NFL Undrafted Free Agents: Why Chris Polk Will Shock the World in 2012

Jake Martin@JakeMartinSECCorrespondent IIIJune 1, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Chris Polk #1 of the Washington Huskies celebrates his touchdown for a 7-7 score against the California Golden Bears during the first quarter at Husky Stadium on September 24, 2011 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

When the 2012 NFL season is all said and done, Chris Polk will be the most talked about undrafted free agent.

Why? Because he'll make the most noise. After shockingly going undrafted, the Philadelphia Eagles continued their impressive offseason by adding Polk to their roster.

Obviously, Polk won't be the featured back for the offense because, after all, they still have a pretty dang good back in LeSean McCoy. But McCoy needs assistance.

Better yet, McCoy needs someone to share the backfield with him so that he doesn't short-end his NFL career. Enter Mr. Polk.

Polk has an NFL-friendly physique, as he's 5'11" and 222 pounds of solid muscle. He's shown that he has the skills necessary to make an impact in the pros by his performances with the Washington Huskies.

As a senior, Polk rushed for 1,488 yards and 12 touchdowns. So why would a talent like Polk go undrafted?

Well, you can chalk that mystery up to Polk's injury concerns. Many teams were turned off by his shoulder surgery a year ago, and because of that the once projected second-round pick found himself without a bidder in the draft.

Taking Polk might have been a roll of the dice in the draft because of his injuries, but not picking him could be an even larger gamble. With Polk, the Eagles will have a physical running threat to go along with McCoy's speedy cuts.

And even more so, it'll give McCoy a breather or two, which is something that he rarely got in 2011. McCoy played 894 snaps last season with the Eagles, and that's 49 more than any other running back in the league.

Polk will prove to be a nice change of pace for the Eagles' offense, and a more re-energized McCoy is a scary thought for every team outside of Philadelphia. But Polk won't just be a good rotating back. Rather, he'll become a major threat for the offense.Β 

Polk is a hard-nosed runner that has the capability to break tackles and break off long runs. His 5.1 yards-per-carry average his senior year is an indication of that. But if you watch Polk, you'll notice that he has the same type of characteristics that the New Orleans Saints' Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory have.

Neither one of those guys are really flashy, but they keep their legs churning and pick up hard-fought yards each and every week.Β 

Expect Polk to do much of the same, and expect him to take the league by surprise in 2012. Though some might point to Marquise Maze or Patrick Edwards as being the best undrafted free-agent signing, there was not a bigger pickup than Polk.

The Eagles are inheriting a future stellar back, while giving their best offensive player fresher legs. As Polk takes some of the load off of McCoy, his raw natural ability to run the ball will take the league by storm.Β 


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