Friday, August 1, 2014
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The Eagles' best undrafted stars

The buzz surrounding several of the Eagles' rookie free agents in training camp brings up a relevant question (certainly for them): Is it realistic that they'll either make the team or have any long-term impact?

The Eagles' best undrafted stars

Jamaal Jackson signed with the Eagles in 2003 as an undrafted rookie. (David Maialetti/Staff file photo)
Jamaal Jackson signed with the Eagles in 2003 as an undrafted rookie. (David Maialetti/Staff file photo)

The buzz surrounding several of the Eagles' rookie free agents in training camp brings up a relevant question (certainly for them): Is it realistic that they'll either make the team or have any long-term impact?

Defensive back Cliff Harris, running back Chris Polk, and wide receiver Damaris Johnson top the list of undrafted rookie free agents with the best hopes to stick around this season. But it's not easy.

Historically, several Eagles have completed the hard route from forgotten to unforgettable, but it's not common. Here are the top five from recent Eagles history. 

1. Chad Lewis: He joined the Eagles in 1997 as an undrafted player, was cut in 1999, and then went on to reach the Pro Bowl in three straight seasons. He played nine years with the team.

2. Andre Waters: "Dirty Waters" was signed out of Cheyney University in 1984 and the strong safety played 10 years with the team, making his impact on and off the field as a fan favorite. He made the All-Pro team in 1991. 

3. Herman Edwards: He tops the list of several rankings of the Eagles' best undrafted stars. He joined the team in 1977 and started every game during his nine-year career with the team. 

4. Hollis Thomas: Thomas joined the Eagles in 1996 out of Northern Illinois and spent 10 years with the team, including five as a starter at defensive tackle. 

5. Jamaal Jackson: Undrafted out of tiny Delaware State, Jackson was initially a practice squad member who went on to be regarded as one of the league's best centers. 

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For news, stats, video, live chats and more, Red Zone is the place to find Eagles coverage you can't get anywhere else. Reach Jimmy at jkempski@philly.com.

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