Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Undrafted Free Agents the Team Could Target
Although the NFL lockout has thrust the undrafted rookies into a sort of limbo, there is sure to be a frenzy of contracts signed once the free-agent market finally opens.
As always, the Eagles will be hot on the heels of the most sought-after rookie free agents. They have struck gold in the past with players like Quintin Mikell and Jamaal Jackson, so the front office will be looking to duplicate that success this year.
With that in mind, here are five players who could become part of the Eagles' annual crop of undrafted rookie signings.
Chas Henry: P, Florida
Although fourth-round pick Alex Henery is an accomplished punter in addition to being a kicker, it's a big stretch to believe that the Eagles will use him as anything more than an emergency backup when it comes to the punting game.
With special teams undergoing a redesign via the departure of David Akers, there is little doubt that the team will bring in a rookie punter to challenge the 37-year-old Sav Rocca.
Florida's Chas Henry is far and away the best rookie option available, with a healthy amount of experience, accuracy and durability. He also is an accomplished holder, which would help his chances in supplanting Rocca.
DeAndre McDaniel: S, Clemson
Once rated as one of the top safeties in the 2011 NFL Draft, Clemson's DeAndre McDaniel experienced an epic draft-day tumble after a poor 40-time at the NFL combine.
His tackling, however, has caught the eye of scouts and fans alike as he has the ability to deliver devastating blows to his opponents.
Although the Eagles have their safety situation nearly solidified with the addition of Jaiquawn Jarrett, it certainly wouldn't hurt to bring in an aggressive player like McDaniel to help out on special teams.
Charlie Gantt: TE, Michigan State
Somewhat surprisingly, the Eagles strayed away from tight ends during the draft, leaving the depth behind Brent Celek relatively thin.
To help out in goal-line sets, the Eagles would do well to bring in Michigan State's Charlie Gantt, an accomplished blocker with the size to be a decent red-zone target.
Mark Herzlich: OLB, Boston College
One of the most talked-about rookies in the free-agent pool is Boston College's Mark Herzlich, a cancer survivor who battled through numerous injuries throughout his college career.
Once considered to be a second-round pick, Herzlich's health has deteriorated his play to the point that he went undrafted. Now recovered, he is poised to take the professional-football world by storm.
Herzlich is the kind of low-risk, high-reward signing that Andy Reid jumps on. The rookie possesses an amazing work ethic, fantastic attitude and an infectious passion for the game.
Although his attitude and leadership skills make him a worthy signing even if he only makes the practice squad, Herzlich has the opportunity to regain his former superstar level of play with an intense offseason training camp under Andy Reid.
He'll definitely be worth a look.
Chris Matthews: WR, Kentucky
One of the few undrafted rookies that the Eagles have reportedly managed to speak with is Kentucky's Chris Matthews.
At 6'5", 222 pounds, Matthews is the typical large-framed receiver, similar to Hank Baskett, that the Eagles love to have on special teams. He has the physicality to contribute early, with the potential to develop into something greater once he polishes his route running and ball security.
If signed, Matthews would have ample opportunity to compete with Chad Hall and Sinorice Moss for the fifth or sixth wide receiver spot on the depth chart.