Tight end Dallas Goedert, the first player the Eagles drafted last month, said the new teammate who has helped him the most is quarterback Carson Wentz.
They’ve known each other a while; Goedert starred at South Dakota State, Wentz at traditional rival North Dakota State. When Goedert was preparing for the NFL draft — in which he was selected 49th overall in the second round after the Eagles traded back — Wentz guided him to the agent group Wentz uses.
As their relationship deepened, Goedert tried kidding Wentz about the fact that the Jackrabbits have won the Dakota Marker trophy the past two seasons. (It’s a downsized replica of the quartzite monuments placed every half-mile to delineate South Dakota from North Dakota after the Dakota Territory was split in 1889.)
“The last two years we were able to beat [the Bison], keep the marker back home. I was trying to joke with him a little bit. He asked me how many rings I was bringing to Philly. That’s a little bit tougher,” Goedert said.
Rings, as in Super Bowl rings. They trump Dakota Markers, though for Dakotans, “It’s a pretty big game. It’s pretty intense. It’s been a lot more fun the last two years than the previous two before that,” when Wentz quarterbacked North Dakota State, Goedert said.
“He made these throws — he had a game-winner against us in the playoffs, there was like, a minute left, we were up four, and he threw one in the corner, just over our linebacker’s hands. I’m like, ‘Who is this kid? This is the only time he’ll ever make that throw; he’s just some guy.’ Little did I know he would have been the [NFL] MVP last year if he didn’t get hurt.”
Goedert spoke Friday after the first practice of the Eagles’ weekend rookie camp, attended by 51 players — five draftees, eight “first-year” players (who were on IR or on the practice squad last season as rookies), 15 undrafted rookies, and 23 tryout players.
“I think I’ve got a lot to learn and a lot to grow on, but I think it’s a good start,” Goedert said.
Other highlights from the rookies:
*Fourth-round defensive end Josh Sweat is excited about moving from a role at Florida State in which he played directly in front of an offensive tackle and waited for the tackle to move, to firing off the edge in Jim Schwartz’ wide-nine. “I thought it was a lot more fun, too, because I got to play the edge. It’s always pass first, and then you play the run. It’s so much better; I can gain ground. … I don’t have to really convert [to pass-rush mode] because I’m already on my way to the quarterback.” Sweat said he intends to retain the four-point stance he used at FSU, because he is more comfortable that way than with one hand up.
*Undrafted rookie running back Josh Adams said he is day-to-day with a foot injury that kept him out of action Friday. Adams, who played at Notre Dame, from Central Bucks South, said he grew up watching Brian Westbrook and early-career LeSean McCoy.
*Sixth-round offensive lineman Matt Pryor, from TCU, spent three years there playing with Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Asked what “Big V” told him going into rookie camp, Pryor said: ” ‘Get in the playbook. If you need any help, I’m going to help you out.’ ”
*Jordan Mailata, the undrafted rugby player from Australia who has never played football, is listed by the Eagles at 6-8, 346, but he looks bigger. During an early drill, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland barked: “Don’t pause! Don’t pause! You’re in the National Football League! You ain’t got no time to pause.”