Over the past few seasons, we’ve seen some players come out of the draft and make immediate impacts for the team. Although this isn’t always expected, it’s very nice when it happens. The Eagles are hoping that some of their 2010 draft picks will see significant play time come the opener against Green Bay.
The first player that the Eagles will look to make a big impact in his rookie season is Brandon Graham. The Eagles gave up a lot to get him so he’s got a lot of pressure on him to produce right away. Despite the pressure, I think Graham will step up to the plate and deliver. I’d be very surprised if Graham wasn’t lined up opposite of Trent Cole in the starting lineup come the Packers game.
The next player the Eagles have got to have high hopes in is second round pick Nate Allen. Unlike Graham, I’m not certain that Allen will be a starter for the opener. However, I do believe that he will be transitioned into a starting role at some point in the season. I honestly believe that he is going to pan out to be a great player and a long time starter for this franchise.
After Graham and Allen, I think the next two players you have to look at are Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and Ricky Sapp. Both are defensive ends that won’t crack the starting lineup but could definitely see a good amount of time. If you put them together with Graham, Cole, and Darryl Tapp they will have a nice rotation of young pass rushers. In my opinion, Sapp was the steal of the draft for the Eagles and is much better than a fifth round talent.
Last, I think there are two players that are right on the bubble, Trevard Lindley and Riley Cooper. Both players will need to have a good Training Camp and prove they can be good on special teams. Lindley has a shot to get some playing time because of the large struggles the Eagles have at the cornerback position. Cooper is a possession receiver with great size who could see himself in the lineup in spread formations, especially in the red zone.
The Eagles were spoiled last season in the immediate impacts that Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy made, so the rookies this year have high expectations. I think this draft class can be even better than last years, it just won’t be as obvious because they are mainly defensive players.
I’m very excited to see what the rookies can do in 2010.