The Philadelphia Eagles will hold minicamp on Saturday, May 12. Unlike years past, only rookies and other players that have never seen regular season action will participate. This is one of those big changes that come with the new collective bargaining agreement. Even though most players won't be participating, this is still a big event for the first year guys. This is their first chance to show what they can do for the Eagles in 2012. As a fan, I don't expect there to be a lot of drama but there are some things to watch. Here are some storylines that should start to play out during minicamp.
How ready is Fletcher Cox?
The Eagles traded up to draft Fletcher Cox with the 12th overall pick. He is an extremely athletic defensive tackle that is expected to contribute immediately. As the first round pick, most of the attention is going to be focused on him. Coming from an SEC school, many football fans have already seen him play quite often. I am anxious to see how long it takes for his skills to translate to the wide nine scheme.
The running back battle
No NFL team is going to have a more intriguing battle for a backup running back than the Eagles. The Eagles took Bryce Brown in the seventh round and signed Chris Polk as an undrafted free agent. Polk had an accomplished college career but has serious injury concerns. Brown was an elite prospect that didn't live up to expectations in college. Both players have tons of potential, but there might not be room for both on the final roster. It will be fun to see how these guys push each other.
The Nick Foles watch
The Eagles drafted quarterback Nick Foles in the third round, meaning that he is a virtual lock to make the final roster as the third string quarterback. Obviously, the team saw enough in this guy to at least give him a shot at being the quarterback of the future. Even though he has no chance of being a starter in 2012, Foles needs to prove his worth almost immediately. If he starts showing some ability in minicamp, he might have an inside track toward becoming the number two guy on the roster.
Vinny Curry's push
We won't see Brandon Graham at minicamp, but he will already be under pressure. The Eagles took Curry in the second round and he stands to push Graham for playing time. The two share similar attributes but Curry has more potential. If he performs well at minicamp, there will be that much more pressure on Graham once training camp begins.
* - Mark Paul is a Philadelphia resident and lifelong Eagles fan.