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Joe Walker, Byron Marshall aim to make Philadelphia Eagles roster

A question and answer with SB Nation's Bleeding Green Nation

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

With the first round of rookie mini camp in the books, I took a look at two former Oregon players and their quest to make the league. 7th round draft pick Joe Walker, and undrafted free agent Byron Marshall both aim to make the Philadelphia Eagles squad this year. I got the chance to ask a few questions with fellow SB Nation writer Brandon Lee Gowton. Check out Bleeding Green Nation for the flip side of the Q&A where Matt Sexton and myself answered a few questions about Joe Walker and his chances of making the Eagles.

1) What are your thoughts on the Eagles using a 7th round pick on Joe Walker?

The Eagles have starters in place at linebacker with the trio of Nigel Bradham, Mychal Kendricks, and 2015 rookie standout Jordan Hicks. What they don’t have is much depth. I didn’t know much about Walker before he was drafted but he seems like an athletic guy capable of playing special teams and being a backup. If he can fill those roles, that’s good use of the No. 251 pick in the draft.

2) How do you see him fitting in with the rest of the Eagles linebacker core this season?

Walker will have to stand out on special teams to make the final roster. That’s likely where he’ll be contributing most. Otherwise he’ll be a backup on defense. He might actually get some playing time because Hicks and Kendricks have dealt with injury issues in the past, but the Eagles probably don’t want to be seeing much of Walker as a rookie.

3) On the other hand, I thought a guy like Byron Marshall would be gone early in Day 3, and yet he signed as an undrafted free agent, what are your thoughts on that addition?

The Eagles’ offense really lacks explosive playmakers. It seems like Marshall has some big play ability, so he could be a nice addition. It also doesn’t hurt that he might be able to help out at both running back and wide receiver. Marshall is one of the Eagles’ most exciting UDFA signings so it’ll be interesting to see how he looks in training camp and preseason.

4) Do you think both the Ducks that were picked up this year by the Eagles will make the squad for this season?

I think it’s possible both make it, but I wouldn’t say it’s a lock. I’d say Walker has the better chance than Marshall because the Eagles are thin at linebacker. The Birds are listing Marshall as a running back and they already have three running backs ahead of him: Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, and fifth round pick Wendell Smallwood. Marshall might be able to stick as a fourth running back since he can also play receiver. Both Walker and Marshall will be in strong consideration for the practice squad if they don’t make the final roster.


5) I have to ask it, with so many Oregon players from the Chip Kelly era still tied to the Eagles, what is the perception of picking up two more Ducks in the draft/undrafted free agent process this year?

Haha, good question. I wonder if Kelly really wanted the 49ers to sign Walker in undrafted free agency and the Eagles spent a pick on him to prevent that from happening. Maybe they tried to troll him. But other than that, I don’t think Eagles fans really care a whole lot about this #DuckBias because the team invested minimal resources in these Oregon players.