Philadelphia Eagles: Why Marvin McNutt's Strong Camp Will Keep Him on the Roster
The Philadelphia Eagles selected Marvin McNutt with the 194th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and while the life of a sixth-round draft pick can be a particularly stressful one during training camp, McNutt has the potential to make an impact on the Eagles coaching staff and ultimately make the regular season roster.
With 87 active players currently on Philadelphia's roster, only time will tell who makes the final 53-man squad.
Here are five reasons why Marvin McNutt won't get cut. (Had to pull that one out.)
He Is 6' 3", Only Two Other Eagles Receivers Are Within Three Inches of Him
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Standing at 6'3" and weighing 216 lbs, McNutt has an NFL ready body and possesses the only thing that could make Philadelphia's passing game more dangerous: size.
Riley Cooper, also 6'3", was Philadelphia's tallest receiver last season and could give some insight as to what McNutt might be able to do. Cooper led the team with 19.7 yards per catch last season, and although he only caught 16 balls, it's likely that his size had something to do with his success.
McNutt will need to learn the offense well enough to put himself in positions to make plays, but if he does, then there is no reason to believe that his size will do anything but help him.
He Will Get More Reps Because of Riley Cooper's Broken Collarbone
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Remember that other tall receiver Riley Cooper? Yeah he just got injured.
"Sixth-round draft choice Marvin McNutt is going to get every opportunity to show what he can do because he's a guy the team has already invested in."
Cooper's broken collarbone moves McNutt up a spot on the depth chart, and the most obvious advantage to that is getting more reps. More reps means more opportunities to show the coaching staff what he can bring to the team.
Cooper's injury puts him out of commission for a minimum of six weeks. Even though it gives all of the receivers on the team an opportunity for more reps, it is particularly important for McNutt, given how similar he is to Cooper when it comes to his size and style of play.
His Football History and Experience Will Help Guide Him
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In a league where youth and potential outweigh age and experience, it's rare to praise an athlete for having a long and full collegiate career. In the case of Marvin McNutt, there might not be an athlete that has benefited more from that collegiate experience.
At 23 years old, McNutt is older than the majority of the 2012 NFL draft class. As a four-year player for the Iowa Hawkeyes, only three of those years were spent at the receiving position.
McNutt was recruited out of high school to play quarterback for the Hawkeyes in the popular dual-threat mold.
Sam Louwagie, writer for The Daily Iowan, wrote that it didn't take long for the Hawkeyes to recognize that his physical attributes were better suited for playing receiver.
What's the advantage to playing quarterback for a year but never going in?
The advantage is that McNutt knows the quarterback position in a way that most receivers do not. He understands what a quarterback sees and how they go through their progression to locate the receivers.
He'll Benefit from the Lack of Depth at Wide Reciever
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Saying that the Philadelphia Eagles don't have depth at wide receiver sounds ridiculous until it's looked at more closely.
DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are clearly the top two receivers for Philadelphia and they have been extremely productive. That's unlikely to change.
From there it gets a little interesting.
Jason Avant, Philadelphia's third option at receiver, is 29 years old and although he caught 52 passes last year, only one of those was for a touchdown. McNutt isn't going to challenge Avant for that position—that is probably going to be Riley Cooper when he returns from injury—but if Avant continues to struggle with putting points on the board, then it is only going to shake up the depth chart more.
If Cooper struggles to stay healthy, then look for McNutt to be the fourth option for a Philadelphia team that loves putting the ball in the air.
He Made Big Plays in College, a Perfect Fit for Philadelphia Eagles Football
What do the numbers 92, 66, and 88 mean?
Those are McNutt's longest receptions in each of his three seasons as a starter at the University of Iowa and being drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles couldn't have been better for him.
Andy Reid's West Coast offense is designed to take advantage of short completions. Over time, the goal is for the defense to begin to sag towards the line of scrimmage providing a chance for the offense to take a deep shot over the top.
With the offense comes the quarterback, and while not the most accurate, Michael Vick's arm is one of the NFL's strongest. The fact that he isn't shy about throwing long passes doesn't hurt, either.
The combination of the right offense and the right quarterback should give Marvin McNutt the most opportunities to do what he does best: make plays.
If McNutt can stay within himself and compete at his highest level, then people can expect to see him survive training camp and suit up for the Philadelphia Eagles this season.