Five Eagles sleepers to keep an eye on

The Eagles defensive line could use a big year from Vinny Curry. Credit: Getty Images The Eagles defensive linecould use a big year from Vinny Curry. Credit: Getty Images

Everyone already knows the top names. And the Eagles success is deeply rooted in the performances of Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin and company.

However, there are some relatively unknowns who made the 53 man roster last week, and several of these men could have a pretty big impact on the Eagles’ success in 2014.

1. Cody Parkey, K

Kicker Cody Parkey beat out Alex Henery in the Eagles’ 53-man roster cuts because he proved he could handle the pressure in the preseason. Parkey nailed two 50 yarders in last Thursday’s game against the Jets, as many as Henery made in 49 career games with the Eagles.

“Regardless if I’m a 10 year starter or a rookie there’s always going to be questions, thoughts and concerns about me,” said Parkey after practice Tuesday. “I’m just going to go out there and do the best I can.”

The high-powered Eagles offense will have plenty of scoring chances this season, which would make Parkey the benefactor if he can stay consistent.

Parkey made 39 of 53 career attempts at Auburn for an average of 73.6 percent. The Indianapolis Colts signed him after he went undrafted in the 2014 NFL draft.

2. Vinny Curry, DE

At 6-foot-3, 279 pounds the Eagles are expecting big things from defensive end Vinny Curry this season on the defensive side of the football. Curry is expected to expand on his 2013 campaign, which included 22 tackles and four sacks.

Taken in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft, Curry is seemingly the man the Eagles hope can replace an aging Trent Cole on the edge. Cole, 31, had eight sacks in 2013 and has 79 total in his nine-year career with the Eagles.

This is the year that many expect Curry to breakout, which could make Cole expendable in the offseason.

3. Josh Huff, WR

Taken in the third round of the 2014 NFL draft, the buzz surrounding receiver Josh Huff hasn’t been nearly as high as his rookie counter-part Jordan Matthews. However, that doesn’t mean that the speedy rookie out of Oregon can’t make waves this season for the Eagles.

Huff suffered an AC joint sprain in his right shoulder in the team’s second preseason game against the New England Patriots. He expects to be back for the team’s Week 1 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Huff recorded 62 receptions for 1140 yards and 12 touchdowns last season for the Ducks and could be used as a weapon in the slot or in screen pass situations on offense this season.

4. Chris Polk, RB

The Eagles deciding to keep running back Chris Polk when they announced their 53-man roster is all you need to know about the third-year back out of Washington. Sitting out all preseason with a hamstring injury, Polk had to sit and watch as potential suitors for his job gave it their all in training camp in hopes of making the team.

None of them were worthy and now Polk figures to be the power back that Bryce Brown served as on the team last season.

“I treat every day like it’s my last day,” said Polk. “You never know what’s going to happen. It’s always on the line. I wasn’t promised anything. I’m not guaranteed anything being that we have a great host of backs. I’m renting space here. You just have to do the best that you can and work as hard as you can while you’re here.”

Polk played a limited time last season, scoring three touchdowns on just 11 carries.

5. Najee Goode, LB

Linebacker DeMeco Ryans is the most vocal leader on the Eagles’ young defense, but start getting to know the name Najee Goode. Ryans, 30, doesn’t have the speed which once sent him to two Pro Bowls with the Houston Texans, Goode figures to be his protégé this season and will have plenty of opportunities to prove he can be a starter.

“My goal is to get in there and be a starter on our defense,” said Goode. “This season, [I will have] the opportunity to make some more plays on the field on defense along with special teams, which I always continue to do. [I want to be] a bigger player on this team and a bigger leader in the near future.”

Playing in 14 games last season for the Eagles, Goode recorded 21 tackles and one sack. He’s had another year to learn the playbook and defensive scheme and is beloved amongst the Eagles coaching staff. All signs point to Goode having a breakout season and securing his future with the team.

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