NFL Draft: Saturday's prospect watch

561696.jpg

NFL Draft: Saturday's prospect watch

If you're an Eagles fan looking toward the 2012 draft, here's who you should be watching this Saturday.

Trent Robinson, FS Michigan State, No. 39

Michigan vs. Michigan State (ESPN12 p.m.)

The Birds are searching for answers at safety since the departures of Brian Dawkins and Quintin Mikell, and while the 2012 crop of safeties isn't real strong at the top of the draft, there are some nice players out there. Robinson (5-10, 197) has played both strong and free safety during his college career, but settled in as the Spartans' starting FS in 2010, recording four interceptions (he has one so far this season). Robinson excels in coverage and while he isn't a force against the run, he isn't afraid to stick his nose in the pile.

Jonathan Martin, OT Stanford, No. 55
Stanford vs. Washington State (Versus7:30 p.m.)

Before the season started, I would have never thought to include Martin in one of these posts, simply because I felt he'd go too early in the first round for the Eagles to have a shot at him. While I truly think the Eagles will win a bunch of games this year, as it stands now they'd definitely be in Martin's draft range. Martin, a left tackle, was a 2010 All-PAC 10 selection and anchors the Cardinal offensive line. The redshirt junior is tall (6-6, 304) and athletic with solid technique in both the run and pass games. He might need to get a bit stronger, but should be off the board by pick No. 10 of the 2012 draft.
Travis Lewis, OLB Oklahoma, No. 28
Oklahoma vs. Kansas (ESPN29:15 p.m.)

Size-wise, Lewis resembles the much-maligned Eagles linebackers currently on the roster. At 6-1 and 232 pounds, Lewis certainly isn't Ray Lewis, but he has elite speed and quickness that he uses very effectively against the run. His instincts are strong and he's the captain at Oklahoma. He just makes plays.

Eagles Injury Update: Isaac Seumalo, Wendell Smallwood, Vinny Curry still out

Eagles Injury Update: Isaac Seumalo, Wendell Smallwood, Vinny Curry still out

The Eagles were back to practice on Tuesday without the same four players.

Isaac Seumalo (pec), Wendell Smallwood (concussion), Vinny Curry (knee) and Taylor Hart (knee) were all held out of practice.

On Monday, head coach Doug Pederson said the team would hold Seumalo back from practice until he was 100 percent. Pederson expects Seumalo back next week and then the team will make a decision about the starting offensive line.

Pederson also said he expects Curry and Hart back for the season opener on Sept. 11.

For the second straight day, however, Carson Wentz (ribs) and Jordan Matthews (knee) were practicing. Neither will play on Thursday in the preseason finale against the Jets, but both also said they'll be ready for the opener.

The Eagles wrap up their preseason at the Linc on Thursday with a 7 p.m. kickoff against the Jets.

Eagles injured rookie Alex McCalister staying positive about redshirt year 

Eagles injured rookie Alex McCalister staying positive about redshirt year 

Eagles rookie seventh-round pick Alex McCalister was placed on injured reserve on Sunday and will miss his entire rookie season. 

Now it’s time to eat. 

McCalister, 22, said he’s going to use this year — after a conveniently timed left calf tear that doesn’t need surgery — to bulk up.  

“Of course it’s frustrating, the fact that my rookie year I can’t get out there and play, but you can always turn something bad into something good,” McCalister said. “I can almost look at this as a redshirt year, just adding on that extra bulk, learning the playbook, stuff like that. It’s not all bad in my eyes.”

The rookie from Florida is 6-foot-6, with freakishly long 36-inch arms, but desperately needed to put on more weight coming out of college. Coming into the NFL, McCalister said he weighed just 236 pounds. On Monday, he said he’s up to 254. 

How did he put on the weight? 

“Cheesesteaks,” the rookie said. 

He hopes to add an additional 10 pounds during his redshirt year, which would have him at around 264 (the same weight as Connor Barwin) — 30 pounds heavier than when he entered the league. 

Will it be tough for McCalister to learn how to play at that new weight? 

“As long as I have the strength behind it, I won’t lose any speed at all,” he said. “I feel like it won’t be that big of a deal.”

The Eagles took McCalister in the seventh round of the draft this spring after the Florida prospect went through a draft-day slide amid character concerns. Upon his arrival to Philadelphia, McCalister adamantly denied a report that he was kicked off Florida’s football team, but said he spent a good portion of his interviews with teams answering questions about his maturity. 

It’s easy to see why the Eagles took a chance on him, though. He’s athletic and long and has the kind of traits teams want to see in a pass rusher. 

Now he’ll have an extra year, which he said will “definitely” help him to become more NFL-ready. 

“Just having that extra time to gain that weight, dive into the playbook even more,” McCalister said. “By this time next year, I’ll be ready to go.” 

Eagles sign Soul DT Jake Metz following workout

Eagles sign Soul DT Jake Metz following workout

Jake Metz has gone from the Soul to the Eagles.

Soul majority owner Ron Jaworski on Monday night tweeted a congratulatory message about the defensive tackle signing with the Eagles.

Metz and Soul wide receiver Darius Reynolds, fresh off an ArenaBowl title last Friday, worked out for the Eagles this afternoon before practice. Metz is the 74th player on the roster, which means the team is still below the next cut line — which is Tuesday at 4 p.m. — of 75. The Eagles' roster has to be at 53 by 4 p.m. on Sept. 3.

Metz, 25, graduated from Souderton Area High School and played his college ball at Shippensburg University. For the Arena Football League champions, Metz posted Soul highs in sacks (eight) and tackles for loss (10).