Eagles Camp: 3 Players to Watch
There is no shortage of plots or storylines at Eagles training camp, which begins Monday in South Philadelphia. Here are three players to keep an eye on:
Ifeanyi Momah, WR
There may not be a player with more potential upside in the entire league than the 6-foot-7, 239-pound pass-catcher out of Boston College. Momah, who sat out all of 2012 while rehabbing from a knee injury, went undrafted and no teams were even looking at him until he ran a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash this past March. In a private workout for the Eagles, he topped that with a 4.39.
There’s no guarantee he makes the final roster. Scouts have called him very raw, more athlete than polished receiver — yet he has all the physical tools and has a few inside the Eagles’ organization comparing him to a young Harold Carmichael. Momah has a lot to prove, but he is certainly one to highlight on your flip card.
Connor Barwin, LB
The former Texan was originally drafted as a defensive end before moving to outside linebacker in Houston’s 3-4 defense. His response? A boatload of sacks, 11.5 to be exact. That should help one of the most anemic pass-rushing teams in the league. The Eagles finished with just 30 total sacks.
While those totals were down in 2012 (3.0 sacks), Barwin should benefit from re-uniting with former teammate DeMeco Ryans. The two were a menacing pair in Houston and should provide instant leadership to a unit still trying to find an identity. Barwin will likely serve as the rush linebacker in the Eagles’ new 3-4 hybrid defense. Interesting side note: Barwin was born completely deaf before successful surgery fully restored his hearing.
Lane Johnson, OT
The Eagles’ No. 1 draft pick (fourth overall) is one of the most exciting prospects to walk through the door in a long time. Johnson is an uber-athlete having played multiple positions on the offensive line, as well as some tight end in college and quarterback in high school.
Johnson inked his rookie deal this past Saturday and has already been penciled in as the starter at right tackle. With a line relying on three starters coming back from serious injuries, the Birds will need Johnson to step in and solidify the right side. The Eagles could have a very lethal ground attack if Johnson is even close to being as good as advertised.