Rookies proving their worth at training camp

By Nicholas Guldin
August 10, 2010

In the 2010 NFL Draft the Philadelphia Eagles obtained a total of 13 players and according to NFL Insider, Adam Schefter, “it seems Philadelphia hit paydirt,” while expressing his feelings about their draft choices.

According to, the Eagles have had an ample amount of success in recent drafts due to the skill and aggressiveness of head coach Andy Reid. The 2010 Draft seemed to be no different starting off with their first pick, Brandom Graham.

The offensive line gets some practice in during training camp at Lehigh University. Fans, young and old, travel to Lehigh to watch the players participate in many different workouts and drills.

Graham is a defensive end out of Michigan. He stands at 6-2 and weighs 268 lbs., which is smaller than your typical defensive end. What Graham lacks in size he compensates with speed, handwork and technique. Predicted to have a better career than Indianapolis Colts Pro Bowl defensive end Dwight Freeney, Graham is an early favorite to win the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award. With proper grooming, it looks like Graham may be a vital asset to this young defense.

In the second round the Eagles selected Nate Allen, safety out of South Florida. The Birds acquired this pick through their trade with the Washington Redskins of Donovan McNabb. This may put some added pressure on the rookie because the fans may expect more from him due to the circumstances.

The defense has had a gaping hole in it since the departure of their skilled and loyal safety, Brian Dawkins. Dawkins was the quarterback of the defense and no one has yet stepped up to the fill the role. Reid drafted Allen with hopes that he will be the man to do so.

In the third round the Eagles selected Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, defensive end out of Washington. So far in camp, Te’o-Nesheim has proved that he is relentless. With an engine that never ceases to give, Washington’s all-time sack leader may find himself off the bench and on the field early into the season.

The Eagles selected Trevard Lindley, cornerback from Kentucky, in the fourth round. Philadelphia acquired this pick after trading linebacker Chris Gocong and cornerback Sheldon Brown to Cleveland. After showing off his skill at camp, Reid hopes he found a successor for Sheldon Brown at the cornerback position. A high ankle sprain spoiled Lindley’s senior season, but according to Schefter he would have been drafted much earlier if he entered the draft after his junior year.

Also in the fourth round the Eagles selected Keenan Clayton, linebacker out of Oklahoma. There are many adjectives to describe Clayton, but the first one that comes to mind for many, if not all, is “fast.” Clayton can race from sideline to sideline with ease, something the Birds were lacking last season.

Kevin Kolb was undoubtedly handed the starting quarterback position after McNabb was traded, but that didn’t stop Andy Reid from drafting another quarterback.

In the fourth round, the Eagles drafted quarterback Mike Kafka out of Northwestern. Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg, spoke very highly of Kafka claiming that he was the best rookie he’s had in 17 years.

With hard working and talented rookies, don’t count the Birds out of the NFC East race just yet.

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Nicholas Guldin

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