The Eagles Agree to Terms with Rookie Draft Picks Harris, Topou, Gibson

Leo PizziniAnalyst IJune 6, 2009

SEATTLE - NOVEMBER 24:  Wide receiver Brandon Gibson #4 of the Washington State Cougars makes the winning touchdown catch against the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium on November 24, 2007 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The Eagles have agreed to terms on four year deals with CB Victor "Macho" Harris, OT Fenuki Topou, and WR Brandon Gibson.

Victor Harris makes all the sense in the world. 

He provides special teams value, is flexible enough to play safety and cornerback, and was an electric stand out at Virginia Tech. 

The Harris signing is going to put a lot of pressure on safety prospects Rashad Baker and Reshard Langford. 

Cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu may also be caught in the pinch, although that seems unlikely.

There is a fair chance that the Eagles keep 10 defensive backs instead of nine (9) and that could bode well for the safeties.

The defensive backfield becomes a bit clearer barring injury and may end up looking as follows:

CB: Samuel, Brown, Hobbs, Hanson, and Ikegwuonu.

S: Mikell, Demps, Jones, and Harris.

Baker and Langford still have an outside chance of making the team. 

I like Langford's opportunity to make the practice squad if he clears waivers. 

I don't think Baker will be an Eagle, although he has looked very good up to this point in the OTAs.

Considering Sheldon Brown's most recent absences, he may be on the trading block after all.

The signing of OT Fenuki Topou from Oregon is also interesting.  It is a pretty good indicator of Winston Justice's fate. 

Justice was not getting rave reviews from anyone.

It also shows the consensus that Jon Runyan is not planning on returning at this point, at least as an Eagle.

Topou is a good looking offensive tackle that the Eagles took with their third fifth-round pick.

The ultimate offensive line picture remains unclear. 

There is tremendous depth and talent at the guard position, but tackle looked relatively weak in terms of depth other than the heralded improvements by King Dunlap and the flexibility of the Andrews Brothers and Todd Herremans to play both tackle and guard.

McGlynn and Gibson really get put on the press here.  These guys have shown great potential and are well liked by the coaching staff.  Somebody will have to go, and the Eagles needed more depth at tackle than guard.

The Eagles may have kept only nine offensive lineman, but with Andy Reid's love of the trenches and this signing of Topou, I expect to see 10 linemen on the roster.

Here's a picture of what the offensive line may look like.

T: Jason Peters, S. Andrews, King Dunlap, and Fenuki Topou.

G: S. Andrews, Todd Herremans, Nick Cole, Max Jean-Gilles, Mike McGlynn or Mike Gibson.

C: Jamaal Jackson.

The signing of sixth round selection, wide receiver Brandon Gibson blows my mind a bit. 

This has sweeping implications.

Someone definitely has to go if Gibson is on the roster. 

Baskett and Brown are the veterans at the bottom of the depth chart as most see it. 

Baskett offers a contribution on special teams and a size-to-speed ratio otherwise not present.

Brown is built in the model of Maclin, Curtis, (the oldest receiver on the team) and you could stretch it to Jackson and Avant as well. 

Injuries and otherwise ineffective play kept Brown unproductive in 2008.

Neither Brown or Baskett warrants much trade value, a fifth round pick at best.  If the Eagles kept all of these receivers, that would make a ridiculous seven on a roster that has been widely speculated to only carry five in 2009.

Brandon Gibson could be a real talent at wide receiver, I am just surprised that he may be bumping Baskett or Brown from the roster.

In 2008, Gibson was the lone star at Washington State. 

He does not have great size or tremendous speed, but he is definitely a receiver with very nice hands and a great sense of how to play the position.

Walther Football ranked Gibson as the 14th best receiver prospect in the nation despite his average productivity in his senior year.

I can only imagine that the Eagles keep six receivers, not five with this development, and the picture may look like this:

WR: DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Kevin Curtis, Jason Avant, Hank Baskett, and Brandon Gibson.

An afterthought is if Jeremy Maclin is winning the confidence of the coaching staff as a starter, Curtis, Avant, Baskett, and Brown may all be considered tradeable. 

Although Curtis seems highly unlikely, he has the only promising trade value.

Considering these deals, there are some players that the Eagles will likely look to trade or release, and that list may include: Winston Justice, Mike McGlynn, Mike Gibson, Sheldon Brown, Hank Baskett, and Reggie Brown or more. 

The Eagles' official roster stands at 79 men.  They are only allowed to carry 80 into camp and LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, Cornelius Ingram, Paul Fanaika, and Moise Fokou have not yet signed, so they don't count. 

They would bring the Eagles to 84. 

One more free signing before players must be cut to make room.


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