Do the names Kurt Warner, Wes Welker, Arian Foster, Antonio Gates and Adam Vinatieri ring a bell? They’re all pretty respectable names in the NFL, and they all happen to be undrafted free agents. That is the case for Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Damaris Johnson, the 5′ 8″ man out of Tulsa.
When the Eagles first signed Johnson, not many people gave the idea too much thought. With DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, rookie Marvin McNutt and fan favorite Chad Hall all on the roster already, the odds of Damaris getting noticeable reps didn’t even seem possible, right? Well when Spring Training and OTAs rolled around, Damaris began to make a name for himself. The first time anyone was able to see Damaris in midnight green was on May 22, the first day of OTAs. He was immediately labeled as a speedy receiver, much like DeSean. Two months later, Damaris Johnson is a common name being thrown around the Eagles preseason.
Wearing no. 13 for the Eagles, Damaris displays characteristics unlike many receivers in the NFL today. With such a small frame, his rare speed and agility is what makes him stand out. Johnson broke the NCAA record for all purpose yardage with 326 and is also the NCAA leader in kick return yards for a career and total yards gained for a career. Impressive.
In his first appearance on the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Johnson caught four passes for 85 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown was impressive, as it went for 70 yards when Nick Foles scrambled out of the pocket to find space, also finding Johnson wide open down the field. To say he is still a “long shot” to make the team is just ridiculous, because he has been one of the more impressive players on the entire offense.
Even though Johnson is a bit lower on the depth chart, I think he’ll do the most with his limited reps during the season. The Eagles know what he is capable of, and flying past the secondary unseen is something he has done many times in college. It may not be right away, but I say in a year or two, Damaris will be a star for the Birds.
Johnson is one of 13 wide receivers on the Eagles roster. Here they are:
|88||Akpla, Elvis||WR||6-1||190||Montana St.|
|16||Hall, Chad||WR||5-8||187||Air Force|
|84||Hamler, Jamel||WR||6-2||195||Fresno State|
Last year, the Eagles kept only 6 for the season. That means the Eagles will have to cut half of the players before the season opener on Sept. 9th against the Cleveland Browns.
Tell us, who do you think will make the final cut?