Eagles officially sign 9 undrafted rookie free agents

The Eagles’ undrafted rookie free agent signings began leaking shortly after the 2023 NFL Draft ended last Saturday, but we finally have official confirmation. The team announced nine additions to the UDFA ahead of this weekend’s rookie minicamp. Here’s the full list in order of prospect rankings before the draft from CBS Sports:

  • Alabama BC Eli Ricks (93rd)
  • Louisville OT Trevor Reid (223rd)
  • LSU CB Mekhi Garner (244th)
  • Clemson WR Joseph Ngata (339th)
  • Arkansas WR Jadon Haselwood (376th)
  • Kansas State P Ty Zentner (unranked)
  • Michigan State LB Ben VanSumeren (unranked)
  • Colorado TE Brady Russell (unranked)
  • Benedictine OT Chim Okorafor (unclassified)

Let’s take a look at their reconnaissance reports.


Last year, the Eagles’ highest-ranked UDFA signing was Alabama cornerback Josh Jobe. He ended up making the team after showing promise in summer training and pre-season games. Going back to the Bama well here doesn’t seem like a bad approach. The Eagles have a number of bodies at cornerback, which might work against Ricks, but he will have a chance to earn a spot on the roster. At the very least, it looks like a good bet for the practice squad.

Scouting report via Lance Zierlein of NFL.com:

A long-limbed cornerback with an impressive physical profile, Ricks needs more experience to hone his skills and recognition. He is a pressing cornerback with a relatively soft pedal and an ability to push and hit receivers with precision from long range. It’s often a bit slow to find top speed when opening up to run sideways or vertically, but it’s human cover against short and intermediate routes without squirming too much. Ricks needs to be more assertive against the run and might struggle on an island, but his traits and press talent should fit into the right pattern.

Throw project: rounds 5 and 6


Reid isn’t the biggest or strongest tackle, but he’s pretty athletic. This is another project that Jeff Stoutland can work with. With a strong summer, Reid has the potential to be this year’s Josh Sills in terms of roster composition. Unless he wrestles mightily, he’ll probably be on the practice squad at least.

Scouting report via Lance Zierlein of NFL.com:

If the long-armed, high-end offensive tackle is going to have a chance in the league, it will be thanks to his pass protection potential. Reid does a good job of using his length to hit and stay connected to the rushers, but his lack of upper body and hand strength is a major handicap at the point of attack and against power rushers. Reid is a decent athlete but needs to get much stronger at his core to improve his balance and body control. He seems to lack the sophistication to make an NFL roster early on, but has some developmental traits that could warrant a move to a practice squad.

Draft Projection: Round 7 / Priority Free Agent


The Eagles sign Garner at cornerback, but it’ll be interesting to see if they get him to take snaps from safety at some point. It looks like he would have a better chance of playing the team at the latter position. Otherwise, he’s in the mix with multiple players for one of those CB depth jobs.

Scouting report via Lance Zierlein of NFL.com:

Garner is a big, long corner with a jarring press. However, he lacks the footwork and body control to phase and follow NFL routes that require him to change direction. He’s a handful when in position to challenge the throw, but teams might need to plug him into a Cover 2 scheme or try him out to safety, where he can help support the run and cover ends. tight.

Projection Project: Rounds 6 and 7


Ngata is likely competing for a position on the practice squad. The best realistic scenario is that he finds a way to be this year’s Zach Pascal.

Scouting report via Lance Zierlein of NFL.com:

Former five-star prospect with quality size, speed and length but an inability to separate himself from media coverage. Ngata is a smooth pass receiver and has decent ball skills, but it takes him too long to escape the press. When he gets in the lane, it will be hard for him to stand out against the speed and covering talent of the NFL.

Projection Project: Priority Free Agent


Haselwood has some experience playing with Jalen Hurts; they were together at Oklahoma in 2020. Like Ngata, Haselwood is likely competing for a spot on the practice squad.

Scouting report via Lance Zierlein of NFL.com:

Big possession goal requiring work from the slot to create catching opportunities. Haselwood has good size and the strength to make contested catches underneath, but he doesn’t have the speed or burst of separation to uncover himself and stay open against NFL men’s coverage. His testing could be the difference for him, but a lack of special teams experience could hurt his cause to make him a WR5/6.

Projection Project: Priority Free Agent


What do the Eagles’ last two playoff losses have in common? Arryn Siposs sloppy punts badly. It’s pretty crazy to think they didn’t challenge him at all last year after finishing the 2021 season so badly. The Eagles’ pride came back to bite them in the Super Bowl. It’s nice to see that they are at least introducing some competition this year.

Zentner was the fifth ranked punter prospect by the great folks at Puntalytics. Funny enough, they actually considered him a good fit for Philly:

The Eagles could choose to bring in Rutgers punter and 2022 Ray Guy Award winner Adam Korsak to compete against Aryn Siposs, but they’ve had enough time with deep-field specialists who struggle to uncork long balls to know that they’d like something different (plus, they never hit past their 40s, so why even go for a deep guy). Instead, they’re going for wildcard and official Puntalytics prospect, Ty Zentner. Zentner combines a monster leg with some serious rod issues. Fans are seeing both on display in the preseason, and while he won’t beat Siposs in 2023, the Eagles are finally giving themselves a respectable pipeline.

Zentner has field goal/PAT and kickoff experience in addition to being a punter. It also brings passion to the table:

Maybe Zentner can beat Siposs? It could be an uphill battle for the rookie.


The book on BVS is that he’s more of an athlete than a polished player at this point. The Eagles being thin at linebacker off the ball theoretically gives him a chance to make the team. Showing up on special teams would really help his case stick around.

Scouting report via Lance Zierlein of NFL.com:

VanSumeren’s production and playing tape won’t draw any notes to write, but he has extremely rare athletic attributes for his position and that could create an opportunity with a team coveting elite traits. He’s no thumper as a running defender and his football instincts leave a lot to be desired, but if he can prove himself as a special teams contributor to camp he could force a team to give him a year on the practice squad for further development.

Projection Project: Priority Free Agent


Brady Russell is the nephew of Eagles senior personnel manager/advisor to general manager Matt Russell. Younger Russell looks like a long shot to stay given there are several players ahead of him on the tight ends depth chart.


I can’t say that I knew Benedictine College (NAIA) before. Okorafor was originally a minicamp tryout, but turns out he’s signed a deal with UDFA. The leap made by Okorafor is considerable; it should be considered a long shot to stay.

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