Philadelphia Eagles Undrafted Free Agents: Need-to-Know Info for Every Signee
The 2014 NFL draft may be over, but the Philadelphia Eagles’ work isn’t quite finished yet. Every year, 32 NFL teams climb all over each other to sign the best of the best remaining players whose names weren’t called on draft weekend.
After all the wheeling and dealing, the Eagles wound up making seven selections this year, bringing their roster to 75 players. That leaves room to sign up to 15 more rookies before reaching the limit of 90.
While the front office was able to fill needs at outside linebacker, wide receiver, cornerback, safety and defensive line during the draft, there’s still room for improvement at several key areas. An offensive guard or two could be considered a must with both Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans in their 30s. Don’t forget place-kicker, either, where Alex Henery should be forced to compete for his job.
After trading Bryce Brown to the Buffalo Bills over the weekend, running back could be another target, as well as tight end, where Brent Celek is approaching 30 and James Casey isn’t making much of an impact.
Don't be surprised if head coach Chip Kelly scoops up any Oregon players who weren't claimed over the weekend, either. He already spent two of the franchise's picks on former recruits in this year's draft.
We’ll be updating this space with pertinent details on all of the latest additions as they come in, so keep it here and check back often for the latest information on the Eagles’ undrafted free-agent signings.
David Fluellen, RB, Toledo
Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com reports the Eagles have signed running back David Fluellen out of Toledo. Fluellen doesn’t possess top-end speed, clocking 4.7 in the 40-yard dash, but at 5’11”, 224 pounds, he is a bit of a load once he gets going.
Fluellen led all rushers in the Mid-American Conference as a senior with 6.7 yards per carry. He finished ’13 with 166 attempts for 1,114 yards and 10 touchdowns—and that wasn’t even his most productive season. He can catch the ball out of the backfield a little bit as well, but he won’t burn teams that way.
Brown being shipped off to Buffalo potentially opens up a roster spot at running back. Chris Polk will be tough to beat out at RB3 behind LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles. Carrying four backs isn’t out of the question, but then Matthew Tucker is still on the roster as well.
Trey Burton, TE, Florida
Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com reports the Eagles have signed all-purpose weapon Trey Burton out of Florida. Burton saw time at quarterback, fullback, tight end and wide receiver as well as on special teams for the Gators. He worked out with the tight ends at the scouting combine.
At 6’2”, 224 pounds, Burton is extremely undersized for an in-line tight end—Frank actually calls him a receiver in his report. He doesn’t have top-end speed or quickness for a wideout either though.
Burton posted 559 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns his freshman year, but his numbers have fallen off dramatically since. As a senior, he was relegated to 501 yards and one trip to the end zone on 50 touches.
Burton has excellent size for a slot receiver/hybrid tight end, and his versatility is undoubtedly what caught Chip Kelly’s eye. It will be interesting to see how he’s deployed in preseason games, but that might be the only NFL action Burton sees in midnight green.
Carey Spear, K, Vanderbilt
Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com reports the Eagles have signed place-kicker Carey Spear out of Vanderbilt. Spear connected on 39 of 50 field-goal attempts and 101 of 102 extra points in his collegiate career.
As a senior, 64.4 percent of Spear’s kickoffs went for touchbacks.
It’s safe to say Alex Henery’s job will be on the line this summer. Henery came under fire last year for his below-average accuracy and leg strength. Spear's numbers don’t appear to be significantly better: 74 for 86 on field goals with a 63.6 percent touchback rate in his three-year NFL career. This could be quite the battle.
John Fulton, CB, Alabama
Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com reports the Eagles have signed cornerback John Fulton out of Alabama. A four-year backup, Fulton was not invited to the scouting combine. The university web page lists him at 6’0”, 186 pounds.
It’s doubtful Fulton is expected to compete for a roster spot at corner, but he could impress on special teams. He played on the kick coverage team for one of the most prestigious football factories in the country, so he must have some value in that role.
Josh Andrews, OG, Oregon State
Adam Caplan of ESPN.com reports the Eagles have signed offensive guard Josh Andrews out of Oregon State. Another non-combine invitee, Andrews lists as 6’3”, 304 pounds according to his student-athlete bio.
Andrews was a three-yard starter at left guard for the Beavers. He’ll have a chance to learn behind an All-Pro left guard in Mathis, who was recognized as the best at his position in pro football last season.
Given that Mathis will be 33 and Herremans 32 this year, grooming a player to take over is wise.
Kadron Boone, WR, LSU
Boone was used as a spot starter in a deep receiving corps that boasts three drafted players in this year’s class, including two in the first two rounds. He finished his four-year career with 44 receptions for 611 yards and eight touchdowns, which isn’t too shabby considering the competition—both on the depth chart and in the SEC.
It's hard to believe Boone has a realistic shot at making the team in any capacity. He has special teams experience, though, so if he really stands out, you can never be too sure.
Henry Josey, RB, Missouri
Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com reports the Eagles have signed running back Henry Josey out of Missouri. Josey was an early entrant as a junior, which, judging by his availability here, might’ve been a miscalculation.
It is somewhat surprising nobody took a chance on him. Josey was among the fastest and most agile backs at the scouting combine, finishing among the top performers at 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash and 4.13 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle.
Josey is on the small side at 5’8”, 194 pounds, but that's nothing out of the ordinary for the position. He posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and actually led the nation as a sophomore with 8.1 yards per carry. He finished second in the SEC in 2013 with 17 touchdowns.
Josey wasn’t much of a threat catching the ball out of the backfield, though, so it’s hard to figure exactly how he fits in Chip Kelly’s offense. They may have an opening for a runner, however.
Quron Pratt, WR, Rutgers
Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com reports the Eagles have signed wide receiver Quron Pratt out of Rutgers. Pratt was not invited to the combine, however, reports indicate he worked out for the Eagles in the lead-up to the draft.
Pratt only started as a senior, hauling in 32 passes for 516 yards but no touchdowns. He only managed to reach the end zone twice in his collegiate career—one receiving, one kickoff return.
It’s interesting that the Eagles like Pratt over Rutgers teammate Brandon Coleman, who went undrafted as well despite being ranked a mid-round prospect by many. Still, after drafting two receivers in the top three rounds, any undrafted pass-catcher has an uphill battle to make the Birds’ roster.
Daytawion Lowe, S, Oklahoma State
Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com reports the Eagles have signed safety Daytawion Lowe out of Oklahoma State. Listed as 5’11”, 205 pounds, Lowe earned second-team All-Big 12 honors as a senior.
A three-year starter, Lowe finished his career with 269 tackles, 3.0 sacks, five interceptions, 19 pass breakups and five forced fumbles.
The Eagles are suddenly looking fairly deep at safety. Malcolm Jenkins, Nate Allen, Earl Wolff and fifth-round pick Ed Reynolds will battle it out for starting jobs. The team also signed Chris Maragos during free agency to play special teams.
It’s difficult to envision Lowe, who is on the small side, making the roster out of training camp. If Nate Allen gets beaten out for a job, though, his spot could be the one that’s up for grabs.
Frances Mays, DE, Florida A&M
Geoff Mosher for CSNPhilly.com reports the Eagles have signed defensive end Frances Mays out of Florida A&M. Outside of that, we don’t have a whole lot of other information beyond the fact that the Florida A&M web site claims he’s 6’10”, 295 pounds, which does not seem irrelevant.
In a hasty Google search, I wasn’t able to learn much more than that about Mays. This guy is about as under the radar as it gets, but obviously he’s massive.
Kevin Graf, OT, USC
Adam Caplan for ESPN.com reports the Eagles have signed offensive tackle Kevin Graf out of USC. 6’6”, 309 pounds, Graf was a three-year starter at right tackle, which his NFL.com scouting report projects the only spot along the offensive line he’s projected to play.
Graf has a legitimate shot at earning a roster spot. Allen Barbre seems like he might be the primary reserve at almost any position along the line, but the picture is very muddled after that. Having a true right tackle would prevent them from having to do something drastic—like kicking Herremans back to the outside—in the event of multiple injuries.
Chip Kelly has shown a lot of faith this weekend in Pac-12 players, and really since the moment he arrived in Philly.
Karim Barton, OG, Morgan State
Adam Caplan for ESPN.com reports the Eagles have signed offensive guard Karim Barton out of Morgan State. The school web site boasts lists Barton as 6’3”, 315 pounds and says he can play anywhere on the offensive line, though Caplan notes him as a guard.
Size isn’t an issue, but the level of competition in Division I-AA might be. Again, given the Eagles’ age at guard and their inability to address the looming need in the draft, there’s no harm at giving the kid a trial to see if he can handle it.
Donald Hawkins, OL, Texas
Jeff McLane for the Philadelphia Inquirer reports the Eagles have signed offensive lineman Donald Hawkins out of Texas. A two-year starter, Hawkins earned first-team All-Big- 12 honors in ’13 for his work at left tackle.
However, at 6’4”, 295 pounds, he seems light to play on the outside. His NFL.com scouting report by Nolan Nawrocki suggests his best chance could come at right guard. It seems likely the Eagles are thinking position change, too.
Blake Annen, TE, Cincinnati
On one hand, he runs well for a size, reportedly clocking a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash at Cinci’s pro day. At 6’4”, 247 pounds, he could stand to bulk up, but when he packs on 10-15 pounds in an NFL conditioning program, he’ll be big enough.
He only had three receptions going into his senior season though, and it’s not like that was any kind of breakthrough, either. Annen reeled in 16 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns last season.
I would really like to see what this kid could do after spending a year on the practice squad, packing on a few lbs of muscle, learning Kelly’s system, but he’s only an athlete right now.
Wade Keliikipi, NT, Oregon
Last, but certainly not least because this player is from Oregon, Jeff McLane for the Philadelphia Inquirer reports the Eagles have signed nose tackle Wade Keliikipi. Thank you, copy and paste.
Keliikipi is 6’3”, 306 pounds according to his student-athlete bio. He appeared in 42 career games for the Ducks, registering 97 tackles, 11.0 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and two pass deflections.
The signing of Keliikipi combined with the selection of Beau Allen in the seventh round likely spells bad news for Damion Square, who was Bennie Logan’s primary backup at the nose last season.
Taylor Martinez, WR/DB, Nebraska
There was a late addition on Sunday night, which is interesting, because the team had 15 roster spots remaining after the draft. At present time, it's unclear who is getting the boot, but Reuben Frank for CSNPhilly.com reports the Eagles signed quarterback Taylor Martinez from Nebraska.
Only he's not a quarterback. According to Roob's sources, Martinez will get a shot exclusively as a wide receiver or defensive back.
Martinez completed less than 60 percent of his passes in four seasons at Nebraska, which does not project well at the next level. He ran for 2,975 yards and 31 touchdowns though, so he obviously has a great deal of athleticism. At 6'1", 210 pounds, it makes sense to see what he has to offer at another position.