Eagles Assemble 2023 Undrafted Free Agent Class

Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles are in a different position than they have been for the past few years when it comes to undrafted free agency.

While in several of the past few years the Eagles have had few picks, more obvious needs (opportunities) and later picks, they had several picks with high confidence this year that may make their roster more crowded.

As such, their UDFA class may be a bit smaller due to those that went undrafted potentially finding some better opportunities for immediate playing time elsewhere and the simple fact that the Eagles have more draft picks joining them than in recent years.

Of course, the team does still have needs and will be looking to build depth. They also could try to convince players to sign in Philly thanks to a strong culture and the high likelihood they’ll be able to compete for an NFL title in year one.

Here’s who the Eagles are bringing in:

This article will be updates as more signings are announced.

Joseph Ngata, WR, Clemson (Tom Pelissero)

The Eagles did bring in Olamide Zaccheaus earlier in the offseason, but he and Quez Watkins aren’t guaranteed a spot and the Birds could certainly be looking for upgrades at WR3, WR4 or WR5. Ngata spent four years at Clemson and put up 1,287 yards. He has a strong catch radius, but has struggles with injuries and doesn’t necessarily have top-end speed.

Ty Zentner, Punter/Kicker, Kansas State (His Twitter)

Zentner would seem more likely to compete for the Eagles punter position rather than kicker. Last season, he averaged just under 45.5 yards per punt with a long of 72. His NCAA career average is 43.4 but he improved over every season – could he improve again this year?

Trevor Reid, OL, Louisville (NFL Draft Diamonds)

A potentially perfect fit for the Eagles and Jeff Stoutland, Reid started playing football later in high school and so is an underdeveloped player. At 6’4″ and 310lbs, he is a big guy with incredible athleticism. He played left tackle in college, but will need developing to see if he can play at the NFL level. Stoutland would be the one who could do it if it’s possible. Reid, unless he progresses quicker than expected, would seem like a likely practice squad stash this season to develop depth for the future.

Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama (Matt Zenitz)

Ricks is a player who fans seem to have rated well higher than most scouts. Although he has the size for the position and has a physical nature that did well for him in college (no touchdowns against him last season), the corner has a troubled injury history. An arrest during college certainly doesn’t help his off-the-field presence with NFL teams. He has some technique work he’ll have to complete before he can challenge for a roster spot because he is not a special teams guy (five-star recruit). He’ll have to beak out Kelee Ringo, Greedy Williams, Zech McPhearson, Josiah Scott and last year’s Alabama UDFA Josh Jobe to move his name up the depth chart.

Mekhi Garner, CB, LSU (Jordan Schultz)

Garner has the size and length to compete and is willing to be physical, but he does not appear to have the speed to keep up with receivers at the NFL level, according to scouts. This, combined with issues accelerating and changing direction, is was kept him undrafted. The Eagles will hope they can use his size and work on some of his anticipation to lessen those cons.

Jadon Hasselwood, WR, Arkansas (Jordan Schultz)

A former teammate of Hurts at Oklahoma, Hasselwood recorded 702 yards and three touchdowns last season. His size can get him open, but in short windows. Due to a lack of speed, these opening he can create are typically short lived. It’d take a bit of scheming to get him open and anticipation by Hurts to get him the ball unless he can further improve his route running and quickness to the point that defenders can’t recover so quickly.

Ben VanSumeren, LB, Michigan State (Justin Thind)

A linebacker who ran a 4.45 40-yard dash and posted a 42.5 vertical jump, VanSumeren has great athleticism and that’s really what earned him a shot at the roster. He does not have the instinctiveness or the understanding of plays to the level that he would need to at the NFL level and that can leave him out of position. His athleticism has carried him through college, however, where he was able to rack up 81 tackles last season (three for loss) to go along with two sacks in his first season as a starter against top competition in the B1G. This is the kind of pickup that could become huge down the line as, if the coaching staff can improve his football instinct, he should develop into a starter at worst. His athleticism should make him a solid special teamer in the mean time.

Brady Russell, TE, Colorado (Arye Pulli)

Having relatives in the front office can help out. Brady, the nephew of Eagles senior personnel executive Matt Russell, will get a shot to make an impression on the staff at his uncle’s team. A captain for the Buffalos, Brady only recorded 153 yards last season. Of course, it’s tough to evacuate an individual talent like that when the rest of the team around him is so bad that they go 1-11 on the season with only a win against Cal. I mean, this was a team that got drubbed by Air Force 41-10. He did have some good tape at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, so the Eagles will get to see if that same tape can translate to success in an NFL camp. The Eagles have been looking for a second pass-catching threat at the tight end position to have available behind Goedert.