A look at the three undrafted rookies that made the Eagles’ initial 2022 53-man roster

Heading into the 2022 NFL Draft, the Eagles were flush with draft picks in the third, fourth, and fifth rounds, in addition to the pair of first-round picks that they still held. That inventory of picks was depleted when Howie Roseman traded up for rookie DT Jordan Davis, and then Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown.

After those trades were executed, Roseman was asked if he was comfortable no longer having picks in bulk on Days 2 and 3 of the draft. Part of his answer was that he challenged his scouting department to hit on some undrafted free agents.

“Yes, we would love more picks, but I told Coach [Sirianni] and went and saw the scouts in the draft room, and I said, ‘We have the best undrafted free agency in the history of undrafted free agency, and lucky for us there’s like 700 more players in this draft,’” Roseman said during the draft in April. 

“We think we are going to get guys after the draft that are going to be on our front board, and those are going to be extra picks, and we are hopeful some of the guys we would have considered in the sixth and seventh round, we get there.”

As it turned out, three undrafted rookies made the initial 53-man roster. They were CB Josh Jobe, S, Reed Blankenship, and OL Josh Sills. Only five undrafted rookies have made the initial 53-man roster in the previous five drafts. A recent history:

2022 (3): CB Josh Jobe, S Reed Blankenship, OL Josh Sills

2021 (1): TE Jack Stoll

2020 (0): None

2019 (2): LB T.J. Edwards, OL Nate Herbig

2018 (1): DT Bruce Hector

2017 (1): RB Corey Clement

2016 (4): WR Paul Turner, OT Dillon Gordon, DT Destiny Vaeao, CB C.J. Smith

2015 (1): CB Denzel Rice

2014 (2): TE Trey Burton, K Cody Parkey

2013 (3): OL Matt Tobin, DT Damion Square, LB Jake Knott

2012 (2): RB Chris Polk, WR Damaris Johnson 

So who are Jobe, Blankenship, and Sills? Let’s take a look at each of them individually.

CB Josh Jobe

Jobe is a rather well-known player from a major program at Alabama who was being projected as a possible Day 2 pick after a strong junior season in 2020 when he had 55 tackles, 11 pass breakups, and 2 forced fumbles. However, after a down season in 2021 partly due to injuries, Jobe went undrafted. A look at some highlights from his positive 2020 season: 

Jobe has good length, with 32 5/8″ arms, and he was thought of in college as a physical tackler with some appealing zone coverage traits.

In the Eagles’ first two preseason games, Jobe led the team with 12 tackles, seven of which came against the Browns, even though he only allowed one completion in that contest. We showed Jobe’s performance in that game, with gifs and stuff, in case you missed it.

“Josh was a guy that had some injury issues in the offseason, and we had followed him,” Roseman said. “We knew him, obviously the Alabama connection, and from day one when he came in here, he came in with the right mindset. This is a big, long, instinctive corner, a physical corner who’s played at a high level in the SEC.”

Reed Blankenship

Blankenship was a five-year starter at Middle Tennessee State. His first three seasons were highlighted by his takeaway numbers (8 INTs), while his last two were noteworthy for his high number of tackles (186 of them in 22 games). In 2021, Blankenship compiled 110 tackles (10 for loss), a sack, an INT, 8 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles, and 3 recoveries, one of which he returned for a score. He’s an active safety who can cover a lot of ground. A look:

From start to finish throughout camp, Blankenship showed good instincts, he was generally where he needed to be, and was a sure, physical tackler.

“Reed is a five-year starter,” Roseman said. “You don’t see many of those guys going.”

“With 419 tackles,” interjected Nick Sirianni.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Roseman. “Reed is one of those guys, he started [training camp] as the last man in that [safety] group, and every day, like Coach says, we evaluate practice every day, we evaluate everything he did, and he continued to show up. He had a feel. I don’t want to put too high expectations on him, but he kind of reminded me of a guy like Quintin Mikell who we had here. He has physical tools, but he’s always around the ball, and credit to him and our coaches for putting him in position to make plays.”

Josh Sills

Sills was the biggest surprise to make the Eagles’ roster. Like Blankenship above, he was a college starter since 2017, initially with West Virginia before transferring to Oklahoma State. While he mostly played guard in college (both at LG and RG), it’s easy to see why the Eagles had interest, via Dane Brugler:

Sills is one of the few players in this draft class with college starting experience at all five offensive line spots, but he must play with better control to counterbalance his aggression.

The Eagles love them some OL versatility, and Sills played both tackle and guard throughout camp. He is thought of as a physical, body-moving run blocker who was thought to need some work in pass pro. H/t Tommy Lawlor on the following Twitter finds from the Eagles’ preseason game against the Dolphins:

It sounds like Sills beat out Jack Anderson for the final spot on the offensive line because he can also play tackle.

“When you talk about Sills, he’s 6’5″, he’s 330 pounds, he has long arms,” Roseman said. “He’s powerful, he’s versatile. He can play inside or outside. I’m not putting him in Canton — I’m starting to listen to my own description, and it sounds unbelievable. But the guy has talent in his body, and I think when you talk about Jack [Anderson], they play different positions really. So, we kind of tried to figure out what we had, what we were looking for, and it was a tough call.”

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