PHILADELPHIA - By trading up to get Jordan Davis and dealing with Tennessee to acquire A.J. Brown, the Eagles sacrificed volume for potential difference-makers in the 2022 NFL Draft.
That's the good news.
The give and take to that, however, meant 10 potential picks quickly receded to five which also proved to be a domino. opening the door for one of the league’s strongest undrafted free agent classes, a group that is 12 players deep and highlighted by bonus babies (relatively speaking) like Nevada quarterback Carson Strong, Idaho nose tackle Noah Elliss, and Clemson cornerback Mario Goodrich.
Typically you might be able to envision a path for one or two undrafted free agents to the 53-man roster for any NFL team but you can make a case for five or six Eagles UDFAs right now and far more than that when it comes to potential practice squad berths.
Here’s a look at my top five when it comes to earning a roster spot:
5. - Cornerbacks Mario Goodrich, Clemson; Josh Jobe, Alabama and Josh Blackwell, Duke
The corners are down the list due to the numbers game because they have to compete with each other as well as a host of other young options the organization has talked up like Zech McPhearson, Tay Gowan, Kary Vincent, Jr., and Mac McCain.
The Eagles obviously have a significant need at the position so they carpet-bombed it with Goodrich getting the most guaranteed money. He starts with a leg up.
Jobe is a physical player who many projected inside to safety while Blackwell is more of a slot option.
Jobe was not participating during last Friday’s rookie camp practice.
4. WR/KR Britain Covey, Utah
The knock on Covey is obviously going to be his size at just 5-foot-8 and 169 pounds and that would seem to limit him to being a slot receiver on offense but the real impact with Covey could come in the return game, which was a major issue for Philadelphia last season.
Covey was a dynamic punt returner at Utah and proved to be lightning-quick at rookie camp standing out in the offseason environment.
Covey set a program record at Utah for punt-return yardage (1,092) and also ranked top three in receptions (184) and all-purpose yards (4,241).
3. NT Noah Elliss, Idaho
The brother of Eagles’ LB Christian Elliss and the adopted son of former star Detroit defensive end Luther Elliss, who is Noah's biological uncle.
Noah was once a four-star SEC recruit at Mississippi State who transferred to Idaho to be coached by Luther, who is a defensive line coach with the Vandals.
At 350 pounds, Elliss would be the perfect backup for Jordan Davis as the zero- or one-technique that Jonathan Gannon craves to help easily toggle between his desired hybrid odd and even fronts.
2. QB Carson Strong, Nevada
Regarded as a draftable commodity by most absent the troublesome knee that scared many teams off, Strong is a prototypical pocket-style passer with significant arm talent.
What Strong isn’t is a modern-style QB who can extend plays with his feet. If the knee holds up, however, it would almost be an upset for Reid Sinnett to hold off Strong as the Eagles’ developmental QB behind Jalen Hurts and Gardner Minshew.
1. S Reed Blankenship, Middle Tennessee State
Safety is another significant need for the Eagles and Blankenship was the only UDFA at the position so that obviously helps his cause.
The Alabama native had extensive experience at MTSU, starting for five years with three of those as a team captain. He also was a consistent playmaker piling up two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, an interception with nine pass breakups, and 10 tackles for loss last season.
-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's Eagles Today and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen