Pair of Fourth-Round Picks Sign On With Eagles

Written By Bob Cunningham On Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mike Kafka will be the emergency third quarterback.



The final two of the Eagles' fourth-round picks, quarterback Mike Kafka and tight end Clay Harbor, have signed four-year deals, according to the team's official website.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the signings mean that the Birds have only four guys left to sign -- Brandon Graham (first round), Nate Allen (second round), Daniel Te'o-Nesheim (third round), and Riley Cooper (fifth round) -- with nine of their draft picks already on board.

Kafka is all but guaranteed the third quarterback spot by default. The Eagles had brought in Joey Elliott, an undrafted rookie quarterback out of Purdue, but he was waived recently after it became apparent he wasn't going to challenge Kafka.

It's possible that Kafka could be the true backup to Kevin Kolb were something to happen, but Michael Vick will be the guy dressing every week so he can run the Wildcat and contribute on some gadget plays.

Kafka will likely spend the entire season as the emergency third quarterback and, barring an injury to Kolb or Vick, won't see the field.

Harbor is a much more intriguing prospect given the question marks behind Brent Celek at tight end. Cornelius Ingram is a guy everyone is excited to see, but he could see more time at wide receiver than tight end. Also, Ingram isn't the best blocker and the Birds might not be comfortable keeping two tight ends with basically the same skill-set.

The same goes for Martin Rucker. He's a guy the Eagles really like, but he struggles as a blocker and could find himself on the practice squad again if Harbor does well in training camp.

Versatility will also play into Harbor's favor as he can play an H-Back type of role and could fill in for Leonard Weaver at fullback in a pinch. If there's one thing Andy Reid loves more than a running back who can catch out of the backfield, it's a guy he can plug in at several different positions.

If Harbor can play well enough on special teams to gain the support of Bobby April, the Eagles' new special teams coach, he will have a great shot of making the team.

As for the four remaining unsigned rookies, I wouldn't expect them all to be signed any time soon. At least not within the next month of so.

Cooper will likely be the next to sign on, as he's only a fifth-round pick, then Te'o-Nesheim, then Allen, and lastly Graham. It's possible Graham doesn't sign on until right before or a week or so into training camp like Jeremy Maclin did last year.

Graham has said he doesn't want to hold out, but he was a higher pick than Maclin was last year and getting his deal done will be much more difficult than the other three guys.

I would, however, based on history and an educated guess, expect Cooper to sign on within the next two weeks.


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