Philadelphia Eagles: 6 Players from 2010 Draft Class to Play Major Roles in 2011

Dave StoesselAnalyst IIJune 4, 2011

Philadelphia Eagles: 6 Players from 2010 Draft Class to Play Major Roles in 2011

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 28:  Kurt Coleman #42 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after tackling Visanthe Shiancoe #81 of the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field on December 26, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Get
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The 2011 Philadelphia Eagles are primed to see a huge impact from their 2010 draft class.  All successful teams have the mantra that you build through the draft and the Eagles are no exception.  They say the biggest jump for players comes in their third year after they survive the dreaded "sophomore slump".

    However, I see six players drafted last year who have no time for slumping and are ready to make significant contributions in their sophomore seasons.

    If they step up and play well it could mean the difference between just making the playoffs and making a strong push for a title.  This season we will see exactly how well some of the new bricks in Andy Reid's foundation hold up.

LB Jamar Chaney

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 29: In this 2010 photo provided by the NFL, Jamar Chaney of the Philadelphia Eagles poses for an NFL headshot on Thursday, April 29, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
    Handout/Getty Images

    Drafted in the 7th round last year, he started at middle linebacker after Stewart Bradley went down with an injury in Week 14 last season.  He made a favorable impression on the coaches after an outstanding game in Week 15 against the Giants where he recorded 16 tackles, one TFL (tackle for loss), and one forced fumble.  He showed enough promise that he is a strong candidate to be one of the starting linebackers in 2011, most likely on the weak side.

QB Mike Kafka

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    CINCINNATI - AUGUST 20:  Mike Kafka #3 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws a pass during the NFL preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 20, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The 4th round pick will possibly end up being the second string quarterback.  Kevin Kolb is almost as good as gone so unless the Eagles sign a veteran backup (which is definitely possible), Kafka is the man on deck.  Michael Vick has only had one full season without missing any games so if Kafka is the backup, there is a good chance he'll see some action.  If he has to play multiple games, he will undoubtedly have the biggest impact—good or bad—on the Eagles' season. 

    Better eat your Wheaties Mike!

DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim

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    When the Eagles selected him in the third round last year, Eagles Nation let out a collective "huh?"  However, he was a four year starter in college and collected a total of 30 sacks and 37 tackles for a loss which shows good play making skills.  With Brandon Graham likely starting the year on the PUP list and Juqua Parker winding down, Te'o will have every chance to shine.  He could potentially flourish under Jim Washburn and his "Wide 9" defensive front. 

    Recommended viewing: The attached clip here might get you a little pumped about his potential!

WR Riley Cooper

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    PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 13:  Riley Cooper #14 of the Philadelphia Eagles points towards the sideline against the Jacksonville Jaguars during their preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 13, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Nick La
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    The 5th round pick, at 6' 3", 222 pounds, is the Eagles' biggest wide receiver.  Last year he caught seven passes for 116 yards (16.6 yards per catch) and one touchdown as the team's fourth receiver.  The coaches love his potential so his playing time should increase this year.  He will be counted on to provide the big presence that our wide receiver corps lacks.  If he learns how to "play big" he should become a valuable red zone target.

    In other words, we can "say no to Plax-ico".

S Nate Allen

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 02:  Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans scores on a 14-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter against Nate Allen #29 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 2, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylv
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    He was dubbed "the Donovan McNabb pick" since he was selected with the second round pick the Eagles received in the trade with Washington.  Though he struggled at times, he was having a decent rookie season before rupturing his patellar tendon in week 15 against the Giants

    He accumulated three INTs, two sacks, a forced fumble, and eight passes defensed before his injury.  With Quintin Mikell likely gone, he will be expected to step up in a major way in 2011.  Allen stated he will be 100% recovered from his injury by training camp (if there is one).

S Kurt Coleman

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 28: Kurt Coleman #42 of the Philadelphia Eagles tackles Visanthe Shiancoe #81 of the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field on December 28, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Nate Allen's injury opened the door for Coleman last season.  The 7th round pick stepped in for the final three games and played well.  The first thing I noticed about Coleman last year was that he can hit and tackle well.

    Then a study by Pro-Football Focus found that he didn't miss a single tackle in 2010, albeit it was a small sample size (24 tackles per PFF). 

    Coleman could begin the year as the starter at strong safety if 2011 rookie Jaiquawn Jarrett isn't quite ready.  And if the lockout takes away training camp, that will increase Coleman's chances of starting.