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Second-round pick Mychal Kendricks at the Eagles' minicamp.
Heading into the OTAs and training camp themselves, the Eagles coaching staff will be focused on how much of an impact the newly-drafted youngsters will bring to the team.
The Eagles have already signed all but one of the rookies—first-round pick Fletcher Cox is still in the negotiating process—which means that all are ready to strut their stuff as they battle for jobs with incumbent veterans.
The names that come to mind right away are Cox, Kendricks, Brandon Boykin and sixth-round selection Marvin McNutt, a wide receiver out of Iowa.
I've already raved about Cox prior to the Eagles even drafting him, but I feel obliged to say it once again: he is a NFL-ready talent. Fletcher uses his quickness and agility to explode off of the line, avoid or disengage potential blockers quickly, and burst into the backfield to make plays all over the field. His size is somewhat of a limitation, seeing that double teams and seal-plays work effectively against him, but his motor and speed will help him handle the transition to the professional level very well.
The Eagles got quite the bargain by drafting Kendricks in the second round. Like Cox, he'll most likely play in a rotation for part of the season before taking over the job, and his addition completes a linebacking transformation that started with the acquisition of Ryans.
Kendricks is an athletic, hard-hitting, versatile outside linebacker who fits all the characteristics that the Eagles will need out of their weak-side position. He stuffs the run, plays downhill, and has the athletic ability to cover tight ends one-on-one, freeing up other players for more important tasks like rushing the passer and double-teaming the opponent's No. 1 receiver. He'll be jostling with Brian Rolle for positioning, but it doesn't seem likely that Rolle will hold his job for long.
The Eagles needed both a slot corner and a kick-return specialist—they ranked 32nd in yards per return in 2011—and they got both in Boykin. Even if he struggles at corner, the Eagles will get an impact player from the start who could help put their offense in better situations.
Philadelphia got another steal in the sixth-round with Marvin McNutt, one of the more polished receivers of the draft. He is exactly what the Eagles needed: A great route-running, possession receiver who will make the difficult catches inside the 20. He will be used a lot in that role alongside Jason Avant, and could end up becoming one of Vick's favorite targets by the end of the year.