Eagles Host Ex-Seahawks TE, Former Texas ’18-Wheeler’ QB

Tyrone Swoopes

Getty Former Texas QB Tyrone Swoopes was converted to a tight end in 2017 and spent three years in Seattle.

The Eagles love running “12 Personnel” so it’s always good to have extra tight ends. Especially after one goes “out indefinitely.”

Philadelphia hosted former Seahawks tight end, Tyrone Swoopes, on Sunday after Josh Perkins left Friday’s practice early with an undisclosed “upper-body injury.” Perkins was presumed to be the Eagles’ third tight end on the 53-man roster, a role the receiver/tight end hybrid thrived in last year following a rash of receiver injuries.

The 24-year-old’s absence on Sunday surely opened the door for either undrafted rookie free agent Noah Togiai or veteran Caleb Wilson (seventh-rounder in 2019) to steal that spot. Well, it did … until the Eagles worked out Swoopes, a former quarterback from the University of Texas. The 6-foot-2, 254-pounder went undrafted in 2017 before finding a home on the Seahawks’ practice squad.

Seattle waived him on Aug. 13 from the injured reserve with a settlement. Swoopes saw action in seven games (three starts) and made just two catches for 28 yards during his three years in Seattle. Known more for his blocking skills, the 25-year-old has played on 128 career NFL snaps (109 on offense, 19 on special teams).

It’s an interesting move considering how banged up the Eagles’ tight ends are right now. Yes, Zach Ertz (upper body) and Dallas Goedert (upper body) were back at practice on Sunday but Perkins’ injury seems substantially more serious.

The Eagles like athleticism at that position and that’s one thing Swoopes possesses in bushels. Nicknamed “The 18-Wheeler” at Texas, the converted quarterback accounted for 41 total touchdowns for the Longhorns (24 rushing, 17 passing). He also ran a 4.65-second 40-yard dash at his pro day.

“(Confidence) comes from knowing what you’re supposed to do and what other guys are supposed to do,” Swoopes said in 2015, via Inside Texas.

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Top QB Recruit, Related to Sheryl Swoopes

If the names Swoopes has a familiar ring to it, that’s for good reason. Tyrone is the nephew of Sheryl Swoopes, a former WNBA star and Hall of Fame basketball player.

He was highly recruited coming out of Whitewright High School in Texas, too. Swoopes was a top-10 recruit at quarterback in the entire country while excelling at basketball, baseball and track and field. He earned early comparisons to both Cam Newton and Vince Young, maybe putting too much undue pressure on him.

Here is a great insight into Swoopes’ physical traits, via Burnt Orange Nation:

For starters, at 6’4, and a lean 247 pounds, Swoopes has the physical makeup necessary to play tight end in the NFL, complimented by his 4.65 40-yard dash and 35-inch vertical leap. More so, what Swoopes did leave on film is his proven ability a rugged rusher, often in the ‘18-Wheeler’ package during his final two seasons in Austin, which is critical for his future to extend plays after the catch.

Throughout his Longhorn career, Swoopes rushed 256 times, amassing 966 yards and 24 touchdowns. While he’s displayed some finesse at times, more often than not, Swoopes was bullishly bulldozing defenders and required multiple bodies to bring down.

In short, Swoopes wasn’t your typical college quarterback. He was hardly one as a senior, serving as the backup to Shane Buechele and attempting just nine passes all season, but his time in the backfield may actually prove to be beneficial to his potential success at tight end down the road.

Swoopes threw for 1,394 yards and rushed for 2,267 yards at Texas while racking up 44 total touchdowns. It was a roller-coaster ride for him in college as he never lived up to the extreme expectations and eventually earned more acclaim for his red-zone rushing prowess than his passing skills. No one ever questioned his athleticism.

“He was really, really athletic,” said former Texas coach Mack Brown who recruited Swoopes. “We had him in camp. He played at a really small high school, so he wasn’t polished at all. But you could see he was an athlete. We knew he could do something for us.”

Now the Eagles might need him to get up to speed quickly and take over for Perkins as the team’s third tight end. It’s an open competition all summer.

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