Philadelphia Eagles Stash Rookie DE Ricky Sapp on Injured Reserve
Ricky Sapp, the Eagles' fifth-round pick out of Clemson, has been placed on Injured Reserve and will apparently need knee surgery. Whether or not he really needs knee surgery is irrelevant, however, since the Birds were going to find a way to stash him on IR anyway.
In Sapp's place, the Eagles picked up defensive end Pannel Egboh off waivers from the Houston Texans as a roster filler for the final preseason game.
Sapp was a guy who was being talked about as a late first, early second-round talent, but fell all the way into the fifth round for obvious reasons if you've been paying attention to the preseason.
It's been a tough go for Sapp, but what's more puzzling is that no one can seem to put a finger on what exactly the issue is. The best I can guess is that he just doesn't have the motor needed to get around an NFL-caliber tackle—right or left.
He seems to have a good first step off the line, but is continuously just getting ridden past the quarterback and clear out of the play. Adding to this theory is the fact that teams have seemed to run right at him in the preseason, and with great success.
Usually, that means the tackle is coming back to the huddle and telling his quarterback—who is in turn telling the offensive coordinator—that the end over top of him is taking an outside path to the quarterback every time and not even attempting an inside move.
Even standing up in Sean McDermott's "Joker" role gave Sapp trouble. Everyone talks about the difficulty for a defensive end to stand up and make plays that way, but he wasn't being asked to play linebacker. He was only being asked to be able to move around and create mismatches along the line of scrimmage, and he couldn't even do that.
I personally believe Sapp can turn into a player one day, but he made it fairly obvious early on that he wasn't ready for the speed and intensity of the NFL. But that should come with time and eventually give the Eagles a very good pass-rushing option.
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