freshman. Coach Kelly said that he was impressed with Barkley's "repetitive accuracy."
Not known for his mobility, we can only dream of how the most prolific passer in USC and Pac-12 history will find his groove in Kelly’s high-octane offense ... or how he’ll maneuver in-and-out of the pocket.
5) Safety, Earl Wolff: A
He’s taken the initiative to ask questions and shown aptitude for extra work. Hooray. A 23-year-old with the mindset of a veteran, Wolff impressed coaches with the few reps that he earned to run on the field with the first-team unit. Still behind likely starters Nate Allen, and former Patriots safety Patrick Chung, he practices with the two’s and three’s without complaint. With Kurt Coleman and new addition Kenny Phillips (Giants) behind the curtains, Coach Chip Kelly said positive things of his rookie safety, “He came from a good system. He was coached really well down at (North Carolina State) by Tom O'Brien and those guys. He had a pretty good grasp of football when he came in here.”