The Philadelphia Eagles signed seven undrafted free agents prior to last week’s rookie minicamp. Jamie Newman was arguably the biggest name on that list, but keep an eye on former Texas A&M wide receiver Jhamon Ausbon.
The 6-foot-2, 217-pounder prides himself on being a “big, physical presence” who led the Aggies’ offense in catches in 2019 with 66 balls for 872 yards and five touchdowns. Ausbon opted out of the 2020 campaign due to COVID-19 concerns but he didn’t sit back and rest on his laurels.
No, the team captain concentrated on improving his footwork and studying film of guys he tries to emulate like Wes Welker and Julian Edelman. And while Ausbon strays from direct NFL comparisons, he has one high-profile name on speed dial: Jarvis Landry.
“I’ve been really honing in with Jarvis Landry,” Ausbon said, via The Battalion. “I was training with him for a while. I don’t really see myself as [one particular player]; I take bits and pieces. I’m a real cerebral thinker, so I really appreciate when a receiver knows what he has going on.”
The Houston native was a Day One starter at Texas A&M where he caught touchdowns from future third-round pick Kellen Mond (Minnesota Vikings). He earned a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2017 before averaging 13.2 yards-per-catch during his senior year. Ausbon was a top-100 high school prospect coming out of IMG Academy in Florida, too. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.71 seconds at this Pro Day while posting a 33-inch vertical leap.
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Looking at the Receivers Depth Chart
Ausbon will face tough sledding to make the final roster. The Eagles have invested five high draft picks into the wide-receiver position dating back to 2018: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, Quez Watkins, DeVonta Smith.
They also found two “diamond-in-the-rough” players in Greg Ward and Travis Fulgham to bolster the unit. Ausbon will have to flash in the limited reps he gets at training camp, a tough task for anyone let alone someone who sat out the entire 2020 campaign.
Head coach Nick Sirianni will be looking hard at the position since he once served as a wide receivers coach, but time won’t be on anyone’s side in the rookie class. They need to learn the playbook and get up to speed faster than a Meek Mill verse. Sirianni commented on Ausbon and fellow undrafted free agent Trevon Grimes (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) after the first day of rookie minicamp on Friday.
“The one thing that really is hard to teach and you can’t teach is that speed, and you can’t teach size. You got out there today and they are, they’re impressive,” Sirianni said of Ausbon and Grimes. “They have impressive statures about them. You know, I really was impressed with the way they moved out there today with that size. They had good catch radius and strong hands, and I just thought they did a good job of moving around.”
Zach Ertz Skipping Voluntary Workouts: Report
Zach Ertz isn’t a wide receiver but he is a huge part of the locker room, a veteran skill player who leads by example. But the three-time Pro Bowl tight end remains unhappy with his contract situation so he has decided to skip voluntary workouts which begin on Tuesday.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, Ertz missed the start of Phase 2 workouts and isn’t expected to report for the remainder of the offseason program. He has been pushing the Eagles to either trade him or release him before the start of the season. Philadelphia can save $8.5 million in cap space if they designate him as a post-June 1 cut.
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